May 28, 2010

NYT: Rahm used Bill Clinton to ask Sestak to drop out of the Senate race.

According to a "briefed individual":
The White House did not offer Mr. Sestak a full-time paid position because Mr. Emanuel wanted him to stay in the House rather than risk losing his seat. Among the positions explored by the White House was an appointment to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which provides independent oversight and advice the president. But White House officials discovered it would not work because Mr. Sestak could not serve on the board while still serving in Congress....

The office of Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, has concluded that Mr. Emanuel’s proposal did not violate laws prohibiting government employees from promising employment as a reward for political activity because the position being offered was unpaid. The office also found other examples of presidents offering positions to political allies to achieve political aims....

Whether that constitutes ordinary political horse trading or crosses a legal line has been debated in Washington for months. Democrats and some Republicans have said it is hardly unusual for presidents to offer political appointments to clear the way for allies. But Republicans have suggested such actions may constitute a crime.
I'm laughing at comment #3 over there:
First we had the outrageous hit job on Dick Blumenthal by Hernandez and others, and now this, granted, more responsible story about an event almost a year old, that doesn't exactly make the Democrats look good.

How about balancing the books by digging up, or slinging, dirt on the Republicans? There should be a lot yet to write about Bush, Cheney, Palin, Limbaugh, McMahon in Connecticut, etc.

Let's go, NY Times. How about some "fair and balanced?"

102 comments:

mesquito said...

I think this is a trial balloon. Sestak said he was offered a "job". An unpaid position on an advisory board is hardly what he was referring to.

Now the question is, will Sestak go along with this little piece of Clintonian wriggling?

AJ Lynch said...

This focus and emphasis and rapt attention to who is in what Congress seat is informative. It suggests why our elected officials get very little done. They are too busy trading Senate seats. Didn't Rahm Emanuel get burned enough in the Blagovich incident? The arrogance is unbelievable.

Scott M said...

...facepalm...

The inventor of "that depends on what the definition of 'is' is" well certainly clear this thing right up. Nossir, no murky takes on what happened, no cleaving the English language to mean something other than what 99% of the rest of us understand it as meaning.

I don't know if Bill Clinton being involved in this fracas is worse than having your eyelids pinned back, lanced with sewing needles, doused with salty lemon juice and poured over with driver ants, but I'm agnostic on that.

virgil xenophon said...

SEE!!!??? Gibs was right all along! Nothing to see here, more right along...nobody here but us chickens!

virgil xenophon said...

SEE!!!??? Gibs was right all along! Nothing to see here, more right along...nobody here but us chickens!

Scott M said...

Now the question is, will Sestak go along with this little piece of Clintonian wriggling?

It will be interesting to see as I've felt the Clintons' gravitas re the left has been on the wane since the election. If it's truly gone swirly with most of the left, Sestack's political calculus may allow for him throwing them under the bus.

Honestly...who would, in their right mind, ever sit down with Bill Clinton without a digital recorder going somewhere on their person?

virgil xenophon said...

@SCOTT M: "......but I'm agnostic on that," LOL!!!

lemondog said...

Well I'm relieved the WH finally got its story straight.

wv: ingin
1. booze soaked
2. politically incorrect term
3. I think I can

The Drill SGT said...

Among the positions explored by the White House was an appointment to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which provides independent oversight and advice the president.

I wonder how many of the professional editors, that the NYT's employs that makes them better than bloggers, saw this little section.

The Drill SGT said...

If it was this simple, I wonder why the WH had to meet with Sestak's counsel before leaking this?

to get their stories straight?

AllenS said...

I can hardly wait to hear from Clinton. It all depends on the definition of...

Big Mike said...

Republicans have gotten their sound bites from this little imbroglio. They should let it drop. Whatever was offered or not offered, I'd be surprised if the practice didn't go back to Washington's days in office.

edutcher said...

OK, somebody 'splain this to me. Why would anybody prefer Specter over, well, anybody else? He was damaged goods in PA and had been for a long time (I say this as someone born and raised on the Philadelphia Main Line and had lived in the area until about 15 years ago). Switching parties was the last straw.

On the surface, Sestak is unquestionably the more attractive candidate, so I can't understand why the Demos would be so hot to keep him (Arlen). And I can't buy the idea that Tippytoes would be that concerned about Sestak's House seat. The area (part of it my old congressional district) used to be home to Republicans Larry Coughlin and Curt Weldon (it's been gerrymandered severely), but, before that, the Delaware county part was mis-represented by Bobby Edgar, a true Obamatron. If they were gonna lose it, it wouldn't matter much if Sestak remained, people there are relatively Conservative.

So, I'm skeptical.

I also love the Lefty who wants some 'fair and balanced'.

Balfegor said...

If it was this simple, I wonder why the WH had to meet with Sestak's counsel before leaking this?

WH may have needed to confirm there wasn't something else someone in the administration offered Sestak that they maybe didn't confess internally when the WH lawyers were looking into it. After all, they'd look pretty dumb if they came out with this explanation, and then it turned out that this wasn't what Sestak was talking about at all.

Maguro said...

Republicans have gotten their sound bites from this little imbroglio. They should let it drop. Whatever was offered or not offered, I'd be surprised if the practice didn't go back to Washington's days in office.

Strongly disagree. A Democratic Senate candidate alleges criminal malfeasance on the part of a Democratic administration and the Republicans should let it drop because, well, everybody does it?

This is political gold. The Dems can always argue that "It's no big deal, everyone does it", but how lame does that sound, considering it's their own guy levelling the charges? They absolutely should not let this thing drop.

danielle said...

so, will heads roll ? how many more times will Rahm take the brunt of the impact before he has to go ?

Scott M said...

They absolutely should not let this thing drop.

Agreed. There's simply too much at stake this time out. Will it get anywhere? Not an impeachment so don't even mention it. This Congress wouldn't impeach the first half-black president if he viciously slaughtered the Olson Twins (in their toddler hair troll doll days, not these current strung out FORTHELOVEOFGODTAKEUSSERIOUSLY days) live on tv in front of a Superbowl halftime crowd.

However, it speaks to transparency, leadership, and, if none of that matters, votes.

Votes still matter, don't they?

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Big Mike.

Should it surprise anyone that Emanuel was trying to give Specter (Good Riddance!) the fluffy towel of a clear sail to the general election after jumping off the Republican Ship?

Rep. Issa thinks a felony has occurred. But what law was broken? I haven't followed this closely enough -- and IANAL -- to know.

former law student said...

Follow the money.

The Drill SGT said...

On the surface, Sestak is unquestionably the more attractive candidate, so I can't understand why the Demos would be so hot to keep him (Arlen).

Nobody trusts a traitor, (ever again), but I agree with MM that, once you convince Spector to switch sides, you have to support him in the primary, else you won't be able to convince anybody else to turn for you.

Scott M said...

Rep. Issa thinks a felony has occurred. But what law was broken?

18USC211 says that, a government official cannot promise a job in return for anything of value and it has a long list of values.

This may be yet another case of the coverup being worse than the crime. My own two cents is that there is no way...no way in hell...Der Schlickmeister would do something overtly illegal with a way to parse it back to a "misunderstanding" or "talk in passing".

On the other hand, Slick Willie said some really, really dumb things during the 2008 election. None of it rose to the level of illegality though.

Scott M said...

This may be yet another case of the coverup being worse than the crime. My own two cents is that there is no way...no way in hell...Der Schlickmeister would do something overtly illegal with a way to parse it back to a "misunderstanding" or "talk in passing".

/tinfoilhat on

...unless he found a way to participate in this whole thing without being squarely indictable himself while still being able to damage, if just politically, the Obama administration, thus helping his husban, er, wife, Hillary in 2012.

AC245 said...

NYT: Rahm used Bill Clinton to ask Sestak to drop out of the Senate race.

:wags finger:

"I did not have vocational relations with that man, Mr. Sestak."

Scott M said...

One more important thing to consider...what the administration will say about Sestack.

When their statement comes out, probably around midnight Sunday night while the President is dodging attending Arlington memorial services for a vacation in Chicago, it can't simply call Sestack a liar. He is now the Democratic senate candidate for PA and they need all the senate seats they can get/hold on to. Using the Clinton playbook and attacking Sestack's character isn't an option or they might as well cede the seat to the GOP.

On the other hand, Sestack said, repeatedly, that he was offered a job. He simply refused to identify who said it and what the job was.

Trooper York said...

Well since Clinton was invovled maybe it was just a blow job.

virgil xenophon said...

Anyone, ANYONE who believes this all took place without the knowledge of, acquiesce in--if not directed by--Obama needs to talk to me about a certain bridge..


And, by-the-by, why is it that we are supposed to believe the WH story AT ALL?? As in.."O.K., if you say so..." (walking off shrugging shoulders)

Yeah, we're supposed to swallow the entire bit--unverified--hook, line and sinker. RIGHT...

SteveR said...

Among the actual bad acts by republicans used in individual races and in republicans versus democrats generally in 2006 and 2008 to gain full control of the house and senate, were a lot of typical political acts which could be put in a bad light.

I don't see this as much different. Doesn't matter if it's actually illegal, it (potentially) doesn't look good. All that matters is the November election, not what happens years from now when the legal wheels stop turning, if they ever actually start.

SMGalbraith said...

Bill Clinton, who made his scepticism if not hostility to candidate Obama pretty well known, is working behind the scenes for the Obama Administration?

What other actions has he taken on behalf of this White House?

This story doesn't end with this, complete or not, admission; it's just starting. Yes, Presidents have used former-Presidents for foreign policy maneuvers. But not for electoral matters like this. Not to my knowledge.

Wheels within wheels within wheels.

Roger J. said...

Any story released by the WH on a friday before a long holiday doesnt pass the smell test--Trying to bury it.

I think that using a former president to barter political favors is at best unsavory--just what is it about past democratic presidents--they continue to demean the office they held--but they are, of course, democrats.

This story isnt going away.

D.D. Driver said...

Does the statue require "payment"? I though it only requires the offer of something "of value."

Query: does a prestigious (but unpaid) appointment carry any "value"?

The Crack Emcee said...

See, I don't get why y'all are wasting time with this shit (What? You don't think they covered their asses?) when you'd get much better results from doing it my way.

It's just wasted time, effort, and breath, on something that's no more important than the typical conspiracy theory - and will get the same result. Meanwhile, there's all this low-hanging fruit that (for some reason) no one will touch, even though the tree will die without it.

And that unwillingness is part of the problem, as far as I'm concerned.

lemondog said...

Did we ever get to the bottom of Gov Blago and auction of Obama senate seat?

Roger J. said...

DD Driver--the intel board is a red herring--read the language--"Among the positions..." The questions what were the OTHER positions? (I am am guessing Sec Navy, but until we know what the other positions we dont know much.

SMGalbraith said...

Yes, the White House gets former President Clinton to offer a Senatorial candidate some two-bit muckety-muck job on an advisory board?

And he agrees to make the call? Bill Clinton?

Sure.

garage mahal said...

Sestak just got a +6 bump among Democrats, +4 among Republicans, and +14 among Independents in the latest Research 2000 poll. Thanks Republicans! LOL

cubanbob said...

I don't care for democrats and their ideology and that includes Sestak. That said, given his background Sestak is without a doubt far more credible than Obama and his staffers.

One does not rise to the rank of 3 star admiral and command a supper carrier without having been vetted and of good character.

" Big Mike said...
Republicans have gotten their sound bites from this little imbroglio. They should let it drop. Whatever was offered or not offered, I'd be surprised if the practice didn't go back to Washington's days in office.

5/28/10 10:53 AM"

Is this a joke? If Bush had done this you would be OK with it? Libby is in jail for less than this (if true)

AlphaLiberal said...

This is a completely manufactured bullshit scandal feeding the Obama haters irrational and idiotic hatred.

Steve Benen lays out examples of Republican Presidents having done the same thing:

When the Reagan White House offered Sen. S.I. Hayakawa (R) a job in 1981 in the hopes of convincing him to drop out of the Republican Senate primary race in California, no one cared. When George W. Bush's White House approached Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.) about a job in the hopes of convincing him not to run for re-election, no one cared. Mundane political efforts like these fail to raise an eyebrow because they're the very definition of routine. As Ron Kaufman, who served as President George H.W. Bush's White House political director, said this week, "Tell me a White House that didn't do this, back to George Washington."'

You're a law professor, Ann Althouse? Where is the crime? Ya got nothing but snark.

And the NYT story on Blumenthal the commenter was criticizing left out parts of the same speech they quoted where he very clearly said he did not serve IN Viet Nam.

AlphaLiberal said...

Is this a joke? If Bush had done this you would be OK with it? Libby is in jail for less than this (if true) .

Bush did it. Clinton did it. Reagan did it.

BFD.

Find something else to get your panties in a twist over. This is dumb.

Trooper York said...

There is definitely no story here. That is why the White House doesn't want to talk about it.

Let it go already.

Leave the President alone. He has to fill up those holes.

With golf balls

Scott M said...

No panties in a twist here, but it's interesting politics nonetheless, specifically because both Sestack and the administration are so transparently being opaque (dodging direct questions, taking time to construct what should be obvious statements).

By the by, pointing to others bad behavior to justify other similar bad behavior is appropriate in a grade school lunch room. Not at the highest levels of government. If it's as systemic a problem as you say, it needs to end now or change the law.

AlphaLiberal said...

The only thing happening here is a) legal politics-as-usual and b) the right wing seeking to manufacture a scandal to bring down a Democratic President.

Digby nails it (whole thing a must-read):

"There is no winning with these noise machine pseudo-scandals. They have an alternate media structure that is designed to stoke scandal fever and the way they keep the mainstream media on the hook is with "smell tests" and demands that the person address the claims, apologize or make amends, none of which will be deemed adequate and all of which necessitate another round of investigations, demands etc. With every impossible requirement that isn't met, the press will become more convinced that the person must be hiding something, is too hot to handle and will eventually agree that he has to step down or quit the race because "the scandal" is devouring him.

Later an article or a book will be written explaining that there was never anything to the charges, that the whole thing turned into a feeding frenzy but that the real problem is that the politician didn't get "out front" or establish a "war room" or otherwise magically change this dynamic and it will be deemed his fault for failing to be a stronger, better politician. Some pols survive this, notably Bill Clinton. "

And this is a treasure:

"The right wing scandal machine creates political viruses that mutate and take on a life of their own. There's no antidote once you've caught it --- you either have a good immune system and a will to survive or you don't."

All Althouse can do is follow the right wing herd without stopping to think.

D.D. Driver said...

AlphaLib: You're argument that "everyone breaks the law so what the big deal" is not nearly as persuasive as you think it is.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, right, Scott. This has happened for centuries, is common practice at the Presidential and gubernatorial level. I don't like it but WTF, there are bigger fish to fry.

But now, all of a sudden, it needs to be a big deal. And, of course, Republicans in Congress are already talking impeachment over this.

It's a fucking farce. The scandal is that the media only cares about this because the right wing made an issue out of it.

The scandal was the WH going to these extremes on behalf of a former Republican and current weasel.

AlphaLiberal said...

DD Driver, where was the media outrage when Reagan did it, when Bush did it?

Why only now?

Also, it's LEGAL. Whatever happened to "don't criminalize politics?"

AC245 said...

Also, it's LEGAL. Whatever happened to "don't criminalize politics?"

Ask Scooter Libby.

I won't be losing any sleep over whichever of the Democrats does a little time over this. Heck, I don't even care if it's Sestak, his brother, Rahm, Clinton, or Obama.

AC245 said...

Oh, hey, if you want to talk about something else, Alpha, you can answer my question from the last thread you ran away from when confronted by the facts.

Roger J. said...

Good Heavens. Alpha: are you suggesting the WAPO and NYT are in the hands of the republicans? Really? The ONLY reason they are doing it is that Roger Aisles, Rush Limbaugh (insert favorite right wing boogey man here) are forcing the WAPO and NYT to cover this story? This is a totally democrat screwup--and it will be in the public eye until at least november.

Sheepman said...

What bothers me is that this became public. That indicates incompetency in the Obama administration. I care more about competency than I do about the minor differences between the parties and the petty political games they play.

rdkraus said...

Alpha forgets:

This is the HOPEY CHANGY administration of the BIG ZERO.

Remember? Transparency, ethics, integrity, and an end to business as usual.

This is when it was all going to be "different" and your excuse is that it's all "the same."

Lame.

D.D. Driver said...

AlphaLib:

"It's legal": While I am skeptical of the merit of your argument, if you are correct this is a winning argument.

"It's illegal but no one cared when Reagan did it": This is a flat out loser of an argument. Move on.

edutcher said...

If Alpha says there's no scandal, that nails it, but, considering all the whining about recounts, Halliburton, Darth, Dubya's Daddy, unnecessary wars, and whatever for 8 years, listening to the Lefties run to their own echo chamber to find quotes to try to justify this mess is priceless.

garage quotes some poll that has Sestak up in single digits. The election, first of all, is in November. Second, increased name recognition gets you only one bump.

cubanbob's point about Sestak's naval career misses one caveat; namely, that military history is littered with the names of those who, having risen to high rank, only then proved themselves fools and/or scoundrels.

WV "obilly" What the Hildabeast hears once a year when she actually has a chance to hear her husband talk in his sleep.

AlphaLiberal said...

Blah blah blah.
Flail flail flail.

You guys punch like little girls. No direct hits, no force of logic, no facts, no actual laws violated, no consistency of arguments.

Scooter Libby? That has no relation to this. He lied and perjured himself to protect the exposure of a CIA agent working on weapons of mass destruction by Iran.

They did that as part of a vendetta.

"One of these things is not like the other."

AlphaLiberal said...

DD Driver, you say it was illegal? Really?

What law do you claim was broken?

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, Republicans know their candidate in Penn, Pat Toomey, is a right wing extremist who cannot win. He will go up in smoke a la Rand Paul.

So they are trying to manufacture a fake scandal to bring down Sestak and, they hope, Obama.

Not the complete absence of any higher purpose, any concern for our nation.

Meanwhile, they are cashing checks from K Street, Wall Street, Big Oil, health insurers, etc, etc.

Populists, my ass.

Scott M said...

What law do you claim was broken?

18USC211, if memory serves, and Sestak's own admission that he was offered a job, catagorically, to get out of the race.

There's not much to go on yet, so, indeed, the jury is still out on this one. You're shrill comments don't change the fact that Sestak has been laughable in his dodging of the question and the administration's refusal to address it. If there's nothing there, why not have bright lights all over it and be done with it?

rdkraus said...

Essentially, Alpha admits that:

Obama is like Bush and Reagan.

In fact, that's his defense.

Weak.

Reduced to crying that Obama is like Bush.

virgil xenophon said...

On one analytical level I agree with AL, this IS the criminalization of the normal warp and woof of politics. But there is much savage irony in the fact that all the legal land-mines laying around which bear on this situation were planted, in the main, by "progressives" seeking to "clean up" politics--the very sort of people AL hangs out with.

Scott said...

When liberals can't win an argument, they justify their position by saying that their opponents did it, too.

Which is juvenile and lame.

The left doesn't have any moral compass. The only thing that matters is winning power by any means necessary.

Roger J. said...

Hey Alpha--focus on the argument--this isnt about Toomey--the voters can sort that one out in november--this is about your democrats--

rdkraus said...

Rep Issa sums it up:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's ranking member:

“After more than ten weeks of outstanding questions, the White House has offered a version of events that has important differences from what Congressman Sestak has been saying for months – that he was offered a ‘job’ by ‘someone in the White House’ in exchange for leaving the Pennsylvania Senate race.

“I’m very concerned that in the rush to put together this report, the White House has done everything but explain its own actions and has instead worked to craft a story behind closed doors and coordinate with those involved. The White House has admitted today to coordinating an arrangement that would represent an illegal quid-pro-quo as federal law prohibits directly or indirectly offering any position or appointment, paid or unpaid, in exchange for favors connected with an election.

“President Clinton and Congressman Sestak now need to answer questions about what the White House has released today – that at the behest of the White House Chief of staff, they dispatched a former President to get Joe Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Senate Primary. Regardless of what President Clinton or Congressman Sestak now say, it is abundantly clear that this kind of conduct is contrary to President Obama’s pledge to change ‘business as usual’ and that his Administration has engaged in the kind of political shenanigans he once campaigned to end.”


From NRO

SMGalbraith said...

Two years ago critics said Bush was the most corrupt and disastrous President in American history.

Today, he's the standard used by those same critics to judge the current President, a President who said he was going to change Washington.

New bulletin: that's not going to work.

rdkraus said...

Is it time for another Bill Clinton deposition? Maybe Ken Starr and Mark Levine could share the duties.

rdkraus said...

Levin Levin Levin Levin

Must proofread.

miller said...

"Two years ago critics said Bush was the most corrupt and disastrous President in American history.

Today, he's the standard used by those same critics to judge the current President, a President who said he was going to change Washington.

New bulletin: that's not going to work. "

Thread winner.

Plus, AL is a Moby. He outed himself on the BP Oil thread.

A.W. said...

I don't see how it matters whether it is a paying or unpaid job. the statutory language states that it is illegal to offer any position; it doesn't state it has to be a paid position. So unless the courts have read that into it, i don't see where the theory is coming from.

The only actual memo i can find is this: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/memorandum-white-house-counsel-regarding-review-discussions-relating-congressman-se

This is frankly a piss-poor legal memo and the president, being a lawyer would know that. There are no precedents cited, they are just saying, "trust us, its legal." But given the statutory language, um, no I don't trust him. i am not saying its an impossible reading, but if they had a great case to cite, wouldn't they have cited it?

D.D. Driver said...

"What law do you claim was broken?"

It depends upon what facts come forth, but if the Administrations *only* defense is that the job it offered was not a "paid" position, that's a bad sign.

rdkraus said...

Are we supposed to believe that he was enticed to drop out of a race (against a wounded duck) for a Senate Seat so he could take an umpaid spot on the "President’s Intelligence Advisory Board."

HAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Well, they have a certain sense of humor.


And they think we're all dumb as a buncha bricks.

D.D. Driver said...

AlphaLib: Also, take a look at 18 USC 600 and educate us why it matters that the Administration was offering only an "unpaid" appointment.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

So they are trying to manufacture a fake scandal to bring down Sestak and, they hope, Obama.

Those wily Republicans are at it again. I wonder how they managed to get Sestak to make up the story and Obama to look so lame trying to deny it. Pure genius.

A.W. said...

Bushman

> I wonder how they managed to get Sestak to make up the story and Obama to look so lame trying to deny it.

You've heard of the jedi mind trick, right?

(And i will point out that Empire Strikes Back was released 30 years ago this week.)

Slow Joe said...

I love how it's just assumed the GOP was precisely this corrupt. No matter what level of Chicago style corruption is exposed, the crazies just insist that Bush was just that bad too, without actually explaining how that is. Plame? Good grief, that has to be a joke.

Bush did have his cronies, but nothing like this or Rezko or the IG mess came to the surface. It's brutally unfair to insist Obama can't ever sink below this boogeyman fake-Bush.

AllenS said...

Let me get this straight. Sestak makes $174,000 as a Representative, and then Clinton approaches him and says: "I've got a good job for you, if you drop out of the Senate race. You won't be paid anything, but it would be a good job for you."

Does anybody believe that?

A.W. said...

AllenS

No, the idea is he would keep his house seat. they don't want to lose anouther house seat. the position they were offering was in addition to. And are you disputing that it happened, because now the white house is saying that it did.

the fact is they offered something in exchange for dropping out. clearly they thought that there was value in it, or they wouldn't have tried ot use it to get him to drop out.

Big Mike said...

@cubanbob, I have been an ardent Republican for over forty years and am damned proud of it. So,yes, I'd be perfectly okay with it if Dubya, or his father, or his father's predecessor, or Tricky Dicky, or even Abraham Lincoln had done it.

First of all, Rep. Issa aside, I don't see that this breaks any laws. And I think both parties try to defuse primaries between two very strong candidates where the winner is apt to be so damaged by the primary battle that he or she loses in the general. How do you get one of them to drop out? By offering a plum alternative. And not even necessarily the weaker candidate of the two. No surprise there.

The surprise was Sestak shooting off his mouth about it. I know he's a liberal all, but you'd think he'd be brighter than that.

Mark said...

Sestak just got a +6 bump among Democrats, +4 among Republicans, and +14 among Independents in the latest Research 2000 poll. Thanks Republicans! LOL

Garage, that's because the voters see Sestak as the stand-up guy in this whole mess, refusing to be bought.

This is bad medicine for Obama and any Representative who doesn't run away from his Administration in 2010.

But keep laughing, funny boy.

AllenS said...

Now, am I to believe that Clinton told Sestak not to run against Specter because Sestak already had a job that he should keep and on top of that he'd be rewarded with a job that pays nothing? Is that it?

Alpha Liberal, I have a good job for you, you can mow my lawn, clean the house, do the dishes, do the laundry, and, I won't pay you anything!

AllenS said...

Now, am I to believe that Clinton told Sestak not to run against Specter because Sestak already had a job that he should keep and on top of that he'd be rewarded with a job that pays nothing? Is that it?

Alpha Liberal, if you promise not to comment anymore on this blog, I have a good job for you, you can mow my lawn, clean the house, do the dishes, do the laundry, and, I won't pay you anything!

From Inwood said...

Short version of Administration spin:

Nothing here, guys.

What’s being alleged never happened.

What did happen may have involved suggestions to him in passing conversation but did not involve a PAID position, so no impropriety happened.

Oh, & BTW, Congressman Sestak was viewed to be highly qualified to hold a range of advisory positions in which he could, while holding his House seat, have additional responsibilities of considerable potential interest to him and value to the Executive Branch. (It was for the good of the People.)

Anyway, everybody does it.

Next question?

Q. What about hopeychange?

A. Any such discussions by this Administration were fully consistent with the relevant law and ethical requirements.

Slow Joe said...

"Garage, that's because the voters see Sestak as the stand-up guy in this whole mess, refusing to be bought."

I agree. Sestak won't talk about the massively corrupt system all around him, but clearly Obama couldn't bribe him and he was seen as less reliable for the partisan than even Arlen Specter. Sure, if you're a dumb cheerleader like Garage, all you want to do is crow that an honest democrat polls well. I have no issue with honest democrats. they are not the reason for the Tea Party. I disagree with Sestak's politics, and I think he's a coward to not spill the beans, but at least he has demonstrated some concept of integrity.



"Let me get this straight. Sestak makes $174,000 as a Representative, and then Clinton approaches him and says: "I've got a good job for you, if you drop out of the Senate race. You won't be paid anything, but it would be a good job for you."

Does anybody believe that?"

Of course we do. It makes sense and clearly happens all the time. Perhaps not for something as huge as a Senate seat, but this kind of job offer bribe is incredibly normal from Chicago types. Michelle Obama had a very lucrative job at a hospital that didn't exist before she got there, didn't exist after she left, and didn't seem to actually accomplish anything. Why make a $300,000 job so urgently if there isn't any clear benefit to the hospital? Of course, since Obama steered many millions to the hospital, I'm wrong so say there was no benefit.

This is a major aspect of what's wrong with our country.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem, as I see it, is that we are coming into an election where anti-government sentiments are running amok. Yelling that the Republicans have done it too isn't going to work - first because the Republicans don't control anything right now, and secondly because Republicans too cozy with the power structure are getting hammered too.

So, you have the Obama Administration saying, in essence, trust us. We checked things out, and there wasn't anything of note. Might have worked before ObamaCare was Rahmed through. Won't work now. Whatever trust there was that this was a new type of clean politics went with the mid-night passage of a 2,000 page bill utilizing reconciliation to slide around the expected filibuster. No, this isn't any sort of new politics, but rather Chicago-style hard-ball politics at their worst.

And no one is going to trust a Holder Justice Department, not after dismissing charges after the Black Panthers had already plead out. Most political and corrupt DoJ of my lifetime. Easy.

Their problem though is that come January, if they haven't put this to bed, they are going to face, at a minimum, House committees run by the Republicans. I have little doubt that the next two years after that will be filled with ongoing investigations into all the things that the Obama Administration tried to sweep under the carpet. And since this scandal inevitably leads to some of the Republicans' least favorite people (i.e. Emanuel among others), the Republicans aren't going to let it lie, after getting investigative power.

Best thing that the Administration could do right now would be to appoint a special prosecutor. But, there is a small chance that he could report back before the election, so possibly the idea is to wait a bit, and if the controversy doesn't quiet down as we near the election, appoint him then.

AJ Lynch said...

I wonder if other job offers were made to Sestak? I'd like to see the press ask Sestak if there were other offers made in addition to this allegedly innocuous one by Clinton.

traditionalguy said...

You mean Obama did not send Blagoavitch to cut the deal? Why would he think of using a Clinton who was not even familiar with the Chicago market price for bribes in exchange for political offices (a/k/a the spot price of political pork bellies)? The law being broken, as we speak, is obstruction of justice. It is always the cover-up, stupid.

A.W. said...

Allen

I don’t know how you can dispute that something of value was offered. To quote from the White house’s own memo on this.

> Efforts were made in June and July of 2009 to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board, which would avoid a divisive Senate primary, allow him to retain his seat in the House, and provide him with an opportunity for additional service to the public in a high-level advisory capacity for which he was highly qualified. The advisory positions discussed with Congressman Sestak, while important to the work of the Administration, would have been uncompensated.

> White House staff did not discuss these options with Congressman Sestak. The White House Chief of Staff enlisted the support of former President Clinton who agreed to raise with Congressman Sestak options of service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board. Congressman Sestak declined the suggested alternatives, remaining committed to his Senate candidacy.

So according to the white house’s own statements, they believed that this job offer might induce him to drop out. So they are offering him a position in consideration of political activity, a direct violation of a plain language interpretation of 18 USC 600. It is a quid pro quo. That you can’t comprehend why a person would want a position of prestige unless they are also getting paid is your problem, not mine. And its legally irrelevant to this discussion.

Slow Joe said...

I should amend my comments. I think the people see Sestak as more honorable because they haven't thought enough about the implications of his behavior.

He came out complaining about this corrupt offer, of course, when it benefited his candidacy. Now he's refusing to talk about what he already told us was wrong. He is helping protect a corrupt system because it benefits his candidacy.

I think he will have a hard time walking that tightrope. I'm glad he refused a bribe, but if he really thinks he's fit to be a Senator, he has to actually STAND UP for our country.

AJ Lynch said...

Slow Joe:

"I am glad Sestak refused a bribe".

I sorta agree but no one takes a bribe until the offer is good enough.

Roger J. said...

My ultracynical thought is that the Obama administration has a twofer--they have implicated Clinton in administering a bribe, and cut her off from any challenge next year--nice move

Alex said...

AL:

You're a law professor, Ann Althouse? Where is the crime? Ya got nothing but snark.

I thought Obama was going to be the most ethical president EVAR!!!! So your defense is Obama is no worse then evil Raygun?

Alex said...

BTW, now is the time to double-down on hammering GOP corruption. Anything to distract the swing voters from the real Corruptocrats.

Mark said...

He came out complaining about this corrupt offer, of course, when it benefited his candidacy. Now he's refusing to talk about what he already told us was wrong. He is helping protect a corrupt system because it benefits his candidacy.

And I agree with this, up to a point. If Sestak doesn't keep running against Obama, the bounce won't hold up over time.

A.W. said...

where is the crime? 18 USC s 600. duh.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

I think it's not really a big deal (I think everyone's reading that statute a little broadly), but I'm happy the longer the administration has to duck questions about whether they've committed felonies.

I see it as payback for the last eight years. Which no doubt the lefties saw as payback for the six years before that. Which the Republicans probably saw as payback for the fights over Iran Contra. Which the Dems saw as payback over... etc., etc., etc.

The cycle continues...

Slow Joe said...

Well done, AW.

Indeed, you have to be some kind of deranged partisan crank to not think this is a crime.

And if it isn't a crime, Sestak shouldn't have brought it up as corruption. Very transparent attempt to have ones cake and eat it too, whatever the hell that metaphor means. These people rattle on endlessly about this fictional Bush administration corruption to cover the fact that this is the most corrupt we've seen it in quite a while. Perhaps to Nixon, worst president in American history.

traditionalguy said...

The "Corrupt Bargain" of 2010 needs about , let me see, 5 more months of intense scrutiny. Whenever we see dear Alpha Liberal go catatonic, like he also did in trashing Palin's appearance a year and a half ago, then we have stumbled upon a Kryptonite like event that is sucking out The One's super powers.

AllenS said...

Is Bill Clinton getting pinched from both Sestak and the Administration? This could turn ugly for Clinton, if everyone decides to blame him, and him alone.

A.Worthing said...

Allen

> Is Bill Clinton getting pinched from both Sestak and the Administration?

Mmm, it would be ironic if he went to prison and had to be on the giving end, rather than recieving end, of the Monica Lewinsky treatment. *EG*

PatCA said...

Hmm, why did he pick Clinton to make the deal? Did Bill doublecross Bams?
Enquiring minds want to know...

Methadras said...

Does this lead directly to the charge that this is the most transparent administration in the history of this country? It all depends on if you can truly see if the emperor has any cloths on or not. Like what you see?

Xmas said...

As an aside, why would Sestak worry about getting paid for any job?

He's a retired 3 star Vice Admiral with 30 years of military service. His pension must be pretty nice. If the pay rates for current 0-9s (Vice Admirals) haven't changed that much in 5 years (Sestak retired in 2005), he's getting 75% of about 14K a month.

Hagar said...

Hearing Bill Clinton was there is like waking up in the morning with that unmistakable smell of skunk over the neighborhood.

A.W. said...

My favorite headline is from the Daily Caller:

"Clinton blows job offer." heh.

Ann Althouse said...

It would have been funnier to phrase it to get rid of the "s" on "blows." Easy to do: Did Clinton blow job offer?

A.W. said...

Ann

Agreed.