De Void would love to crawl inside John Podesta’s head right now re the UFO conundrum. It’s one thing to talk the talk about transparency when you’re on the outside looking in, as President Clinton’s former chief of staff was when he publicly called for a government re-investigation of UFOs in 2002 (See below). But last week’s announcement that he’s leaving the Obama White House to join Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is yet another example that walking the walk is another creature altogether.
There are no career Beltway pols as outspoken on The Great Taboo as Podesta; clearly, the founder of the Center for American Progress is smart enough to be deeply conflicted on this issue — he offered a transparency blurb to the New York Times as recently as 2013. If the timing for him to use his influence to shape an overdue adult discussion isn’t right, the question now is pretty obvious: When? At what point do you spend your political capital? Two years from now, the Oval Office could well be lost to his party for another eight years. If that happens, Podesta can lobby for transparency on every Sunday morning talk show in America and nobody will listen. But nobody would bother to book him in the first place.
But you don’t always get to pick and choose your moments, and last Thursday, we got our first indication that events over the next election cycle could force his hand. It came out of left field, in a Business Insider website piece titled “The Man Who Might Lead Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Is Really Into UFOs.” Business International, entering its sixth year as a news aggregator, isn’t a fringe site. Its work is referenced by the likes of The New York Times, which reported last year that BI’s traffic was comparable to The Wall Street Journal.
BI drew a bead on Podesta’s incendiary anti-Republican rhetoric, which will obviously be linked to the Hillary brand as the next campaign plays out. Specifically, it focused on Podesta’s 2013 remarks that Team Obama needs “to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress.” Some GOP leaders called for Podesta’s resignation as Obama’s senior advisor, and Podesta was forced to apologize. Louisiana’s Steve Scalise, now the No. 3 man in House, went ballistic over the the analogy and roared: “The American people will not stand by and allow the Obama White House to destroy the checks and balances defined in the Constitution that are critical to a working democracy, and neither will Congress!” Blood-feud memory has no expiration date. Scalise might now add: And do the American people want a SECOND president being advised by a believer in space aliens?
The sludge coming out of Washington has been toxic for some time now, and with prospects for another Clinton-Bush rematch gathering on the horizon, the terrain between now and November 2016 is on target to become the costliest and most disgraceful tract of scorched earth in the history of mankind. No scrap of potential leverage will be off limits; no connection, however tangential or irrelevant, will be overlooked.
Last week, Business Insider’s piece on Podesta reminded the Beltway about a hunk of red meat that spin doctors can easily transform into a character flaw. Will Republicans take the bait? If so, will Podesta allow himself to be caught flat-footed, the way a floundering Dennis Kucinich was in 2007? Right now, the ball is in Podesta’s court. But for how long?