I just want to point out another overlooked but significant point about the alleged Obama/Ayers best-friendsness/acquaintance/heard-of-the-guy. What was the alternative, from Obama's point of view? Just ditch the committee, in effect saying, "well, fuck the poor, I can't work with this guy, so they're just going to have to suck it up?" What kind of character would have behaved that way?
On an unrelated note, I'd just like to say that one of the greater trivial annoyances (isn't that like "jumbo shrimp"?) of the past few days has been repeatedly having my nose rubbed in the fact that the English language consigns the verbs "pall" and "pal" (if you can even tolerate its having been verbed) to share identically spelled gerund forms. Curse them!!