Who Better To Be Involved In a White House Scandal Than Bill Clinton?

Bookmark and Share As a large portion of America prepares for their big 3 or 4 day getaway on this Friday before Memorial Day, the White House has finally released an official statement regarding jobgate, the scandal that accuses the Obama Administration of having tried to bribe Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak out of the Democrat primary for U.S. Senate against former Republican Arlen Specter.

Among other things, that statement now draws into the scandal, of all people, former President Bill Clinton.  Who better than ol’ Bill can make for good controversy?   Few people are more prone to scandal, cover-ups, denials and illegal conduct than him.  So here we go again.
Oddly, President Obama refused to answer questions about the matter when they were directly asked of him during his first national press conference in months, which was held just the day before the release of this new statement.  But releasing the details of controversial matters on Fridays is a traditional strategic step of the political establishment when they are entering into troubled waters.
With people distracted by the start of their weekend, they tend to tune “business out—–including political business.  For those on the hot seat, the strategy allows the media to jump on their statement while most people aren’t yet paying attention .  The White House then takes advantage of this lack of public attention by using the remainder of the holiday weekend to develop the right spin on those reactions before the public Tuesday morning, when people are back into their weekday routines and paying attention.
In it’s statement, White House attorneys are claiming that there were no improprieties here.  They allege that President Obama’s chief of staff, Rham Emanuel did initiate dialogue that was designed to make Joe Sestak reconsider challenging Arlen Specter for the Pennsylvania Democrat nomination for US Senate. As President Clinton’s former communication director, Emanuel has a close relationship with the still influential ex-president.  And so does Joe Sestak.  Under Clinton, Sestak was made a vice admiral in the Navy.  So the ties between these three men, made Clinton a natural choice to make Emanuel’s pitch to Sestak.
But regardless of who actually approached Sestak and offered him something to consider if he dropped out of the race, the fact that Emanuel initiated the offer is the problem.
Federal code prohibits federal employees from making any offer of value to individuals that would influence a primary, election or party nomination convention.  Regardless of what language was used by Clinton to Sestak, it came down to what Joe Sestak has repeatedly said was a job offer.  That would make the request Emanuel asked Bill Clinton to convey to Sestak, illegal.

In the statement released by the President’s attorney’s, they claim that what Sestak was asked to consider regarding dropping out of the primary, was for Sestak to remain in Congress and also take on a position as an unpaid advisor to the President.  The keyword being unpaid”.

Rahm Emanuel and his student

By describing what Sestak called a job offer, as an “unpaid” position, White House attorney’s are trying to claim that this did not break the code which prohibits any offer of “value”  to influence an election or primary election.
So this is the point that when all is said and done, will be the point of contention.
Does an unpaid position as an advisor have any value?  Are we talking only monetary value or are we talking about personal value?  Either way, if that question can be resolved, the next question is, did Emanuel act on his own and initiate the offer for Sestak to consider himself, or did someone above him order Emanuel to initiate the request?  And if so, was it the President?
While the Friday weekend statement issued by the White House added the new saucy details about the involvement of scandal plagued former President Bill Clinton, it actually did little to answer any of the truly nagging and important questions.  And while the President’s holiday timed statement strategy buys him time to gauge the media spin that the public will not fully digest until Tuesday, all he simply did was stall the inevitable delivery of the truth.
Jobgate may or may not be a scandal.  Based on the carefully phrased statement that the White House spent days, if not weeks, developing, we still don’t know.  But we do know that the smoking gun here, is clearly portraying Rham Emanuel as the trigger man and is likely to fall on any sword that might be aimed at his boss, the President.
For months now,  it has been rumored that Rham Emanuel has suggested he will be resigning after two years as Chief of Staff.  That is actually understandable given the high pressures of a job that is literally 24 hours a day, 7 days  a week.  It is even more understandable in the case of chief of staff like Emanuel who helped establish this Administration hold on D.C. by cacking skulls, twisting arms and using political extortion to get what it wants.  After too long, such tactics cause too much bad blood for business as usual to effectively progress.
So this could be Rham Emanuel’s path to the front, or back door.
Whether he takes a fall for the President and is ultimately found to have acted inappropriately, or even if jobgate ends up being  swept under the carpet, lingering doubts combined with his Chicagoland style politics, will tarnish Rham Emanuel to the point of exiting the White House.  It is now just a matter of whether he takes himself off the stage or if a grand jury takes him off.
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1 Comment

Filed under politics

One response to “Who Better To Be Involved In a White House Scandal Than Bill Clinton?

  1. politic take all of our time… so i understand if Rahm decide to resign.

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