In the days ahead


In the days ahead I have to imagine that a lot of Democrats — and not happily — are going to be asking this question: Why didn’t Sandy Berger step aside from his advisory position for John Kerry some time ago?

Set aside all the outstanding questions that will be churned over in the coming days, and consider the following …

1) At a minimum Berger did something that was quite embarrassing for a man of his standing.

2) No one disputes that there is an FBI investigation and that there has been one for months.

3) Republicans, not to mention Democrats, aren’t above a well-timed leak to maximize political damage against their opponents. All the more so since this is virtually the signature of the Ashcroft Justice Department.

Given the timing and other context I don’t have much doubt this was a politically motivated and malicious leak. It’s as dirty as it comes, but also highly predictable.

I think a lot of Democrats are going to be asking why Berger didn’t see this coming down the pike, step aside from his prominent advisory role with the Kerry campaign, and avoid at least the immediate partisan political dimensions of the current predicament almost entirely.

I say it with much less than no pleasure. But I’m wondering. And I don’t have a good answer.