For a while, it seemed as if no professor could get more attention from the McCain campaign than William Ayers, the Weather Underground leader who became an education scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago and whose brief associations with Sen. Barack Obama have been repeatedly discussed by Republicans this fall. But with the campaign winding down, it may be that Ayers has been replaced by Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.
Prior to joining Columbia's faculty, Khalidi taught at the University of Chicago — at the same time Obama taught there. Their children attended the same school. Khalidi helped raised some funds for Obama's early campaigns. The two faculty colleagues and their wives apparently dined out together, and Obama spoke at a farewell party for Khalidi.
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