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Old Friends

September 22, 2015

Before he became President he was a freshman U.S. Senator. Before that he was a state senator from a district in a Midwestern state. Before that he was friends with a well-known antiwar protester.

President Obama was a freshman U.S. Senator when he was elected President. So was President Harding.

President Obama had been an Illinois state senator. President Harding had been an Ohio state senator.

During his early years President Obama’s path crossed that of Bill Ayers, cofounder of the notorious Weather Underground. Some say Ayers was a mentor to Obama. Some say they were casual acquaintances. In any event, Ayers has publicly criticized Obama’s actions as President, even stating the President should be prosecuted for war crimes. If they ever had been friends, they currently appear not to be on good terms.

During his early years President Harding’s path crossed that of the young Norman Thomas. Thomas was always welcome in Harding’s home, even in the White House. When Harding thought of Thomas, he saw not an antiwar protester, but an old friend who had once worked for him. Harding had been Thomas’s boss, but not in a political sense. Thomas had been one of the newsboys at The Marion Star when Harding was owner and editor.

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