The White House has admitted it offered Joe Sestak an advisory position earlier this year as an alternative to challenging Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic senate primary in Pennsylvania — but maintains that the move did not break federal laws as the post was unpaid. The White House says, and Sestak has confirmed, that it used Bill Clinton as an intermediary to offer Sestak the position on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. But Darrell Issa, the congressman who first accused the President of acting illegally, has said he is still unconvinced that a crime was not committed. Is this "scandal" finally over? (Watch a Fox discussion about the legality behind the Sestak offer)
This 'admission' just raises more questions: As a sitting congressman, Sestak "was not eligible for the job" anyway, notes Byron York at the Washington Examiner. The foreign intelligence board is only for people "not employed by the federal government." Did the White House really not know that, or was this just one of several job offers? If the White House thought this would "put the Sestak issue to rest, it was probably mistaken."
"Sestak was ineligible for job Clinton offered"
Time to move on, guys. Nothing to see here: "Despite the hopes of Republicans and some journalists," writes John Kass in the Chicago Tribune, "there's no scandal" here. We now know it wasn't a pay-off, and the best we can hope for in the wake of the White House statement is a "misdemeanor charge" against some low-lying aide. "Leave Obama alone on this one. The poor guy's got enough to worry about."
"Sestak affair an embarrassment but no scandal"
Republicans must pick their battles more carefully: There's now a "trend" of conservatives who "work themselves into a tizzy" over some "wildly important" controversy that turns out to be nothing, says Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly. Of course, it's the Republicans' job to hold this administration to account, but if they "keep crying 'wolf' without thinking it through" we're going to start ignoring them.
"Time to move on"