Patterico's Pontifications


With Friends Like These …

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 8:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Post’s Virginia Politics blog suggests the Obama Administration may be getting a raw deal on the Sestak and Romanoff stories. It points out that other Presidents have considered offering administration jobs to convince potential candidates not to run — like Richard Nixon.

It’s not clear whether the Nixon Administration aides followed through on their plan but it is clear the Washington Post has an interesting way of “helping” President Obama.


24 Responses to “With Friends Like These …”

  1. Yes, the always helpful “everybody else was doing it” defense–as in “Judge, everybody else was speeding too, and the cop stopped me”. Which, of course, isn’t a denial of illegal conduct, just a lame attempt at an equity/sympathy play. As more evidence of the “Chicago way” leaks out, their only defense will be that nothing was done that was illegal—and apparently judging from early returns they don’t have much faith in that argument.

    Mike (e71888)

  2. Nixon did it too!!!!

    Great comeback Barcky!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  3. “Nixon did it” is now a defense of the Obama Administration? Oy!

    Lou (7d3fbb)

  4. So, to defend Obama from charges that he offered jobs, WaPo fishes out an example of another President who considered it. And the WaPo’s “not clear” means they have no clue as to whether Nixon offered jobs, which means they have no evidence yet that any other President did what Obama did.

    I knew I shouldn’t have bothered to click on the WaPo link. I can picture the preening simpleton who wrote that laugher thinking they did a day’s work after hitting the publish key.

    Dusty (109a16)

  5. Wash Monthly has been on the “Obama is committing politics” theme for a couple of weeks. That should work well with this electorate.

    Mike K (82f374)

  6. I keep trying to imagine Eric Holder telling anyone not to get their “teat in wringer” … maybe Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

    Neo (7830e6)

  7. Obama Admin: “Yes we did (it)”. LOL.

    Andrew (057d27)

  8. The liberal press wants to compare Obama to Nixon. Is this supposed to be good?

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  9. It’s pretty pathetic when the best the sycophant media can come up with is “Hey look, a Republican possibly did it, too!”

    Icy Texan (6dbb5f)

  10. Given that obama is extremely stupid and incompetent, I don’t doubt someone else tried to pull this scam. Afterall, obama is very busy playing and can’t really be bothered doing any work.
    And, as much as Nixon was vilified by the left, the press, etc., he was at least competent and from reports after he left the presidency, intelligent.

    J (2946f2)

  11. I still find it hard to believe this stuff doesn’t go on all of the time, and it’s a bit of cherry picking to go after these. I have to think either Sustak didn’t consider it illegal, or he is purposefully wanting to stab Obama in the back (figuratively). Perhaps it’s just because I live in Philly, where this is known as “How things are done in Philly”.

    Perhaps it is rarely done in such an obvious quid pro quo manner, but I don’t see a lot of difference, philosophically or morally, if it is done with winks and nods in a way that is technically legal as opposed to technically illegal.

    I’ve lived with the idea that if the person appointed or hired for something is competent and can do a good job then it’s fair enough, even if a brother-in-law gets the job. It’s when shady stuff goes on because it is a brother-in-law who is not going to blow the whistle that I get concerned.

    What was and is the perspective on JFK appointing his brother as AG? That sounds about as dangerous as it gets as far as potential abuse of power goes. Could a popular president do that today?

    MD in Philly (cb8efe)

  12. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it first or most. My kids tried that and it didn’t work.”But, but, Josh did it!”

    PatriotRider (8d9a6f)

  13. Sounds like another Nixonian theme is arising: “It’s not the crime, it’s the coverup!” IIRC, that’s what put Martha Stewart behind bars.

    Red County Pete (3db028)

  14. The press initially tried the line of “Reagan and both Bush’s did it as well,” but since that was proven to be a fallacy, they had to dredge up Tricky Dick as their fallback.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  15. Let him be perfectly clear. He is not a crook.

    GeneralMalaise (8de279)

  16. What a great campaign slogan for 2012: “Our ethics are no worse than Nixon’s!”

    Socratease (5c1dd6)


    I’m not quite sure how “Reagan did it as well” is a fallacy, dmac.

    Now, I’d say that for a President who promised ‘change’ to fall back on an ‘everyone does it’ excuse is worse than embarassing. But … yeah, pretty much, everyone does it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. Aphrael, an offer to “find him a job” is not illegal. The job they might have found him, had he taken up the offer, might not have been in the administration but in the GOP or some other private body. It’s also not clear who made the offer, and on whose authority.

    As for the Nixon memo, there’s certainly nothing wrong with coming up with an idea and saying “let’s do this if it’s legal“. Even if it turns out not to be legal. Unless there’s evidence that they went ahead without getting a legal opinion, or that they ignored the opinion, there’s nothing there.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  19. What a beautiful defense: Obama, as ethical a president as Nixon was. Bah, not even as ethical as Nixon – the Nixon White House at least realized it might be illegal.

    max (2f2a28)

  20. I’m not quite sure how “Reagan did it as well” is a fallacy, dmac.

    Unlike Sestak and Romanoff, Hayakawa said publicly that he had never been approached directly and formally with an offer of a job by the Reagan White House. The Reagan administration was quite open in its suggestion that the late senator not run for re-election. But that group apparently had enough sense (a trait largely missing in the administration of President “Goddamn America”) to know that anything that went beyond that would be unseemly and unethical, if not illegal.

    Mark (411533)

  21. if we have to get nixonian tactics, is it too much to ask for nixonian competance?

    just sayin’.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  22. Just tryin’ to ‘member: Did Nixon bow when he visited China?

    Icy Texan (88fb51)

  23. Mark: it seems to me that the two are substantively the same and the difference is in the optics – the Reagan people were better about framing it than the Obama people are.

    I certainly agree it’s unseemly, and it’s – as I said – worse than embarassing for someone who made a great show of claiming to be more-ethical-than-thou to be engaging in it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  24. Obama in 2012 – “He’s No More of a Crook than Nixon!”

    SPQR (26be8b)

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