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Mr. Ayers, meet Mr. Keating

Just when we thought we were out of the 60s or the 80s - they pull us back in!

In her prepared remarks for her Clearwater event this morning, Republican vp candidate Sarah Palin plans to link Barack Obama and 60s radical/accused "Weather Underground" terrorist Bill Ayers. Palin's remarks appear to drop the accusation that the two were "palling around," but she's right in noting that Ayers was one of his "earliest supporters" in that, according to the AP, Ayers held a 1995 fundraiser for Obama. But according to AP, that appears to be their "strongest tie."

The New York Times article Palin cites seems to concur with the AP, though it says Obama has tried to downplay his connections with the political figure from three decades ago. Is this the same Palin who chastised Dem VP Joe Biden a few times in Thursday's debate for "looking backwards?"

Well, the Obama camp is doing/continuing to do the same thing. Obama said the Ayers attack is the politics of distraction, yet he's also gearing up to wage war on the front as well. It's issuing a web video to supporters about the Keating 5 scandal that roped in McCain. McCain had a peripheral role in the matter, and was merely rapped by the Senate Ethics Committee for displaying "poor judgment."

**Update: McCain's lawyer from the time, John Dowd, just finished a conference call with reporters on this. He said that, unlike his client who expressed remorse over the incident, he thinks McCain was in the clear on all counts, that there was no conflict and that McCain was essentially set up by Keating and then by Democrats who wanted to score political points.

"It's sort of a classic political smear job," said Dowd.

"Charlie Keating was an important constituent in Arizona that employed 2,000 people, and that's a constituent you pay attention to," Dowd said.

Asked about Cindy McCain's family's financial ties with Keating, Dowd said McCain was unaware of them at the time the SNL crisis hit.