Does the White House WANT us to keep talking about Sestak?
Because they keep bringing it to the forefront. Let me set the scene for this: it turns out that the job offer that Bill Clinton had supposedly offered Joe Sestak was in fact a job offer that Sestak could not take and still keep his House seat. This is important, because Sestak being able to keep his House seat is kind of critical for somebody in the White House not being possibly on the hook for a federal felony. But when Robert Gibbs gets asked about this, well, hi-jinks ensue:
“The Intelligence Advisory Board, which most reports said this offer was for, that would be a position a member of the House could not serve on,” a reporter said.
“That’s how I understand the way the PIAB is written,” Gibbs said.
“But the memo, it said that this would be a position to serve in the House and serve on a presidential advisory board.”
“Correct,” Gibbs said.
“Well, how could he sit on the board?”
“He couldn’t,” Gibbs said.
“So that wasn’t the offer, then?”
“I’d refer you to — ”
“What position, what board, was it then? Do you know?”
“I’d refer you to the memo.”
“But the memo didn’t specify.”
“Right,” Gibbs said. “Thank you.”
The tightrope that Gibbs is unsteadily walking on right now is that while the PIAB clearly isn’t the job that was offered, as long as he doesn’t actually say which one was actually offered he doesn’t have to explain away more awkward details. Like, for example, that the only other Presidential board offering (the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, or PERAB) would have also required Sestak to give up his House seat, and that it would have been less relevant to Sestak’s life experiences than the PIAB. Or that there’s a definite contradiction between Sestak’s answer on how many times that Clinton met with him, and the White House’s answer. Little things like that.
Congressional Republicans are continuing to push at this issue: you’d think that the White House would be not doing its best to encourage them. Unless they just don’t like Joe Sestak? He is a swarmy little sort, after all – and it’s all his fault that they’re dealing with this issue in the first place. It would certainly explain why Sestak is going to be on the other side of the state for the President’s Philadelphia visit…
Crossposted to Moe Lane.