Why in the world did he go blabbing about it? What did he possibly think he had to gain? That’s the real mystery in this increasingly crazy case of the “job” offered to Rep. Joe Sestak by Bill Clinton on behalf of Barack Obama in return for agreeing to forgo his challenge to Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary. During a radio appearance in February, Sestak told host Larry Kane that he’d been offered a position. “I’m not going to say who or how and what was offered,” Sestak said in a later interview. “I don’t feel it’s appropriate to go beyond what I said.”

OK, there are a few other mysteries as well. What was the “job,” for instance? And was it really a job, or just a fancy, important-sounding title with nothing much to do except set the guy up in the future? The White House has admitted that, at the behest of Rahm Emanuel, Clinton did inquire as to whether “Sestak would be interested in service on Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board.” Whatever that means, the White House insists that it does not mean the job of Secretary of the Navy…

Sestak, who enjoys a tiny lead over his opponent, conservative congressman Pat Toomey, is making news for all the wrong reasons, and will spend crucial campaign days dodging questions about just what went on. Obama’s White House, meanwhile, in refusing to give a straight answer about what went down and admit whatever it was that it did, is looking disingenuous and losing control of the discourse. (It’s true nobody was really shocked that there was gambling going on in the back room at Rick’s, but the arrests went through nevertheless.) But perhaps most important, the White House and Democrats need to see this incident as a wakeup call. Should they lose both houses in 2010 and with them, control of the relevant investigative committees, they will spend the next two years doing little else besides fighting these phony wars, just as the Clinton administration did in its final two. Before 1998, remember, presidents did what they wanted in the privacy of their own outer-offices and nobody ever thought of trying to impeach anybody for a little lovin’ on the side. They need to put this incident behind them and get back to stuff that actually matters to people… and therefore wins elections.