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    “It Depends Upon What The Meaning of ‘Job Offer’ Is”

    “It Depends Upon What The Meaning of ‘Job Offer’ Is”

    Joe Sestak says “I was offered a job” by someone senior in the Obama administration in exchange for getting out of the Democratic primary against Arlen Specter.

    “Joe heard what he wanted to hear,” said Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Greta last night (video below):

    “And I believe Joe heard what he wanted to hear because, you know, he’s a former admiral. And you know, when they said something like, This is something in your background or your experience level, he must have interpreted — I guess the position at that time was open and it hadn’t been filled.”

    Rendell, who seems to be the designated Democratic point man on Fox News, did not claim to have inside knowledge of what was said. But Rendell repeated that line of attack on Sestak several times during the interview, a clear talking point.

    Rendell treated Joe Sestak the way the rest of us treat Joe Biden; that’s just Joe being Joe, he says things, you know.

    Rendell’s talking point is similar to David Axelrod’s statement that there was “no evidence” that conversations took place as related by Sestak, and Robert Gibbs statement that any conversations were “not inappropriate.”

    The White House is spinning a narrative that a conversation or conversations took place (because the fact of a conversation cannot be denied), but that there was a misunderstanding on the part of Sestak. Admit what cannot be denied, and muddle the rest based on imperfect memories and the frailty of human perception.

    The story will go something like this: There may have been discussion of a “job,” but it was only about what types of jobs might be appropriate for someone with Sestak’s background; there never was an “offer” or “promise” of a specific “job.”

    The contortion necessary to paint Sestak as confused, but not a liar (which would be bad for the general election) explains why it is taking the White House so long to identify the person who didn’t make the job offer and what was said that didn’t constitute a job offer but might have been misunderstood as such by Sestak.

    I was taught, and teach my students, that people who tell the truth don’t need to remember which story to tell. Someone at the White House is trying to remember which story to tell.

    And remembering which story to tell is all the more difficult here because of the possible criminal nature of the job offer. Politically, a huge mea culpa combined with a resignation might be enough. Legally, public contrition would be dangerous.

    We appear to be heading towards a defense of “it depends upon what the meaning of ‘job offer’ is.”

    Related Posts:
    Admiral Sestak Needs Loose Lips To Save His Sinking Ship
    A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President
    “I Did Not Serve In That Country, Vietnam”

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    Thank you "I". We should all be this confused. *From Wikipedia*

    Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (December 23, 1923 – July 5, 2005) was one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the United States Navy.
    Stockdale led aerial attacks from the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident. On his next deployment, while Commander of Carrier Air Wing 16 aboard the carrier USS Oriskany (CV-34), he was shot down over enemy territory on September 9, 1965. Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. He was awarded 26 personal combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor and four Silver Stars. During the late 1970s, he served as President of the Naval War College.

    I don't know if Charles Krauthammer reads your blog, or if it's a case of sharp minds thinking alike, but he just explained on Special Report with Brett Baer on Fox News how the administration will likely spin the Sestak job offer by using your argument. That is, the White House lawyers will probably use a "Clintonian" technique to spin and redefine what a job offer is it appears no laws were broken. He also mentioned they may suggest Sestak misunderstood or misconstrued what was actually said.

    I agree that Stockdale was a genuine American hero… but the point remains that his fantastic and utterly laudable life story and accomplishments didn't stop him from BECOMING someone who was easily confused later in life.

    I raised the point specifically to call out the fallacious nature of the earlier comment, which implied that being able to reach a rank of Admiral somehow gives one lifetime immunity from ever being confused at any point for the rest of your life.

    The decline of Stockdale and his eventual dealth from Alzheimer's is a genuine tragedy… but let's not delude ourselves into believing that someone's prior service and history of good work makes them somehow perpetually immune from the same sorts of completely human failings and frailties that everyone else is subject to.

    Stockdale was brilliant… but I stood in front of him and watched him speak in 1992, and he was having some significant issues with staying on topic, coherence and generally tracking what it was that he was trying to say. He was very clearly getting confused. It was unsettling to watch live.

    Sestak also made it to Admiral, and for that he is to be commended. That doesn't make him some perpetual razor-sharp mind for all of his life. It is utterly fallacious to act as if his reaching Admiral earlier in his life means that he could not possibly have been confused over exactly what was being said.

    I fully believe that there was a very deliberate hint at a quid pro quo being offered by the White House if he dropped out of the race, and I have no doubt that they weaseled their way around the legality of it with carefully structured phrasing. It's still scummy, IMO.

    But none of that makes Sestak immune from being confused about what exactly was being said, just because he made Admiral before.

    Admirals are often heroes. They are never gods.

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