The Corner

Sabato: ‘We Shouldn’t Criminalize the Practice of Politics’

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, to National Review Online about the Romanoff affair:

You know my view, as unpopular as it seems to be in GOP circles. This is just expected, garden-variety politics by a party utilizing the advantages of holding the White House, with lots of jobs at their disposal. The only decent argument I’ve heard as to why this should matter is that, as usual, a presidential candidate over-promised how pure his administration was going to be. They never do learn. Jimmy Carter: “I will never lie to you.” Bill Clinton: “We’re going to run the most ethical administration ever.” OK, it’s important for people to get up off the floor where they are now rolling in laughter after being reminded of the Clinton statement. But that’s the point. No one with any sense believes it when a candidate makes a pledge like this. Having discounted it long ago, and thinking that we shouldn’t criminalize the practice of politics, I’m not bothered by the Colorado and Pennsylvania matters. Serious critics of the Obama administration will focus on big matters like the oil spill and the debt bomb. Trivial critics will spend their energy worrying about the job discussions with Sestak and Romanoff, or whether Obama chose to deliver his Memorial Day speech at Arlington or another site.

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