That dead mackerel is really stinking up the joint.
Now we have Andrew Romanoff from Colorado involved in this debacle, with apparently three positions offered him if he'd bail out of his Democratic primary.
The problem for the Obama administration, as I see it, is that they're too used to the Chicago Way. This is coming back to bite them in the ass, and will hopefully usher out the New Era of Hope and Change, which America has had more than enough of, thank you.
The Chicago Way is lead pipes and brass knuckles. It's blatant and brutal. The city has been a cesspit of corruption since Al Capone ran it through a puppet mayor, and they barely even try to hide it any more.
The Chicago Way is very far removed from the Washington Way. By the time a politician gets to DC, s/he's expected to have developed a certain amount of finesse. I'll give you an example.
Say you want to throw your hat into the ring in a primary. I, a person very high up the ladder, want your opponent, Bill Brown, to win. So I come to you and say:
"Look, I know you want to jump into this race, but it'll split the vote and end up harming the party. Strategically, we all have to get behind Bill Brown on this one, so we'd appreciate you waiting for a more appropriate time. We realize you really want to run, but if you play ball here, your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Now, take a good look at what I said--and what I didn't say. Nothing has been promised to you. Plausible deniability is maintained. If you wind up under oath down the line, and you're asked by a prosecutor if you were offered any sort of bribe or incentive to drop out, you will be able to truthfully answer, "No."
I will leave it to my readers (numbering, at this juncture, zero) to debate the ethical and moral issues involved here, but that's the way things are done in the higher circles of politics. Technically, this remains within the letter of the law. As long as no specific offer is made, it's legal. There was an implication, but an implication is almost impossible to prove in court.
But once I name a certain position or amount of money, I've crossed the line. That takes it from an abstract implication to a real bribe. And that's illegal, under a couple of sections of the United States Code.
Break out the popcorn...this is going to be a very interesting ride.