At the urging of the Obama White House, former President Bill Clinton asked Rep. Joe Sestak whether he would abandon his plans to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary if given an unpaid, advisory position, according to a White House counsel report issued Friday morning.And if you believe that story, I have some Ocean Front Property to sell you.
Clinton made the inquiries on behalf of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last summer, as Sestak began his challenge of Specter, a former Republican who had switched parties, White House Counsel Bob Bauer wrote. Obama publicly backed Specter's reelection bid over Sestak, who remained in the primary and defeated the veteran senator this month.
Bauer concluded that nothing improper had taken place and that "allegations of improper conduct rest on factual errors and lack a basis in the law." Contrary to allegations by many conservative pundits, he found that Sestak had not been offered the position of secretary of the Navy. Bauer concluded that discussions about "alternatives" to a Senate campaign by Sestak were proper.
"The Democratic Party leadership had a legitimate interest in averting a divisive primary fight and a similarly legitimate concern about the Congressman vacating his seat in the House," Bauer wrote. "There have been numerous, reported instances in the past when prior Administrations -- both Democratic and Republican, and motivated by the same goals -- discussed alternative paths to service. . . . Such discussions are fully consistent with the relevant law and ethical requirements."
Sestak confirmed the account in a statement Friday. Clinton called him last summer, expressed "concern over my prospects" in the primary and spoke of the value of having Sestak in the House, according to the statement. Clinton said Emanuel had talked to him about giving Sestak a position on a presidential board while he remained in the House, Sestak wrote.
The ComPost says that Sestak was offered an "unpaid, advisory position." Compare that to what Sestak told Larry Kane on February 18th of this year (also reported in Philly.com).
During the taping of my Comcast Network Voice of Reason show, which airs Sunday night at 9:30, I asked Congressman Joe Sestak: “Is it true that you were offered a high ranking job in the administration in a bid to get you to drop out of the primary against Arlen Specter?”First of all, who would quit a Senate primary race for an unpaid job? Come on! That's not a "high up" position, as Sestak said in February. It had to be something sweet, more than just an "advisory" gig.
Sestak looked a little surprised by the question. He said, “Yes.”
I asked him if the job was Navy Secretary. He said, “I can’t comment on that.” In the next few seconds, he admitted that it was a “high up’ job, that it came from the White House, and that he didn’t accept the offering. He proceeded to say that nothing will stop him from completing the race against Specter for the Democratic nomination.
Was I surprised? A little. After all, I was just probing.
Two hours later, I called the White House press office. I played the tape, and asked for a reaction. They never called back. That didn’t surprise me. If it did happen, and if they did try to get Sestak out of the race, how could they deny it?
Second of all, who happened to be at the White House yesterday? Bill Clinton. Isn't this a coincidence? So, no wonder Obama didn't know that Elizabeth Birnbaum had either resigned or was fired. He was not only busy meeting with the US World Cup team, he was probably huddled with Clinton and Bauer figuring out their story and telling Sestak what to say next.
If there was nothing illegal, why the stonewalling? Why the refusal by the InJustice Department to appoint an Independent Counsel? To believe that Clinton wouldn't have anything to do with a phony story is like believing revival meetings happen in a whorehouse.
This "explanation" today may satisfy Obamabots, but it stinks more than a feedlot on a hot summer day.