Alternate headline: “Sestak story just getting started.” The news here isn’t that Andrew Romanoff was offered a job to help clear the way for Michael Bennet in the Senate primary; the Denver Post reported that allllll the way back in September of last year, citing multiple sources in the state Democratic leadership. The news is that the White House denied it at the time and that unnamed “administration officials” are formally un-denying it now. From last September:
Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff and a storied fixer in the White House political shop, suggested a place for Romanoff might be found in the administration and offered specific suggestions, according to several sources who described the communication to The Denver Post.
Romanoff turned down the overture, which included mention of a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency, sources said…
The White House said that no job was ever offered to Romanoff and that it would be wrong to suggest administration officials tried to buy him out of the contest.
“Mr. Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration,” said White House spokesman Adam Abrams.
That was the lie, and now comes the truth:
Administration officials dangled the possibility of a job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forego a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, his rival in an Aug. 10 primary, administration officials said Wednesday.
These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations…
Unlike Sestak, Romanoff has ducked questions on the subject, and it was not clear how long his discussions with administration officials lasted.
The Denver Post was strikingly silent about the job offer after their big scoop last year — until today, when the editorial page declared that it was time for both sides to come clean. (Romanoff told them “unequivocally” that he never received any offer, so now we know he’s a liar too.) Presumably the “administration officials” who ‘fessed up this afternoon were worried about Colorado media revisiting the story in the wake of l’affaire Sestak and decided to try to short-circuit the coverage by admitting what happened. Except that … by refusing to say what job he was offered and who offered it, they’re going to kick off all sorts of new speculation. If you’re going to come clean, come clean. The million-dollar exit question: How many more Sestaks and Romanoffs are there?