What the Mailman Knows about Ayers and Obama

American Thinker

By Jack  Cashill

A  few days ago I got a call asking whether I knew anything about the Ayers family  mailman.  I had heard of him, I said.  I remembered liberal blogger Steven Diamond  having interviewed the fellow a few years back, but I paid it little mind, as  the information seemed too limited to pursue.

The  caller then sent me a video interview  with the mailman by WND sleuth Jerome Corsi.  The video made me sit up and  pay attention.  The mailman is a real person.  His name is Alan  Hulton.  He seems entirely credible, and he has a story to  tell.

Hulton  delivered mail in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, from 1962 to 2001 with a couple years  off to serve in the military.  During roughly ten of those years, he  delivered mail to the home of Tom and Mary Ayers, Bill Ayers’s parents.   Hulton talked to Tom once, Mary several times, their daughter-in-law Bernardine  Dohrn a few times, and Bill Ayers not at all.  Memorably, he talked once to  one of their visitors, but more on that in a moment.

As  Hulton tells Corsi — and he has sworn an affidavit to the same — he met Tom  Ayers not long after the Ayerses moved to the neighborhood.  Until he  retired in 1980 at the age of 65, Tom Ayers was the CEO and chairman of  Commonwealth Edison.  Tom, however, was not your garden-variety  plutocrat.  According to Diamond, who knows his way around Chicago  politics, Tom was a “lifelong liberal” — one deeply involved in the same  educational reform movement that engaged son Bill and, briefly, Barack Obama in  1988.  Tom Ayers was comfortable enough with Bill’s lifestyle to live  with him in Hyde Park until Tom died in 2007.

When  Hulton met Tom Ayers, they talked about working conditions at the Post Office.   “I couldn’t believe how he responded,” Hulton told Diamond.  “He  started to talk about workers having to struggle to survive and about peasants  and the proletariat.  It made me think later that he might be a  Marxist!”  Hulton would tell Corsi, “I had this uncomfortable feeling that  he thought he knew about my situation as a working person better than I did,  that he knew what was best for me.”

Hulton  also recalls one particular conversation with Mary Ayers.  “She was  enthusiastically talking to me about this young black student that they were  helping out,” he tells Corsi, “and she referred to him as a foreign student.”   Adds Hulton, “I was taken aback by how enthusiastic she was about him.”   Within a year of this conversation, Hulton had a fateful meeting with the  young man he presumed Mary was talking about.

According  to Hulton, he encountered the fellow on the sidewalk on the front of the Ayers  home.  In that it was extremely rare to see a black man in this tony  neighborhood, Hulton believes that the man felt the need to explain his visit to  the Ayers household.  Hulton describes him as friendly and neatly, although  casually, dressed.  Hulton tells Corsi, “I am absolutely positive that it  was Barack Obama.”

Hulton  was sympathetic.  After he had come out of military service, he was a  supporter of Martin Luther King, who had pressed for fair housing in the Chicago  area in the 1960s.  “I took some flak about my support for civil rights  from my fellow workers at the time,” remembers Hulton.

Obama  explained to Hulton that he had taken the train out from Chicago to Glen Ellyn  in order “to thank the Ayers family personally for helping him with his education.”  What shocked Hulton was that  when casually inquiring into the young man’s plans for the future, Obama  answered, “I am going to be president of the  United States.”  As Hulton tells Corsi, “[i]t came across like this  was something that’s already been determined.”  Adds Hulton, “I was  speechless.”

Hulton  told Diamond and Corsi essentially the same story.  What gives the Corsi  interview added value is that we see Hulton tell it.  Although just a year  older than Bill Ayers, he seems to come from a different generation.  He  has little to gain — and a lot to risk — by going public.  Corsi warns  Hulton that by quoting Mary’s comment that Obama was a “foreign student,” he has  put himself at some risk.  Says Hulton, “I am only telling you what I  distinctly remember her saying — that he was a foreign  student.”

Hulton’s  interviews with Diamond and Corsi are consistent in every major detail save for  dates.  Hulton suggested to Diamond that the sidewalk meeting took place in  the mid-’80s, but Corsi suggests to Hulton that it was in the early 1990s, and  Hulton does not correct him.  Hulton clearly does not remember the date.   If I were to speculate, I would guess 1988, the year Obama started Harvard  Law School.  Presuming Hulton actually met Obama, the “education” in  question would almost surely have been law school.

There  is a good deal at stake here.  According to Snopes and the other fact-check  sites, Bill Ayers and Obama did not meet until the mid-1990s.  This is a  talking point that both Ayers and Obama have upheld.  When Ayers appeared  on ABC’s Good Morning America in 2008, he put the date of their first  meeting in 1995 at a fundraiser in Ayers’s own home.  “I think he was  probably in 20 homes that day as far as I know,” said Ayers.  “But that was  the first time I really met him.”

As  it happens, I stumbled into my own discovery of Ayers’s involvement in the  writing of Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, when I was  investigating how Obama got into Harvard Law School and who paid his way.   What had piqued my interest was an interview with veteran New York power-broker  Percy Sutton on a local New York City show called Inside City Hall.   The interview took place in late March 2008 but did not surface until  August 2008.

Sutton  told how twenty years prior he had been “introduced to [Obama] by a friend.”   The friend’s name was Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, “the principal adviser to one  of the world’s richest men.”  The billionaire in question was Saudi prince  Al-Waleed bin Talal.  According to Sutton, al-Mansour had asked him to  “please write a letter in support of [Obama] … a young man that has applied to  Harvard.”  Sutton had friends at Harvard and gladly did  so.

A  few months before the election, it should have mattered that a respected black  political figure like Sutton had publicly announced that a fanatic black  separatist, backed by an ambitious Saudi billionaire, had been guiding Obama’s  career perhaps for the last twenty years.  It did to the Obama-friendly  media, but not in a way in which it would have to real journalists.  Moving  in swiftly to kill the story were Politico, an insider D.C. journal run  by Washington Post alums, and Media Matters for America, an alleged  watchdog group founded by the recovering Troopergate author, David  Brock.

Ben  Smith, then of Politico, took the lead.  Shortly after the story  broke, Smith ran the disclaimer that “Barack Obama’s campaign is flatly denying  a story told by former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton.”  After  some conspicuous waffling, al-Mansour denied the story as well.  A  self-appointed “spokesman for Sutton’s family” by the name of Kevin Wardally  sent an e-mail to Smith that read in part: “As best as our family and the  Chairman’s closest friends can tell, Mr. Sutton, now 86 years of age, misspoke  in describing certain details and events in that television  interview.”

For  Smith, even though Wardally had gotten Sutton’s age wrong by two years, this  e-mail was proof enough that Sutton’s highly specific claim was  manufactured.  Wrote Smith, Wardally’s e-mail “seems to put the story to  rest for good.”  Media Matters, meanwhile, scolded those conservative  bloggers who did not accept the various denials at face value.

Like  the man about to be carted away in Monty Python’s Holy Grail, the Percy  Sutton story was not quite dead yet.  Sutton’s son and daughter told  conservative reporter Ken Timmerman that no one in their family even knew who  Kevin Wardally was, let alone authorized him to speak on behalf of the family.   “I’m getting better,” pled Monty Python’s nearly dead man.  No, he  wasn’t.  Nor was this story.  With Hillary out of the race, no  newsroom in America felt compelled to dig up dirt that could sully  Obama.

About  that time, I found a diary  entry that caught my attention.  Radical-turned-actor Peter Coyote  entered it at the time of the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.   Coyote wrote, “I inform Martha that I’m dragging her to the apartment of  old friends, ex-Weathermen, Bernadine [sic] Dohrn and Bill Ayers, hosting a  party for Senator Leahy. Perhaps Edward Said will be there.”

Said  had taught Obama at least one class at Columbia.  I had earlier seen a  photo taken during an Arab-American community dinner in Chicago in 1998 on the  fiftieth anniversary of the Palestinian nakba, or disaster.  The  photo shows Obama sitting next to Said, seemingly engaged in an animated  conversation at dinner.  The intimacy surprised me.  At the time of  the photo, Obama was an obscure state senator while Said, according to the Nation, was “probably the best-known intellectual in the world” and the  star of that evening’s show.  He would speak on this occasion, as the Los Angeles Times would later report, “against settlements, against  Israeli apartheid.”

All  of this got me to wondering whether an Ayers-Obama-Said-al-Mansour cabal had  formed in the early 1980s back in New York City.  If so, such a combine  might have generated enough momentum to push Obama’s career along.  To see  if Obama and Ayers had crossed paths before Chicago, I ordered a copy of Bill  Ayers’ 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days.  It was then that I began to  realize the depth of Ayers’s involvement in Obama’s rise to  power.

Obama  would have needed help to get into Harvard.  Friendly biographer David  Remnick tells us that Obama was an “unspectacular” student in his two years at  Columbia and at every stop before that going back to grade school.  A  Northwestern University professor, John L. McKnight, although a friend of  Obama’s and a fellow Alinskyite, reinforces the point, telling Remnick, “I don’t  think [Obama] did too well in college.”  As to Obama’s LSAT scores, Jimmy  Hoffa’s body will be unearthed before those are.

How  such an indifferent student got into a law school whose applicants’ LSAT scores  typically track between the 98th and the 99th percentile  and whose GPAs range between 3.80 and 4.00 is a subject the media have chosen  not to explore.  Nor have they asked how Obama paid for that  education.  Maybe it is time they ask the mailman.

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