May 30, 2010
The contradictions between Congressman Joe Sestak’s account of a job offer and the belated, official White House response are, in a word, stunning. The controversy isn’t dying down and it won’t be going away. In fact, I suspect it has only just begun.
13 February 2009: Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter votes for the controversial $787 billion Stimulus package, leading to an outcry by Pennsylvania voters and Republicans nationwide. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that both before and after the vote, Specter is courted as a Democratic convert by Gov. Ed Rendell and Vice President Joe Biden.
Sometime between February and July 2009: A member of the White House staff (possibly Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel) offers Rep. Joseph Sestak (D-PA), who is running against incumbent Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), an unspecified job in return for him dropping out of the race. The rationale: the White House believes Specter has a better chance of winning against a GOP contender than Sestak.
26 March 2009: President Obama announces his intent to nominate Ray Mabus to be Secretary of the Navy.
28 April 2009: After months of speculation, Specter switches to the Democrat Party.
18 February 2010: Apparently unaware that job offers by an administration in exchange for political favors are illegal, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) readily admits that he was offered a job to drop out of the Senate primary race with Arlen Specter during an interview with Philadelphia TV newscaster Larry Kane.