Just caught Juan Williams on NPR discussing the cocktail party chatter – apparently it does exist! – about the “DC Madam” story. He says the chatter is that the direction the story is likely to go in is going to be Abramoff like in that it’ll come out that escort services were handed out as part of general influence peddling activities.
I should probably add one thing – nobody has hinted before that Palfrey’s services were traded for political favors. Kind of reminds me of that hookergate story which dragged down a few CIA figures and then petered out. Explicit influence peddling is obviously a major no-no that can bring down a politician (Cunningham, Ney) faster than almost anything other than inappropriate sex. Trading inappropriate sex for political favors, well, I’m not sure how often that particular scandalrama has even been tried.
Needless to say trading influence for favors implies that the pol has some influence to trade. Looking back at Palfrey’s salad years, that means Republicans. If this plays out a certain way Democrats stand to be embarrassed, Republicans stand to go to jail.
Weak. From RawStory’s summary of the ABC report:
According to ABC, most of the names just aren’t “newsworthy.” While reports indicated that ABC would reveal at least two client’s names, no new ones were revealed, including the name of the president of a conservative think tank, who was alluded to in earlier reports.
“The phone numbers also track back to Georgetown mansions and prominent CEOs, officials at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and lobbyists both Republican and Democratic,” ABC’s Brian Ross reported.
Ross added, “But as usually is the case in Washington, much of it is dull. There were no members of Congress that we could find in these phone records, no White House officials.”
Lesson for the day: people who aren’t smart enough to disguise their identity exaggerate their importance in government, and people who are important usually have enough sense to hide their identity.