Amid calls from House Republicans for an investigation and special prosecutor, Congressman Sestak refused to give further details -- even as he pointed to the episode on the campaign trail to tout his independence. The Morning Call of Pennsylvania quoted Sestak mimicking the White House press shop-approved talking points: "Having been asked a question that no one had ever asked me before, I answered it honestly. . . .The politics of what happens after, I'm not interested in. There are other things we have to focus on." By late April 2010, the White House had failed to respond to inquiries from GOP Congressman Issa. And when confronted directly at a congressional hearing in May 2010 about the bribery allegations, Attorney General Eric Holder refused to budge. "If I offer you a job in the White House, let's say Secretary of the Navy, in return for you doing something, such as dropping out of elected office to clear a primary, is that a serious crime?" Congressman Issa pressed. "Is that a hypothetical crime?" Eric The Silent stonewalled: "I don't answer hypotheticals."
In May, Sestak beat the entrenched, Obama-endorsed Specter to win the Democratic Senate nomination. The Reverse Midas Touch struck again.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, the Denver Post reported that Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina "offered specific suggestions" for an Obama administration job to far Left Democrat Andrew Romanoff if he withdrew his challenge to White House-backed incumbent Democrat Senator Michael Bennet. The paper provided a refreshingly candid assessment of Team Obama's mob-like "suggestions" in the larger context of the administration's no-holds-barred politics. Jim Messina, President Barack Obama's deputy chief of staff and a "storied fixer in the White House political shop," according to the Post, "suggested a place for Romanoff might be found in the administration and offered specific suggestions. After Romanoff rejected the deal, Obama formally endorsed his rival, Senator Bennett.
It is the kind of hardball tactics that have come to mark the White House's willingness to shape key races across the country, in this case trying to remove a threat to a vulnerable senator by presenting his opponent a choice of silver or lead. Along with other prominent examples -- including an effort to stop New York Gov. David Paterson from seeking re-election -- the administration's tactics in the Colorado Senate primary show that Obama is willing to act as pointedly as his Oval Office predecessor, whose political chief, Karl Rove, was famous for the assertive application of White House power to extend the reach of his party.
Messina the Fixer's immediate boss is none other than Rahm Emanuel. Mimicking Congressman Sestak, Romanoff decided to zip his lips and focus on "representing the people of Colorado in the United States Senate." Far more preferable than focusing on the Obama goon squad's shadow looming over his election bid or on the criminal implications.