Obama and the former radicals

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Evidence linking him to the ex-leaders of the Weather Underground is thin. But a YouTube video is making noise.

Democrats have tried to heal their party's angry passions ever since violent protesters disrupted the Democratic National Convention here in 1968, a shock to America's collective psyche that helped Republican Richard Nixon capture the White House.

But some of the old fault lines were visible again Thursday as Sen. Barack Obama's suddenly defensive presidential campaign sought to distance him from Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, aging academics who planted bombs in the Capitol, the Pentagon and other buildings to protest U.S. government policy. They are now widely respected community figures here.

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