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.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In