The Silence of the Sestak: The Big Me involved?; Update: WH memo released; Update: Sestak corroborates

posted at 11:36 am on May 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

With the political world holding its breath for the Friday-afternoon document dump containing the Obama White House response to the Joe Sestak scandal, Greg Sargent gets a sneak peek at the possible defense.  The Obama administration will say that it asked Bill Clinton to conduct “informal” talks with Sestak to determine his political ambitions, which Sestak then mischaracterized afterward:

Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he’d be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton’s involvement.

According to the sources, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked Clinton and his longtime adviser, lawyer Doug Band, to talk to Sestak about the race. It’s unclear right now whether the White House will say that Clinton was asked to suggest specific administration positions for Sestak, whether Clinton floated positions on his own, whether Clinton discussed other options not related to the adminstration [sic], or whether employment even came up at all in the talks.

But the news that Clinton is at the center of this whole story is noteworthy on its own because of the former president’s stature, and underscores how heavily invested the White House was in dissuading Sestak from running. The White House sent Clinton to talk to Sestak because Arlen Specter, constituting the 60th Dem vote in the Senate, was viewed as key to enacting Obama’s agenda.

Having someone outside of the administration as a buffer would be very convenient for Obama at this juncture.  It allows Obama to offload the blame to someone other than a staffer.  And like all buffers, it provides the President with plausible deniability for any legal problems that might ensue.

That doesn’t mean that it’s also not true.  After all, the idea of plausible deniability has a long, if inglorious, history in American politics.  The film The Godfather, Part II has one character, Joe Cicci, laughing while he tells a Congressional committee that the Corleone family had “lots of buffers.”  Buffers exist because they’re practical and they work, especially in politics.  Even if no criminal intent existed, a buffer for this kind of mission would be essential.  It would be hard to imagine either Barack Obama or Rahm Emanuel tasking themselves with the job of pushing Sestak out of the Pennsylvania primary.

Assuming that Sargent’s sources are correct, we can pretty much predict what the document dump will say.  “We asked President Clinton to see what Rep. Sestak’s intentions were, and how we could help” would cover all the bases — and leave Bill Clinton holding the bag if anything untoward happened.  That, however, seems highly unlikely for a man so slippery that he could parse the meaning of the word “is” under oath.  An accidental crossing of the line would be much more likely with an inexperienced staffer than with Clinton, who would have been on his guard.  This makes it much more likely that Sestak blew it out of proportion in order to score a few political points against Arlen Specter and Obama.

Here’s a question, though.  Who was the buffer in Colorado?

Update: The New York Times has the same leak, but even more information about the job offer, emphasis mine:

Mr. Obama promised on Thursday to release an account of the matter, which White House lawyers have been drafting in recent days in consultation with Mr. Sestak’s brother, Richard, who runs his campaign. The White House plans to release its statement later on Friday. Until now, the White House has said publicly only that whatever conversations took place with Mr. Sestak were not inappropriate.

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.

That may get around the letter of the law, but certainly not the spirit, and it clears up another point that had puzzled me.  Obama yesterday claimed that the repor would exonerate him; if so, why hold it until Friday afternoon?  That would limit the media coverage of the exoneration.  The answer appears to be that the report may exonerate Obama and his staff from violations of the law — but that it clearly shows Obama attempting to manipulate an election in Pennsylvania for his own political purposes.  That may be legal, but it’s certainly not indicative of the “most transparent/ethical administration ever,” as Obama promised to provide.

Update II: What kind of unpaid position would be attractive enough to get Sestak out of the Senate primary?  That’s a darned good question, and I’ll bet the Obama White House is scrambling to make up find an answer.  If Sestak challenges this spin, though, I’d be very surprised.  I think he’s looking for an exit from this scandal at least as hard as Obama and his staff.

Update III: Marc Ambinder has the White House memo.  Shouldn’t this have been released at 5 pm or so?  And the memo itself seems to be evidence of potential wrongdoing, rather than an exoneration:

Uncompensated Advisory Board Options. We found that, as the Congressman has publicly and accurately stated, options for Executive Branch service were raised with him.  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.

Er, isn’t that at the least an admission of attempting to tamper with the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania?  If this didn’t violate the law, why did Rahm Emanuel ask Bill Clinton to make the pitch rather than do it himself?

I’m guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Update IV: Via the Boss Emeritus on Twitter, Sestak wastes no time in corroborating the White House account:

Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.

Excuse me, but a position on a Presidential Board is not a “job” in any sense of the word.  Sestak has repeatedly insisted that the White House offered him a job to get him to withdraw from the race.  Now we’re at the who’s-lying stage, and it may well be everyone.


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Where’s the blue dress when you need one?

barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM

UncompAdBoardGate doesn’t sound as good as SecNavGate.

Abby Adams on May 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Maybe Emanuel is in Israel because of this Sestak thing?

sandee on May 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I’m guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Nah, the press is actively suppressing this…and Holder won’t touch it. It’s going nowhere. These guys can get away with murder.

AUINSC on May 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

What they’ll try to say is that Sestak didn’t want a position without pay, but Obama is just too darned ethical to outright bribe a guy, so Sestak rejected the offer. But my question is, just because a position doesn’t have a salary, does that mean it’s unpaid? What about benefits, stipends, petty cash, etc. Being on the inside of an administration can bring you close to lobbyists who can funnel you money. Just because there’s no salary doesn’t mean there are no remunerations.

Weight of Glory on May 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Er, isn’t that at the least an admission of attempting to tamper with the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania? If this didn’t violate the law, why did Rahm Emanuel ask Bill Clinton to make the pitch rather than do it himself?

I’m guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Yep. It’s an acknowledgment of a position being offered, which is illegal under the letter of the law, paid or unpaid. That they used a buffer is proof they knew it was wrong.

LastRick on May 28, 2010 at 12:04 PM

His son’s bar mitzvah, and that has caused some anger in Israel, given the White House attitude towards Israel.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Wethal:)
=======================================================

Rahm Emanuel Heckled By Protesters In Israel

http://www.topfeedsnews.com/2010/05/27/rahm-emanuel-heckled-by-protesters-in-israel/

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Willi Cicci, not Joe Cicci.

moc23 on May 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Weight of Glory on May 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Correct me if I wrong, but whether it has a salary, benefits, remunerations, etc is moot. It’s the position that constitutes the illegality, not any extras. I think that’s why Ed is saying this actually adds to the fire.

LastRick on May 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

..and, in the end — even Bubbah can’t sell Teh Won’s snake-oil !

/.

CaveatEmpty on May 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

And if the media does badger Bill Clinton for answers about it, he can clutch his chest and get “light headed”.

How Convenient.

portlandon on May 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

All of this tap-dancing for what, keeping Arlen in office?

These people really are stupid.

fogw on May 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Not a paid position? Then Sestak was lying.
Did the White House offer you a job? YES.

Job means employment, not volunteerism.

barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Right, because we can all believe what a former impeached president who lied under oath has to say. There’s something really sleezy about this story. Why isn’t Sestak himself issuing a statement about what happened? The people in this administration act like a bunch of buffoons. No wonder no one on earth takes them seriously. Pitiful.

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

This really makes me mad… How stupid does the White House think we are? If this was the truth they would have said so 3 months ago…but it isn’t… this is the frigging story they have cooked up after looking at all the potential downfalls or pitholes. I can’t stand Billy Jeff and Hillary. I hope history reveals them to be the greedy, evil unthical lying scum that they are… We already know that about the Obama’s Axelrod, Emmauel Jarret and thte rest of the losers occupying the White House…

CCRWM on May 28, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Weight of Glory on May 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Anyone who’s had first year Contract Law can tell you “consideration” (the term for what is exchanged in a contract) does not have to be money. It can be anything of value.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Buffers don’t mean squat…the offer was from the White House, no matter how many intermediaries they went through to launder it.

Come on, Ed…you’re better than that.

James on May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Rush is on this now,Sestak!

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

This makes no sense. The White House is saying that it believed it could get Sestak out of a very tight race for a U.S. Senate seat with a turncoat Republican by offering him some low level job on a government board no one has heard of that doesn’t come with a salary. Does Obama think America is on crack to believe that?

taney71 on May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

I’m guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Are you suggesting that Mr. Competence as made another error?
Imagine that.

Cindy Munford on May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

the “most transparent/ethical administration ever,”

Only the lies are transparent.

Noel on May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Rush is on this now,Sestak!

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

This will be good.:)

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Correct me if I wrong, but whether it has a salary, benefits, remunerations, etc is moot. It’s the position that constitutes the illegality, not any extras. I think that’s why Ed is saying this actually adds to the fire.

LastRick on May 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

No, you’re right. I was just trying to respond in kind to the nonsense of the whole “non-paid” thing.

Weight of Glory on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

So the story is the job was an unpaid adviser on some kind of minor board? Wow, what an offer. I wonder how long Sestak took to turn it down? 5 – 10 seconds is my guess. remember he already was in Congress.

Fred 2 on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Clinton and Obowma to the United States of America…

“You might want to put some ice on that.”

Seven Percent Solution on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

An unpaid position on a high level advisory panel has value – power and influence has value.

And Rahm “enlisted” Clinton to make the offer.

forest on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Blood in the water!

petefrt on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Remember,Ummmmm,Billy ummmm,perjured himself!!

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

And what has Mr. President busied himself with this week while the Gulf lies in ruin?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/28/us/politics/28obama.html?_r=1

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Rush is on this now,Sestak!

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM
This will be good.:)

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Dire Straits: Just going through the legals of,ahem!!:)

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

It’s the coverup that gets you..

the_nile on May 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM

And what has Mr. President busied himself with this week while the Gulf lies in ruin?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/28/us/politics/28obama.html?_r=1

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

scalleywag: Three hours photo-op vrs 5 hours golfing!!!

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:13 PM

By the way, I find it interesting that these three players (Clinton, Rahm, Sestak) have a history. I can’t link to it, but copy this link and paste it into your browser, and read the first paragraph. The info., isn’t too important, but it does provide some context:

http://books.google.com/books?id=PJ94dTFTFSsC&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=Rahm+emanuel+says+don't+fuck+it+up+to+sestak&source=bl&ots=atWxE9qdCI&sig=H_nc3gLbUkP_DGEUYzYZX_GlAEk&hl=en&ei=GeP-S4bxI4zYNc6W9Ds&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Weight of Glory on May 28, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Oops, just noted that was an old link…but it was a Drudge headline today “Regularly spends 5 hours on golf course”

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Well, if it wasnt a job Sestek lied or got bad judgment, not good for the election….

the_nile on May 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

“I never had sexual relations with that woman”….
whoops, wrong Bill Clinton event….

Coming next, the good old Joe Biden blooper…”Heck, Obama even offered me the VP slot if I would drop out of the Senate…heh, heh…Hillary, too.”

albill on May 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I wish Mr. President would go on a 3 hour tour like Gilligan and the Skipper did.

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Why would someone who is a member of the Legislative Branch be offered an advisory position in the Executive Branch at the same time?

Maybe I’m stupid, but that seems to be just the opposite of what our founding fathers proposed when forming this Republic.

ButterflyDragon on May 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Oops, just noted that was an old link…but it was a Drudge headline today “Regularly spends 5 hours on golf course”

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

What does he shoot..100 to 120?!?

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Right now I bet the Clintons are furious that they got dragged into this mess. But they assumed that Sestak knew how to play the game and keep his mouth shut.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

With both James Carville and Kristin Powers becoming negatively vocal, Kristin having asked “Where’s Obama’s Plan A?” – Obama & company is on unstable footing.

They’re currently floating the same leak to a couple of outlets to test the response with the general public as well as their compatriots until they can come up with a more plausible story.

heroyalwhyness on May 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Is a non-paying job on a board “high-ranking”?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/02/sestak-alleges-wh-offered-him.html

taney71 on May 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Heres the article that Rush is talking about,
kiss my *ss article!!
=================================================

Bill Clinton says Barack Obama must ‘kiss my ass’ for his support

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/2211812/Bill-Clinton-says-Barack-Obama-must-kiss-my-ass-for-his-support.html

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Does this give Hillary a chance to bail out on Obie and Bill?

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Damnit hit submit too earlier.

Is a non-paying job on a board really the “high-ranking” position Sestak meant? Doesn’t sound like it to me.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/02/sestak-alleges-wh-offered-him.html

taney71 on May 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

How long before Rahm will under the bus?

terryannonline on May 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

This does not pass the smell test. For a couple of reasons:
1. Sestak said someone in the WH spoke to him, not spoke to someone who had connections to the WH. I still think there is something that they are hiding
2. Why would Sestak, unless he is enormously healthy, take an unpaid position with the WH, when he could have just continued to be a congressman

ConservativePartyNow on May 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

forest on May 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

An unpaid position with the White House does have value, but I’m still not buying that a retired Vice Admiral who is a Congressman, would ditch his seat AND his prospects for the Senate, over for something that’s unpaid.

The White House is portraying it as “unpaid” only because they think that no one will go to jail over it, pure and simple.

NoDonkey on May 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

2. Why would Sestak, unless he is enormously healthy(I meant wealthy), take an unpaid position with the WH, when he could have just continued to be a congressman

ConservativePartyNow on May 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

A few things are missing from the picture of Bubba there. He’s missing his grill, cane, purple velevet leisure suit and bedazzled chalis. Keep that Pimp hand strong, Slick Willy. Keep it strong.

Zorg on May 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

And just what was President Clinton doing in a blue dress?

Out, out damn spot…

ajacksonian on May 28, 2010 at 12:20 PM

How long before Rahm will under the bus?

terryannonline on May 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

That will not happen but it is a nice thought anyway. :)

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

What was in it for Bill? His services don’t come cheap, and he’s not likely to climb out on a limb for Obama without some kind of compensation.

Socratease on May 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Clinton is like the “go to STAIN guy”, or something.

Hey I’ll take the blame hehe, I mean it’s not like it’ll hurt my reputation.

TheSitRep on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Paging Fred Thompson…

“What did the president know and when will he find a hole in his schedule between tee times to know it again?”

Noel on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

What a load of shiite. These Chicago criminals thought they could get away with business as usual, and now they are trying to cop out with some Byzantine explanation which no one can unravel.

Bishop on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

I wish Mr. President would go on a 3 hour tour like Gilligan and the Skipper did.

scalleywag on May 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM

And then Biden would be President, then Pelosi, then Byrd, then Clinton, then Geitner.

Long life and health Mr. President.

barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

What was in it for Bill? His services don’t come cheap, and he’s not likely to climb out on a limb for Obama without some kind of compensation.

Socratease on May 28, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Help for Hillary retiring her campaign debt? I think Obama promised this before (to get her support), but never really followed through.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM

So it was Bill Clinton, that paragon of virtue and integrity, who tried to bribe Sestak.

Yeah, right. Sure. Tell me another story.

The clumsiness of liberal and Democrat excuses for their shenanigans never ceases to amaze me. They must think we are the biggest morons in existence.

Eichendorff on May 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I also find it funny that they need Clinton on board and Sestak before releasing their lie that will become the official story.
The Obama administration relying on Clinton and Sestak to lie and keep lying seems extremely thin ice.

ORconservative on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

There is a Navy related issue circulating the political blogosphere in regards to Joe Sestak and how he was somehow offered the position of Secretary of the Navy instead of Ray Mabus last year.

Uhm, no chance in hell – the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff fired Joe from the Navy when Mike Mullen was CNO – Joe never had a prayer on Sunday of being SECNAV. But if we are going to entertain the political discussion even a little, I want to point out that there is another good reason he was never a serious candidate and why the Obama administration almost certainly never offered him the position.

According to law:

A person may not be appointed as Secretary of the Navy within five years after relief from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.
Joe retired July 22, 2005. He isn’t even eligible to be Secretary of the Navy today – nor next month – so I am quite unsure how he would have thought he was going to be appointed Secretary of the Navy last year.

The guy is full of crap and probably telling lies, but in politics that doesn’t really disqualify you anymore in America. Shame.

From a link at AOSHQ.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

In other words, “We tried to bribe Sestak out of the democratic primary in PA but he didn’t go for it”.

ctmom on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

And then Biden would be President, then Pelosi, then Byrd, then Clinton, then Geitner.

barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Man, how did we come to this?

Where am I on the list?

MassVictim on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

So we are asked to believe that Obama & Co thought that just a vague, informal suggestion of a possible but not definite non-paying spot somewhere in the White House might make Sestak abandoned his good senate chances. Come on, they don’t waste their time – surely the offer was a lot more concrete than that.

Chessplayer on May 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Does the Chicago Troika really think that not one person will have more than a little knowledge of “Operation Board Games?” Operation Board Games. Chicago, IL. Google that.
It was a big bleeping federal deal.

MayorDaley on May 28, 2010 at 12:29 PM

I agree with Capt. Ed in that Sestak wants to walk this dog back as much as Obie. The Brown shirts will turn on Sestak if it hurts Der Leader.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Obama couldn’t say this yesterday because they hadn’t talked to Clinton yet to get him on board with the story that is HE who talked to Sestak.

Most transparently corrupt White House EVAH!!

Justrand on May 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Where am I on the list?

MassVictim on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Now sure, but somewhere after Republican Charles Djou, currently the last on the list I know about.

barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

I agree with Capt. Ed in that Sestak wants to walk this dog back as much as Obie. The Brown shirts will turn on Sestak if it hurts Der Leader.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Sestak wants this over with because it’s a distraction from his campaign. But Obama and the Dems are stuck with Sestak. The primary is over, and he won. He’s their candidate, and they have to support him to keep the seat Dem. He actually has the upper hand.

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

A Clinton was involved?

Damn. Now you KNOW something shady / illegal went down.

Vyce on May 28, 2010 at 12:33 PM

If it really was Bill, why didn’t they just say so when it first came to light? It wasn’t Bill, that’s why. He’s willing to take the fall though and now Obama owes him bigtime. He is a shrewd politician. Obama should pay attention.

JAM on May 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I’m surprised Clinton agreed to go along on this. Even suspicious.

And I agree, Ed, it adds fuel to the fire, and it’s odd they released this so early in the day. What’s up with that? Is there something breaking that they want to get ahead of?

petefrt on May 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:

Obama Administration, Sestak Need to Come Clean on Corrupt Job Offer
==================================================

http://www.judicialwatch.org/weeklyupdate/2010/21-sestak-scandal-heats

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM

You make a good point but trust me certain groups will take it out on Sestak if this hurts Obie.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:36 PM

“Listen Bill, you do this little job for us and you can pick any intern in the place to be your ‘assistant’.”

-PBHO

Bishop on May 28, 2010 at 12:36 PM

You’d have to have the IQ of a kumquat to believe this crap! Do I expect to hear that Hillary’s campaign debts have been taken care of? Just askin’!

Bob in VA on May 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Since slick willy is involved, i think they need to bring back Ken Starr as special prosecutor.

paulsur on May 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM

I’m guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Nah, the press is actively suppressing this…and Holder won’t touch it. It’s going nowhere. These guys can get away with murder.

AUINSC on May 28, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Yes — just like Walpin’s firing and its aftermath, which involved not only breaking the law, but also supporting corruption, defamation, and age discrimination, to name a few.

Sowell Disciple on May 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM

So they found someone with nothing to lose to take the fall.
Why didn’t Sestak just say so in the first place? Or an obama spokesman? Strange.

jeanie on May 28, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Oh wait, can’t impeach Clinton for this.

seven on May 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

It must be a great day to be Pat Toomey.

Pablo on May 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

I am not convinced that utilizing Clinton as a “buffer” will serve to protect the administration from what seems to be pretty clear case of election-tampering.

There is a concept in law known as “agency liability” wherein, if a person is acting as an “agent” for another (or for a group, corporation, etc.), then the person/group/corporation utilizing the agent is liable for all activities of that agent – including illegal, unethical or imappropriate actions. It looks to me that an argument can be made that Clinton was acting as an “agent” of the administration and no amount of “buffering”, “winking” or “weasel words” is sufficient to alleviate the administration from ALL liability.

That being said – Did you hear we are finally going to get to watch a fine new spectacle?? Combination gay-pride and military parades are right around the corner with a single military unit filling both roles – what fun!!!

/s

Fatal on May 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Rush is just killing Obie on the oil slick.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

“Lucy, you got a lot of ‘splanin to do.”

GrannyDee on May 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

“Lucy, you got a lot of ’splanin to do.”

GrannyDee on May 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I’m partial to “Stupid is as stupid does”.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:43 PM

This “leak” story actually totally makes sense to me. Obama skirted the law, used Bill, who was a natural choice.

I think both sides are telling the truth.

AnninCA on May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Wethal on May 28, 2010 at 12:27 PM

All of that may be true, but it doesn’t mean that Rahm knew Sestak was disqualified from being SecNav. Sestak may have told him – or Clinton, if you believe the story.

Apparently the story now is that the White House wanted Sestak to keep his House seat, so they looked for advisory panel posts he could hold while still serving in Congress. That doesn’t pass the smell test either.

rockmom on May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Joe retired July 22, 2005. He isn’t even eligible to be Secretary of the Navy today – nor next month

That means he qualifies in less than 30 days.

Noel on May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

And then Biden would be President,……..
Long life and health Mr. President.
barnone on May 28, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Better an amiable, corrupt dunce like Biden who doesn’t particularly hate America, than an evil ‘MauMaoist’ who hates everything that America holds to be of value and intends to destroy.

America can survive fools at its helm. It can’t survive a President who’s main goal is to destroy it.

LegendHasIt on May 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

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. (emphasis added)

Gotta love the passive-voice construction–”mistakes were made.”

Question one: Efforts were made by whom, specifically? And not a title. Say, specifically that Rahm Emmanuel picked up the phone and deputized a former president to speak on behalf of the WH.

Question two: Sestak spoke of a job, strongly suggesting a compensated position that would be in place of his current position in Congress. If I’m Toomey, I’d be calling Sestak a liar and nothing but a spineless shill who will do nothing but do Obama’s bidding. In short, Sestak will be Obama’s b***h?

Question three: to confirm this nonsense regarding a Mickey Mouse unpaid position, has anyone investigated whether the WH was also looking for someone to succeed Sestak in the House. If there’s evidence of such a search, that would torpedo this unpaid position nonsense.

BuckeyeSam on May 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Better an amiable, corrupt dunce like Biden who doesn’t particularly hate America…
LegendHasIt on May 28, 2010 at 12:45 PM

I have to agree. If I had to vote between Biden and Obama, I’d have to go with Joe.

MassVictim on May 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

The clumsiness of liberal and Democrat excuses for their shenanigans never ceases to amaze me. They must think we are the biggest morons in existence.

Eichendorff on May 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

52% of us voted for this fraud. They might have a point.

VelvetElvis on May 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

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.

There is the direct and explicit admission it was for political purposes.

The advisory positions discussed with Congressman Sestak, while important to the work of the Administration, would have been uncompensated.

Remember – this is a WH memo – not what actually occurred; they are trying to provide cover ex post facto, being “compensation” is proof of graft and the illegal contact, hence them throwing it out there.

Odie1941 on May 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Rush is just killing Obie on the oil slick.

Dire Straits on May 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Dire Straits: And the birther thingy!!:)

canopfor on May 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

I haven’t read all the reporting in connection with this story yet, but has anyone considered the possibility that Bubba is throwing Barry under the bus on this? The Clintons are serious grudge holders; I don’t think there’s any love lost between them and Obama’s camp after the way they behaved in the primary (and you can bet it all runs deeper than even we know about). Also, we know speculation continues to run rampant that Hillary might challenge Barry in 2012. They wouldn’t continually poll the question if there weren’t some interest in the answer from someone. Hillary would be set up pretty well for 2012 if this azz clown were to get impeached. And Sestak was an ardent supporter of Hillary in 2008; he and Bubba have a relationship that reaches back pretty far.

I just wonder if Clinton and Sestak didn’t agree mutually to leak this little nugget in order to create trouble for the White House. Clinton has no real culpability here as he is just the messenger, and Sestak rejected it so I guess neither is he. The WH can spin this however they want, but even if they made sure to protect themselves legally, I say the ethics here are questionable, and it does violate the spirit of the law as Ed suggests. That’s not going to protect him from possible impeachment proceedings. All the more reason to take back the House this November.

NoLeftTurn on May 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Proven liar impeached president Clinton?

Puhleeeeeezee.

jukin on May 28, 2010 at 12:52 PM

This “leak” story actually totally makes sense to me. Obama skirted the law, used Bill, who was a natural choice.

I think both sides are telling the truth.

AnninCA on May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

This comes as a surprise to no one.

BigWyo on May 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

This “leak” story actually totally makes sense to me. Obama skirted the law, used Bill, who was a natural choice.

I think both sides are telling the truth.

AnninCA on May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Except for the part “skirted the law”. I’m with others here who opine when the WH admitted to asking Sestak if he would be ok with an advisory position in exchange for dropping out, by the letter-of-the-law, that’s illegal.

LastRick on May 28, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Poor Will Folks (and Erickson), no ones talking about him at all.

Curses, Obama wins again!

LastRick on May 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM

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