I've had a few people ask me about the "Stesak situation" everyone's been hearing about. Today's Wall Street Journal editorial does a great job of both quickly re-capping what all has gone on thus far, why it matters, and what might be done about it.
Last summer, Mr. Sestak said he'd been offered a high-ranking federal job in return for ending his ultimately successful bid to depose Arlen Specter, an act of interfering in an election that would constitute a felony if it was direct enough. The account released yesterday by White House counsel Robert Bauer says that Rahm Emanuel enlisted Bill Clinton "to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board." And the post "would have been uncompensated."
So a two-term President who is now ambassador to the world is running errands for the White House chief of staff, and the plumb job he has at his disposal is a seat on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, or perhaps the President's Commission on White House Fellowships? And the Congressman was supposed to give up his reasonable chance at a U.S. Senate seat for such a sinecure? As a simple matter of political respect, Mr. Clinton could at least have thrown in a consulting gig with Yucaipa.
The editorial continues:
It's possible that all we really have here is a case of the Obama White House playing Washington politics as usual, which the White House refused to admit for three months because this is what Mr. Obama promised he would not do if he became President. However, this is clearly what he hired Mr. Emanuel to do for him, and given his ethical record Mr. Clinton was the perfect political cutout. So much for the most transparent Administration in history.
It goes without saying that if this had taken place 2 years ago under President Bush's watch, we'd have around-the-clock-coverage of "Sestak-gate". I'm past the point of even dreaming that the media will be as appropriately critical of this president as it should be. While I'm not going to lose much sleep over the Sestak "scandal", it would be nice for a special prosecutor to be dispatched, and a grand jury convened, to figure out what went on here. There is a potential felony involved here, and the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States would be in the middle of it.