Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nothing to see here.

White House Releases Official Memo Clearing White House on Sestak Job Offer

BY John McCormack
12:02 PM, May 28, 2010

And it makes Sestak look like a buffoon.

According to White House counsel Bob Bauer, Sestak was not offered a job as Secretary of the Navy--that job was given to Ray Mabus prior to Clinton's conversation with Sestak--but simply an uncompensated position "on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board."

Sestak looks foolish because that's hardly a high-ranking federal job, as Sestak claimed. But it is quite convenient for the White House.

By saying that Sestak was offered an advisory executive branch position, the White House avoids technically running afoul of the provision of the law that specifies that it is illegal to offer a position "provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress" in exchange for "any political activity."

So, if the White House is telling the truth, Sestak wildly exaggerated what was actually offered to him. And if the White House isn't telling the truth, Sestak wouldn't say otherwise, would he?

Update: Sestak's statement toes the White House line:

"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."

"The messenger is huge," as one Republican tells Byron York of the White House's deployment of Clinton, "and the message is puny."

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