Today’s Favorite Before 9

| May 26, 2010 | 0 Comments
I’ve been puzzled over the “scandal” in which Congressman Joe Sestak was supposedly offered a job to quit his primary challenge against Arlen Specter.  It’s one of the oldest games in town when an administration is trying to manage its political affairs.  This is clearly one of those “scandals” in which Republicans ascribe some evil to something that vaguely sounds inappropriate, but is really a big nothing.

Jonathan Chait in the New Republic effectively clarifies things:

So the accusation is some kind of quid pro quo in which Sestak would receive a job in return for quitting the Pennsylvania Democratic primary. This is ridiculous. You can’t offer a Senator, or prospective Senator, a job in exchange for them abandoning the Senate, because accepting the job inherently means leaving the Senate. You can’t be both a Senator and an executive branch employee. Last year, the White House offered a cabinet job to Senator Judd Gregg. This was not “in exchange” for him leaving the Senate, because he had to leave the Senate to take the job. Moreover, Gregg briefly accepted the job in exchange for a promise that New Hampshire’s Democratic governor would appoint his Republican chief of staff, not a Democrat, to replace him. But nobody suggested that this deal was illegal or unethical.

Thank you.

Category: Favorite, Politics

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