Obama's Auto Boss Faces Charges of ... Nothing
Rattner's pay-to-play 'scandal' is common practice
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 22, 2009 7:49 AM CDT
Bill Baker, president of PBS Channel Thirteen in New York, singer Tony Bennett and Steven Rattner attend the WNET and WLIW 13th annual gala at Gotham Hall June 13, 2006 in New York City.    (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The press is abuzz over Obama auto-recovery boss Steven Rattner’s ties to a pay-to-play scandal, but every story about Rattner mentions he’s not accused of anything. What he apparently did—paid to receive part of a public pension fund to manage—is “an open practice,” so why the fuss? asks Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post.

“Somewhere there's a line where legal bribery turns into illegal bribery,” but “nobody seems to have any idea where the line is.” That gives government officials huge leeway “to pick their targets and define the law as they wish,” Kinsley writes. “No one who knows Rattner would be surprised that he skated close to the line,” but “everyone, including Rattner, would be astonished if it turns out that he crossed it.”