If you’ve seen any of Senator Obama’s TV ads, you might have realized something quite fascinating: he’s running as a conservative. One ad notes that John McCain wants to “scare you” about Obama (not so-in a remark that had many of his supporters howling with dismay, McCain has specifically said that there is nothing to fear from Obama) but that Obama is a regular guy like the rest of us. He wants to put criminals in prison and hunt down terrorists before they get us.  “He knows just how conservative this country is,” chortled a friend of mine who supports Senator Obama.

Nevertheless, cyberspace is alive today with a 2001 radio interview in which Obama speaks less guardedly about his views. He appears to be endorsing a “spread the wealth” view similar to the one he expressed in the now famous off-the-cuff interview with Joe the Plumber. You can see and listen to the video here. Jennifer Rubin of Commentary’s excellent blog has some pertinent observations (and she manages to show, in a way that conservative pundits on TV have by and large failed to do, why the Ayers/Wright/Pfleger axis is relevant in this regard):

“[I]t is fairly obvious that Obama was saying nothing extraordinary in his own mind. This is the sort of thing left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ bandied about. It’s the outlook that underscored the bent of not just his closest comrades at the time ( e.g. Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger), but the activist organizations  he and Bill Ayers supported through the Woods Fund. It is absurd, really, to write off all these associations as an aberration or exaggeration, or to ignore them as some imagining of paranoid conservatives. What comes through loud and clear was that Obama shared the classic anti-capitalist, redistributionist philosophy accepted as dogma by many on the Left.

“Remember, this isn’t ancient history. Obama was sharing Socialism 101 with radio listeners just seven years ago. At the same time, he was sitting on the board of the Woods Fund, going to Trinity United Church, and a enjoying a robust professional relationship with Bill Ayers. Has he given all that up? We don’t know, because no one in the media has taken seriously Obama’s intellectual and professional development. No one has asked him basic questions about the past (e.g. Did he share the ideological vision of the Woods Fund grant recipients? Did he agree with Ayers’ radical educational theory?) or even his current economic philosophy. Doesn’t he still believe in spreading the wealth? He certainly did seven years ago.”