Obama should tell all on Sestak

The White House is just making more trouble for itself with its refusal to come clean on the Sestak affair — Joe Sestak’s claim that he was offered a job in the administration if he would not run against Arlen Specter, the party-switcher who won Obama’s backing in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary for Senator. As all political junkies know, Sestak won the primary. He ran a savvy campaign, tying Specter to George W. Bush and painting himself as an outsider.

To boost his outsider creds, he announced during the campaign that the White House had tried to lure him out of the race with a job offer. And he repeated that claim over the weekend.

The White House, meanwhile, has played a dumb and damaging game of admitting, sort of, that some kind of offer was made, without saying exactly what. From the WaPo editorial page:

“NOTHING inappropriate happened,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says about the job offer that Rep. Joe Sestak, now the Democratic nominee for a Pennsylvania Senate seat, claims the White House dangled to induce him to back away from challenging incumbent Arlen Specter. “It has been looked into,” adds White House senior adviser David Axelrod, and “nothing inappropriate happened.”

That may be — but high-handed, conclusory assurances from the White House are not enough to satisfy legitimate questions about the episode. Mr. Sestak has said for months — and he repeated this weekend — that the White House offered him a job if he would stay out of the primary race against Mr. Specter. Asked whether it was the position of Navy secretary, Mr. Sestak, a retired admiral, declined to comment — though the timeline (a new Navy secretary had just been confirmed) makes that unlikely.

I don’t believe Obama or any of his aides were dumb enough to offer an explicit quid pro quo, which could be construed as a bribe. But I do believe that they played a game that’s often played — trying to lure a pesky competitor out of the running.

This story isn’t going to go away until Obama tells the public what happened. The voters deserve to know. After all,

The White House position that everyone should just trust it and go away is unacceptable from any administration; it is especially hypocritical coming from this one. “I’m not going to get further into what the conversations were,” Mr. Gibbs said Sunday. “People that have looked into them assure me that they weren’t inappropriate in any way.” This response would hardly have satisfied those who were upset during the previous administration about the firing of U.S. attorneys. If there was nothing improper, why not all that sunlight Mr. Obama promised?

The president has enough problems to handle that were not of his making, including unemployment, a huge oil slick and al-Qaida. It’s really dumb of him to allow a problem of his own making to fester like this.

160 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
1:11 pm

Easy ones today Ms. T.

The sooner the better.

Peadawg

May 25th, 2010
1:14 pm

“I don’t believe Obama or any of his aides were dumb enough to offer an explicit quid pro quo, which could be construed as a bribe.”

The way Obama and Skeletor(Pelosi) bought votes for the HC bill, I wouldn’t put it past him or his aides.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:15 pm

CT Where is the freaking transparency?? BO and his cronies are putting together a lie that they will feed to the people. The man who calls himself president is a joke! But you don’t get it. Biden says Brussels could be the center of the free world. This admin is a mess.

Louis Renault

May 25th, 2010
1:22 pm

I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Peadawg

May 25th, 2010
1:24 pm

Alatsea, it’s about as transparent as the Chattahoochee river.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 25th, 2010
1:26 pm

The conversation may have gone something like this.

WH…Mr S there is this positin coming available and we thought you may be interested.

Mr S…Perhaps what might this position be?

WH…Well…we really can get too specific, however, it has to do with the high seas and women who took dictation, fetched coffee for the male bosses were called…?

Mr S…Holy Cripes!!! Secretary of the NAVY?!! OMG my life long dream job.

WH…HOLD ON NOW…WHOA! We didnt say that…we havent said anything.

Mr S…You mean that job might be available?

WH…Not necessarily we said a position may be open, then again it may not…BUT OH DARN…You are running against Arlen Spector and should u win then that Navy job, I MEAN, as of yet available position would be unavailable to you.

Mr S…what if I withdraw from the race.

WH…We can make no guarantees about your future job as Navy Secr….I MEAN we make no guarantees at all, infact *wink* the position may never come about but of course we wish you the best of luck. It s your choice to make Mr S.

Auburn Fan

May 25th, 2010
1:27 pm

Well if you are interested I am too. What difference would it make to Mr. Obama? Spectre is about 80 years old and needs to retire anyway. They are both Democrats.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

I’m not sure why anyone cares. Admiral Sestak is undoubtedly telling the truth, there was an offer made, and it was written on the back of a birth certificate.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
1:29 pm

CIS

The WP points out the hole in the Sec Navy job theory…..

“On March 27, 2009, the administration nominated Ray Mabus as secretary of the Navy. It wasn’t until April 28 that Specter became a Democrat, and by Sestak’s own recollection, he was literally being courted to run the day that news broke. On May 18, the Senate confirmed Mabus. And on May 29, Sestak entered the Senate race.”

Auburn Fan

May 25th, 2010
1:30 pm

Alatsea @ 1:15 this administration is On the Job Training no less. What did people expect when you put a JR Senator in the White House? Yes he is a nice speaker, but what creditials did he bring? None.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 25th, 2010
1:32 pm

Just a fun example. For the phrase Sect of Navy you could plug in Monkey butt wiper. Seems I do recall Axelrod making some statement about “them” not being out of bounds as they checked w/the whitehouse attorneys…

This one remains to be seen.

Wahoo

May 25th, 2010
1:32 pm

This is one of the rare times where I agree with our hostess. Of course the president should come clean on this issue.

Bribe people to vote for a bill? Bribe people to quit a campaign? It’s stunning to think that this administration might be filled with just as many scumbags as the last one. Say it ain’t so!

ctucker

May 25th, 2010
1:34 pm

Yes, Louis Renault, that was pretty much my reaction.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:35 pm

GG. Ever hear of the term orchestrated. DC has always been know for the dramatic not the spontaneous. Still Joey B, great stage name, is a hoot. I think he has a future as a stand up comedian.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
1:38 pm

Alatsea

I orchestrate regularly.

resno2

May 25th, 2010
1:38 pm

Wahoo… I could say it aint so, but I don’t want to lower myself to that of a politician.

Peadawg

May 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

“I’m shocked, shocked”

I’m not. Looks like Obama has turned out to be just another scumbag politician. Is “I told you so” appropriate in this situation? :)

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

BO is writing a new book,,,”It Takes a Community”. The back drop will be a large city by a lake in the mid-west, that has great hot dogs and pizza.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:41 pm

GG I find listening to MSNBC, keeps me regularly orchestrated

JKL2

May 25th, 2010
1:42 pm

The next thing you are going to tell me the Governor tried to sell Obama’s senate seat after he became President. I don’t see how you could connect any of this to Obama since only all the same people are involved.

Don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

keke

May 25th, 2010
1:44 pm

CT, are you really trying to argue that the Obama administration, the most corrupt, deceitful, dishonest, secretive, incompetent, under-qualified administration in history, didn’t try to bribe an opposition opponent? Are you serious? They don’t call it the CHICAGO MACHINE for nothing. Bribes, bullying, intimidation, threats, etc., is what Chicago (and Democrats in general) are all about.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
1:44 pm

Alatsea

For me it’s HGTV, DIY and Food Network.

Always looking for ways to enhance my orchestrating.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:44 pm

Enter your comments here

Jeff Fryer.

May 25th, 2010
1:46 pm

Red Herring.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:48 pm

Duh, went a little spastic, works better if I type first.What is that HGTV all about anyway, is that produced on this planet?

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
1:48 pm

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
1:56 pm

Tim Pawlenty.

Wonder why he didn’t run for Seante in MN?

Kamchak

May 25th, 2010
1:58 pm

Mushroom cloud.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
2:03 pm

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
2:04 pm

Be bop a re bop Rhubarb Pie!

archie

May 25th, 2010
2:20 pm

“tying Specter to George W. Bush”… don’t you mean tying Specter to Obama and the corrupt Democrats in Congress? It’s still all about Bush……

joan

May 25th, 2010
2:28 pm

Of course they made him an offer. The very fact they don’t just outright deny it confirms it. When asked last night Axelrod said in reply “There is no EVIDENCE an offer was made.” Well, of course not. These are expert trail destroyers. They just can’t bring themselves to tell the truth. And about your statement, “To boost his outsider creds,” — just typical of your assigning negative motivation to anyone you don’t like.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
2:28 pm

A Nexus search turns up numerous examples. In 1981, President Reagan offered S.I. Hayakawa, then California’s senior senator, a job if he declined to run for reelection. We know this because Reagan’s chief political adviser admitted as much on the record.

From The Atlantic

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
2:30 pm

More from The Atlantic piece…

More recently, after Rep. Ben Gilman found his congressional district eliminated by redistricting in 2002, the White House tried to persuade him from challenging another Republican congressman in another district by considering him for an administration position. Karl Rove repeatedly intervened in Republican primaries. And Tim Pawlenty is not a senator because Rove urged him to run for governor instead.

Some Guy

May 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

Hows that transparency thingy working for you? Its not and this is just one example!

Do you still believe in “Hope” and “Change”? Not in the misconstrued definition of the Obamaniancs, but I still have hope we can change the Congress in 2010 and show Mr. Obama the door in 2012!

Libertarian

May 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

I feel bad for this guy Sestak if and when he becomes a senator-the Obama machine will make his life hell.

Scout

May 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

Cynthia:

I am SHOCKED that you actually have posted a thread of this nature. What are you taking today or have you actually developed a sense of fairness ?

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
2:34 pm

I think we all agree on this, if they have something to say they need to say, because the truth shall set you free!!!!!! Hallelujah and amen brothers and sisters. It will come out eventually and the admin will have to spin that.

Mallory

May 25th, 2010
2:35 pm

Ms. Tucker, I hold you and your media cohorts responsible for this attitude of arrogance. All during the campaign and a year plus five into his presidency, you have led Obama to believe he is above accountability. This administration has purposely created distractions and his media lapdogs followed his leads. Revisiting DADT is nothing more than a distraction.

Alatsea

May 25th, 2010
2:36 pm

GG It’s wrong no matter who is doing it. It needs to stop.

Italian Beef w/ sport peppers

Kamchak

May 25th, 2010
2:41 pm

Granny Godzilla

I wondered if this was the only incident of this kind of thing.

Must be the SQUIRREL!, poutrage du jour.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
2:43 pm

ALatsea

Unless it was actually an illeagal action, I can’t agree.

The mess we were left with requires all the tools we can get.
And that includes some good old fashioned “politics”.

Dip that beef and lets share a side of fries.

Kamchak

May 25th, 2010
2:45 pm

Make mine a combo—not too wet.

Granny Godzilla

May 25th, 2010
2:46 pm

Kamchack

wheeling and dealing in politics is ok with me as long as the actions are legal…..the art of the compromise…..

Kamchak

May 25th, 2010
2:57 pm

Granny Godzilla

Wheeling and dealing is what politicking is all about—whether it’s the Boardroom, the Texas school board, the playground or electoral campaigning. It can be argued that all lobbying is a quid pro quo bribe—vote for me/side with me/support me in this and I will return the favor.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 25th, 2010
3:00 pm

GG is goin to bat for Daddy-O. lol.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 25th, 2010
3:00 pm

Not only is Cynthia Sexy but on this one she is 100% on the mark. Be it good or bad Daddy-O should come address the situation. The ssoner he does the sooner it goes away.

Moderate Line

May 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

I believe this article makes some good points. Either Sestak is not telling the truth or someone in Obama’s administration has committed a big mistake.

I believe in all likely hood Sestak was probably exaggareting to show he could not be bought off. If that is the case the administration is probably protecting Sestak but I believe the heat will be turned up on the Obama administration.

In all likely hood no crime was committed.

Auburn Fan

May 25th, 2010
3:01 pm

Scout she is picking her battles. I have some Obama supporters as friends that are getting tired of supporting this rookie POTUS too. He is just a little too arrogant and condescending to the press lately and they are getting tired of it.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

May 25th, 2010
3:03 pm

Nexus all ya want GG…With the Dems being the minority during the Reagan/Bush years and Tom Daschle leading the way, if there were any improprieties then no doubt the Dems wouldve been all over it.

But keep searching and doing that DD.