The fix is apparently in -- to help Hillary Clinton skirt an nettlesome constitutional provision and clear her path to secretary of state.
To prevent self-dealing, the clause says that no member of Congress can be named to any office whose pay was raised during his or her term.
In January, while Clinton was the junior US senator from New York, the salary for secretary of state was raised from $186,600 to $191,300 a year.
The Senate is working on a bill to rescind the raise -- a strategy also used in 1973 so that Senator William Saxbe, an Ohio Republican, could become attorney general. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, through a spokesman, said this week that she'd go along.
Some bloggers and anti-Clinton groups have been pressing the case that the constitutional clause makes her ineligible for the post.
"Hillary Clinton is prohibited from serving in the Cabinet until at least 2013, when her current term expires," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement this week. "Barack Obama should select someone who is eligible for the position of Secretary of State and save the country from a constitutional battle over Hillary Clinton's confirmation. No public official who has taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution should support this appointment. And aside from the constitutional issue, Hillary Clinton's long track record of corruption makes her a terrible choice to serve as the nation's top diplomat."
The Wall Street Journal weighed in on the issue with an editorial today that was somewhat more forgiving.
"To our knowledge, Senator Clinton played no role in the salary raise, and she clearly had grander ambitions than Secretary of State when the law was signed. But while the issue will strike some as trivial, it is no small matter to ignore the Constitution's direct words. Giving Mrs. Clinton a pay cut is a minimum gesture of deference required to the document that Mr. Obama will soon swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend," it said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.