Previewing the White House Response to Sestak's Allegations

Briefly, here is the White House version of events in re: the contact between chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Joe Sestak.

Special guest star: Bill Clinton. Emanuel telephoned Clinton and chief of staff Doug Band and asked the former president to feel out Sestak to see if he was serious about running for Senate or whether he was trying to parlay his interest into an administration position somehow.

Clinton did as instructed and found Sestak to be serious about running for Senate.

This was conveyed to Emanuel.

Problems:

1. Bill Clinton. His name is bound to turn this story from a Friday news dump into something that will be covered extensively.

2. Republicans are not going to accept an account prepared by Robert Bauer, the White House counsel, who is friendly with Clinton, even though there is no reason to assume ill motivations.

3. The question of what specific instructions Clinton was given -- whether he was authorized to offer Sestak a job -- will become the focal point of Republican queries, even as the White House will insist that Clinton wasn't given any authority to offer anything.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In