A “high-ranking” job too, which, given Sestak’s previous career as an admiral, has everyone thinking it must have been Secretary of the Navy. I’m truly shocked — not that The One would try something like this, as offering jobs to people to clear his political path is part of his M.O. Rather, I’m shocked that Sestak would mention it publicly. In the unlikely event that he wins the Senate seat, how will the White House be able to work with him after this?
A White House spokesman this morning strongly denied an offer had been made to Sestak. Before the spokesman issued the denial, a senior Pennsylvania Democrat said Sestak’s account was met with anger by White House officials yesterday.
After yesterday’s taping, Sestak said he recalled the White House offer coming in July, as he was preparing to formally announce his Senate candidacy in August. He declined to identify who spoke to him or the job under discussion. Sestak also would not say whether the person who approached him worked for the administration or was an intermediary for the offer.
“I’m not going to say who or how and what was offered,” Sestak said in an interview. “I don’t feel it’s appropriate to go beyond what I said,” because the conversation was confidential.
Sestak, 58, a retired Navy admiral, has said that some Pennsylvania Democratic leaders have tried to entice him to drop his campaign with promises of support for other offices in the future. He also has said that Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, urged him to run when Specter was still a Republican, then tried to force him out after Specter switched parties.
Toomey’s campaign responded by taking the easy lay-up: “It’s just like Arlen Specter to get an insider Washington deal to try to save his political career.” And that’s the thing — I think this hurts Specter a lot more than it does Obama. The left may grumble about The One favoring a RINO/DINO over a more authentically liberal candidate, but (a) everyone already assumes that maneuvering like this goes on behind the scenes and (b) Specter has a better shot of holding the seat against Toomey than Sestak, which is no small virtue in a year where they’re looking at a red wave. But for Specter the optics are horrible. First he switches parties for no grander reason than to save his own ass by avoiding a primary against Toomey, now he’s got Captain B+ — whose approval rating in Pennsylvania is 44/55 — trying to save his ass for him a second time by buying off, of all things, a retired admiral. Good luck in November, chump. What could go wrong?