Startling news today - impeached former President Bill Clinton, acting behalf of newly elected President Barrack Hussein Obama, may have committed impeachable acts in the name of - politics.
STOP THE PRESSES!
Party leaders and campaign operatives -- on nearly a daily basis -- approach challenger candidates seeking to disrupt the established political order with a simple message: Get out or else.
And so, the report this morning that former President Bill Clinton -- allegedly offering him an unpaid advisory role on an intelligence board in exchange for getting him to drop his primary bid against Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) -- would not normally raise much of a stir in official Washington. was tasked by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to make such an approach to Rep. Joe Sestak
That the story has become a major controversy, a regular fixture on cable news chat shows and a momentum-killer for Sestak following his come-from behind victory against Specter in last week's Pennsylvania primary is evidence of how the White House mishandled the controversy, according to conversations with several high-level Democratic strategists.
"How do you make something out of nothing?," asked one such operative who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the matter. "By acting guilty when you're innocent."
Another senior party official said that the White House "has a lot of egg on their face" and described the events as a "PR nightmare".
The unfolding of events since Sestak told a local television host -- albeit obliquely -- in February that he had received a job offer from the White House speaks to one of the oldest political adages about the presidency: stonewalling almost never works. (The full White House report on the matter is here.)
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was repeatedly asked in the intervening months about Sestak's allegation but deflected comment. As the story became a bigger deal in the wake of Sestak's primary victory, the statements out of the White House grew more and more opaque -- as Gibbs insisted over the weekend that "nothing inappropriate happened" but refusing to engage in the more basic "what happened question."