Whether intentional or deliberate, Joe Sestak has caught Barack Obama in an increasing quagmire.
Sestak first dragged the president into the quicksand when he answered “Yes” without hesitation to cable host and one time Philadelphia area news anchor Larry Kane’s question “Were you ever offered a job to get out of this race?” (Take special note of Kane’s explanation of what happened when he called the White House for confirmation. It took 15 hours for them to get back with a denial.)
Sestak then refused, repeatedly, to elaborate on his answer for months, falling back on his oft-repeated quote “I answered the question honestly.”
Honestly? Perhaps. Completely? Absolutely not. And that begs the question: How could Sestak be honest if he wouldn’t provide further explanation?
It’s his refusal to do so that has people suspicious that something unethical or perhaps illegal happened.
Sestak insisted that it wasn’t his place to reveal what happened, but that makes me suspect he preferred to have the White House attorneys come up with a lifeline rather than blunder through the mud on his own.
The open question forced Obama into the quagmire.
On Friday, (in an attempt to bury the story on a holiday weekend) the administration made a grab for firm ground, with the White House counsel, Robert F. Bauer, releasing an implausible explanation of the offer of a “non-job” job. Apparently this White House and progressive liberals like Sestak consider a non-paying position on a presidential advisory board a job. (Note to the WH and Sestak–the rest of us assume that a job is an activity that earns you some money.)
Now even the New York Times has kicked the White House back in the mud, pointing out that the “high-level job” offered to Sestak was something he wasn’t even permitted to take if he were to stay in the House. From the rules about the advisory board: ”The Board consists of not more than 16 members appointed by the President from among individuals who are not employed by the Federal Government.”
So either the White House didn’t bother to check out the specifics of the job they were offering, or they just trumped up this story to try to dig their way out of the mess.
Clearly the White House and Sestak aren’t out of the mud yet.
If Sestak had been honest, he would have described what happened completely right from the first question, not left his ambiguous answer dangle in the air as big mystery for weeks. And now that even the New York Times (it’s about time you guys started to pay attention) is on the case, it looks like the White House and Sestak will continue to sink deeper and deeper into the muck.