In the Arena

Bubba Did It

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Greg Sargent has word that Rahm Emanuel asked Bill Clinton to explore, ahem, future employment possibilities with Joe Sestak as a means to keep him  out of the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Other sources have said an “unpaid advisory position” was discussed. Hmm.

Unpaid? Advisory? Does it seem logical that Sestak could be tempted to stand down by such meager fare? Not to me. This sort of trimming may keep this way-overblown story in the news longer than necessary. Why overblown? Because the Obama Administration may have been caught here in the commission of…politics. Was there anything wrong with offering Sestak a job? No: the Admiral is extremely capable, qualified for most any administrative position short of Supreme Court Justice. Was any law broken here? No. Would any harm have been done in Sestak accepted the job? Well, yes, in retrospect–the Democrats would have had less of a chance of winning the Pennsylvania Senate seat (Sestak is a stronger candidate than Arlen Specter would have been against Pat Toomey).

In short, this is the sort of story that propagandists from both parties routinely use to kick up meaningless dust–I’m sure that Karl Rove is shocked, shocked that there is politics going on here. (I’m sure that James Carville was shocked, shocked when the Bush Administration involved itself in similar, harmless, low-level political maneuver.)

The other interesting aspect is…Bill Clinton? Why him? It’s fascinating that Rahm is using his old boss behind the scenes in this way. You wonder what other quiet services the President is performing for his successor.