Free Markets, Free People

Joe Sestak

Le affair Sestak – in a nutshell

Hindenblog has a nice litany of the Sestak affair to this moment in time.

Somebody offered Sestak something. This is admitted.The offer was a clear quid pro quo; IF you do this, THEN we will give you this. This is admitted.

Sestak is a Congressman with senatorial aspirations.

Sestak refused the offer, choosing to continue his senate campaign.

Sestak made the covert offer public.

At points in time, the Obama DENIED the allegation.

At points in time, Sestak reaffirmed the allegation.

For months, the Obama stonewalled the story, paying a political price in the process.

Administration lawyers have reviewed the matter; nothing to see here, move on.

Yet, in certain circumstances, the Obama admit their actions could be highly ILLEGAL.

Bill Clinton, who could have come forward months ago to dispel the controversy, NOW is a player.

Sestak is now making statements that cannot be squared with his previous recorded remarks.

Eric Holder has been asked, and refused, to appoint a special prosecutor.

Now I don’t care who your are, that’s a pretty succinct summary.

And, after 10 days and an Obama/Bill Clinton luncheon the day before, the White House has finally issued a statement. You’re welcome to read it, but it essentially says “we clear ourselves, others have done this too, and besides, it wasn’t much of a position”.

But wasn’t it? I mean it is clear that we now have a convergence of minds as far as they’re concerned and the storyline is set. And, if everyone sticks to that version, not much will come out of all of this but a lot of accusations and the like. Unless, of course, the persons involved can be put in front of a grand jury. That, of course, is unlikely with a Holder as AG and the one who must appoint a special prosecutor – something he’s refused to do.

Moving on, the reason so many are having doubts about the story concocted by the trio (Obama/Clinton/Sestack)are many.

One has to do with the fact that Sestack has repeatedly spoken about a “job”. The unpaid appointment to a presidential commission isn’t a job (unless you’re giving up your real job – Congressional representative – and it’s pay to take this unpaid part-time position.

Two – an unpaid part time position would hardly be something any person would consider to be enough to get Sestak to withdraw from the Senate race. They’re a dime a dozen in DC and while they have some prestige, they don’t have the prestige of Representative or Senator.

Then there’s this interesting conversation recorded months earlier between Larry Kane and Joe Sestak:

KANE: “Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?”SESTAK: “Yes.”

KANE: “Was it secretary of the Navy?”

SESTAK: “No comment”

Later Kane asks again, “Was there a job offered to you by the White House?” to which Sestak nods and replies “yes, someone offered it.”

Kane asks “It was big right?” Sestak replies, “Let me ‘no comment’ on it.”

“Was it high-ranking?” Kane asked. Sestak said yes.

Kane immediately called the White House for confirmation and they, later, denied it completely.

So again, it was a “big” job and it was “high-ranking”. To most observers, that wouldn’t be an unpaid gig on an “executive” committee.

That brings us to the question, who is not telling the truth here?

Sestak says it was a job, the obvious intent of the offer was to get him to withdraw from the Senate race and he refused it.

The White House initially denied it and then finally said, “oh, yeah, t’weren’t nothin’ folks, and Bill Clinton made the offer anyway” like that removes them from the fray.

So, you’re left to ask – was Sestak embellishing this to make is sound like more than it was? Or was he telling the truth and is now backing off a bit to make it sound much less than it was? Don’t forget, if it is an offer for something like SecNav, that’s against the law and he gets the Obama administration in some deep legal kimchi. This is the best course, career-wise, for him – but is it the truth?

This is also the best course for the administration. And having a cut-out (Bill Clinton – what does he have to lose?) as the fall guy if there is even the slightest problem, puts them in the “plausible deniability” range. “Well we ask him to find out how serious Sestak was about the Senate run, we didn’t tell him to offer him anything”. And of course, Clinton could then yuk it up and say “well heck, I was just trying to gauge the depth of his commitment – I knew he’s say no”.  All verbal, and now, all three agreeing.

All too sweet, all too nicely wrapped up and all to long to come out with an answer if this is really the answer. It’s not – but the chances of us ever finding out what the real answer might be, at least anytime soon, isn’t very likely.



The Specter of Specter Going Down In PA

It would be the perfect ending to Specter’s desperate attempt to hold on to his office by switching parties. TPM is reporting:

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is privately telling supporters that he intends to run for Senate, TPMDC has confirmed.

“He intends to get in the race,” says Meg Infantino, the Congressman’s sister, who works at Sestak for Congress. “In the not too distant future, he will sit down with his wife and daughter to make the final decision.”

The move would constitute a primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who intends to run for re-election in 2010, after having switched parties earlier this year.

Sestak is a retired Navy Admiral in a time when that’s a very good thing to be, especially if your primary opponent is Arlen Specter. I have no idea how a state wide race would shape up for the two sides, but in a Democratic primary I can’t help but believe Sestak would trounce Specter. And deservedly so. Everything I’m reading is PA Dems are having a very hard time warming up to Specter. Think about it, how can you take seriously a guy who switched parties simply because he knew he’d get killed in a Republican primary and claimed he never promised to be “a good Democrat?”