“Jobsgate” is back in the news. The controversy, involving Joe Sestak being offered an advisory position in the White House in exchange for dropping his primary challenge to Arlen Specter last spring, is on the front burner thanks to recent comments by Bill Clinton:
Former President Bill Clinton this week denied any role in trying to lure Rep. Joe Sestak out of the Senate primary against establishment-backed Sen. Arlen Specter, an assertion that undermines a White House explanation of a controversy that left egg on the face of President Obama. [emphasis added]
Clinton made the denials three times as he responded Tuesday to a reporter asking him why he is campaigning for Sestak, who defeated Specter in the May primary, if he tried to get him to drop out of the race.
“I wasn’t,” Clinton said while he was in a scrum of people trying to get his autograph. “I didn’t try to get him out of the race.”
As I recall, though, none of the testimony came under oath, so perjury and actual criminal charges wouldn’t apply. Politically, it would be a disaster for Sestak and Obama, especially in the near term. Assuming this gets substantiated — and that Clinton doesn’t have a sudden recall of pitching a job at Sestak — Pat Toomey will beat Sestak senseless in the next few weeks with it.
Jobsgate continues to be a festering wound for Sestak, who I’m sure would prefer to be focusing on things like jobs and the economy. The fact that Clinton is now publicly denying involvement as a liaison for the job offer complicates things for the White House, which had explained away the controversy as an innocent misunderstanding.