Emanuel Asked Bill Clinton to Talk to Sestak

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post has the scoop:

Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton's involvement.

According to the sources, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked Clinton and his longtime adviser, lawyer Doug Band, to talk to Sestak about the race. It's unclear right now whether the White House will say that Clinton was asked to suggest specific administration positions for Sestak, whether Clinton floated positions on his own, whether Clinton discussed other options not related to the adminstration, or whether employment even came up at all in the talks.

But the news that Clinton is at the center of this whole story is noteworthy on its own because of the former president's stature, and underscores how heavily invested the White House was in dissuading Sestak from running. The White House sent Clinton to talk to Sestak because Arlen Specter, constituting the 60th Dem vote in the Senate, was viewed as key to enacting Obama's agenda.

The White House maintains that Clinton's overtures to Sestak merely constituted an effort to gauge his seriousness about the race, the sources say, adding that Clinton was informally discussing the range of options open to Sestak as part of a larger conversation meant to ascertain Sestak's thinking.

Geez, they wanted to know what Sestak was thinking. The horror.

Tags: Obama Administration, Rep. Darrell Issa, impeachment, Sestakgate (all tags)



Let us impeach Clinton!

Talking to people...definitely an outrage!!

by Ravi Verma 2010-05-28 05:43PM | 0 recs

If it happened this way, then there's no legal problem there.

Don't act like people were being completely loony for taking Setak's words about it as a possibility that something illegal went down, especially in light of the time it took for the white house, media, or other sources to get the above information out there. This is what happens when you let part of a story (the worst-sounding part) to sit out there for a while.

by jeopardy 2010-05-28 05:55PM | 1 recs
similar to what I expected

I think it was always a stretch to see this as a potential legal problem. this was Republicans trying to gin up a scandal.

The wingnuts must be throwing a fit to know that Bill Clinton was involved.

by desmoinesdem 2010-05-29 09:00AM | 0 recs


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