On the Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, the Obama White House coordinated with Rep. Joe Stestak and came clean on what happened concerning the bribe made to him to get out of the Senate seat race against sitting Senator Arlen Specter. Well, it was their idea of coming clean, anyway.
A bonus tidbit entered the fray, too. Seems we are to believe that former President Bill Clinton was the messenger for Rahm Emanuel and Team Obama in making the offer. To hear Sestak tell the tale, Clinton and he have a long history together and it was only natural that Clinton be the messenger. We were told that Clinton spoke to Sestak and offered him a seat on a presidential commission for no pay and still remain in the House, where he was deemed to be more useful. It is said to have been a presidential commission on intelligence matters. The story line goes that Obama had to re-pay Specter with campaign help for switching parties and giving the Democrats a solid 60 vote majority.
Perhaps nothing technically illegal was offered. There is a federal law on the books that would prevent Sestak, had he accepted the offer, from sitting on a commission, paid or not, while remaining in the House of Representatives. You would think a former President would know that. You would also think the Obama administration, so intellectually superior to the rest of us mere mortals, would know that. If so, it was just politics as usual.
We simply do not know what we do not know. However it all plays out, it stinks. Make no mistake, this is a huge embarrassment for Barack Obama. He was the man who ran for the office promising to be the most transparent president, ever. He was the man who ran for office promising to change the way Washington does business. No more business as usual, we were told over and over from the campaign trail.
And, as has been for every administration, it is the cover-up, stupid. Apparently there were overtures to Sestak over the course of two months, so it wasn't a one shot offer. Sestak says he refused the offer immediately. White House counsel, Bob Bauer, also Obama family attorney, looked into the matter and proclaimed it all much ado about nothing. Bauer, you may remember is not only the family attorney but also husband to Anita "I love Mao" Dunn, up until recently the White House communications director. It may be that a more fairly unbiased investigation needs to be conducted.
By exposing himself as the corrupt Chicago politician many assumed he would be, as a product of the Chicago political machine, Obama has broken campaign ethical pledge after pledge. He is, in fact, taking the sleaze factor to new levels. For the trumpeted 'smartest person in the room', he certainly could use some common sense. Appearances are everything in politics. Perception is reality in politics. These are basic facts every Political Science 101 student learns in college. The heavy handed style of Chicago politics don't sit well with the rest of the country.
And as for Clinton, well, what a useful idiot he has turned out to be. He was trying so hard to create a strong post-presidential legacy of world leader, of global humanitarian, to combat his less than honorable legacy as U.S. President, and it is surprising that he be brought into this smelly kettle of fish. Maybe he is being brought down a few notches again over an over-sized ego. Unfortunately for him, however, Sestak wasn't willing to play along and then he went to the press as his primary campaign fought on against Specter to tell vaguely about the offer from the White House.
Once again, where is the national press and why aren't they demanding answers? Why did they go along and wait until the story couldn't be avoided any longer, as the statements were put out? The public opinion continues on a downward spiral against President Obama. It would be refreshing for the press to do its job and stop with the covering for Team Obama.