Meet your new Secretary of the Navy.Did the White House offer Joe Sestak an administration job in exchange for dropping his Senate primary run against Arlen Specter? Very simple yes/no question, “Yes” for “Yes we did,” and “No” for “No we didn’t.” Easy? Guess not. Some reporter (New York Times?) just asked Barack Obama, in a very clear and simple question, whether or not Sestak was offered a sweet-ass appointment in exchange for letting a 400-year-old Republican win the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. And Obama said … nothing.

The Morning Call reported moments ago:

The president, not surprisingly, did not answer the question, but did say that the White House would be addressing the issue “shortly.” He said he can “assure the public that nothing improper took place.”

“There will be an official response to your question shortly on the Sestak issue that I hope will answer your question,” Obama said. “When I say shortly, I mean shortly, not weeks or months.”

You know, it doesn’t matter if this happens all the time, just political horse-trading, you can’t criminalize the basic bargaining process of politics, etc. What matters is stepping up and telling something approaching the simple goddamned truth. Remember how Barack Obama was going to “bring dignity back to the White House” and all that? (Or was that Bush Junior? Both, probably.)

An official response? Isn’t the president pretty high on the whole official response list? How about an official no-bullshit answer, something like this:

“It’s important for this administration and the 66 million Americans who voted for me that we make the policies and sign the laws we promised to enact. In this hyper-partisan Senate environment, we can’t afford to lose a single seat in the Senate. When it appeared that Arlen Specter would maintain his seat with his move to our side of the aisle, we offered his primary opponent a crucial administration position so he could use his skills in the White House and prevent a bruising primary that could’ve helped the Republican candidate. That’s bargaining, and that’s what all of us in every party do every day. Politics is a sedentary form of vicious warfare, and anyone who claims differently is a liar and a fraud. Thank you.”

But no, because Barack Obama is a million times worse than Nixon + Hitler.

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  1. “Some reporter…”. It was Major Garrett–so not really a ‘reporter’ per se.

    I await the statement; I bet Joe Sestak admits to smoking peyote with Bill Clinton & they just thought it’d be a good way to get Barry in trouble.

  2. Yes, but if came out with a straightforward, yet nuanced, answer like your sample above, the headline would still be:


    And that’s just the WaPo editorial page.

  3. Is it possible for any politician to say either “YES” or “NO”.
    I don’t think so. Here is a good question to ask Gibbs.

    First explain to him that it is a YES, NO, I DON’T know only answer.
    “Did the administration offer Sestak a job so he wouldn’t run for office?

    There are only 3 answers. “Yes”, “No” or “I don’t know”.
    If he refuses to answer or puts any other spin on the answer
    then it would be considered a YES.

  4. [re=586691]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: Oh come now, the Post would never pretend simple normal politics by the President was a scandal even though there was no wrongdoing involved, and in fact will treat real scandals as perfectly normal-

    -Oh wait, sorry for a second I was thinking of the Bush year; forgot the President’s a Democrat now. Never mind.

  5. [re=586705]eagle[/re]: “YES, we offered Joe Sestak a job in the administration. NO, we didn’t offer Joe Sestak said job just so he wouldn’t run for office. I DON’T KNOW what the big fucking deal is, but I’ll get back to you with another bullshit quote or two until you douchebags replace this talking point being pushed by the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who suddenly decided to wake-up from their eight year wet dream for the sole purpose of scoring political points with a new, equally specious and inane talking point from the same set of ass clowns you for whom you serve as dickless stenographers.”

  6. To some degree, I can understand not answering with “yes” or “no.” Given what happens with either answer on the 24 hour cable channels, it’s not a question of the answer, but when the answer is given to minimize their ability to go on and on.

    The answer is “yes, but,” of course, as most political answers are.

  7. As someone who was almost literally on my knees in front of the TV begging Clinton to not only admit to, but describe in graphic detail his various sexual naughty-times with his interns and Barbara Streisand, instead of lie about it, I concur, Ken Layne.

  8. [re=586691]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: Besides, an Obama “straightforward, yet nuanced, answer” wouldn’t be taken seriously unless he concluded it with a hearty “Allahu Akbar!”

  9. I enjoy listening to Obama’s press conferences — he sounds so measured and reasonable. Until he calls on the heroic Helen Thomas, the only one who will ask, “Why are we in Afghanistan?” And he launches into “9/11” and “harboring terrorists” blah blah blah. Does he really believe that the Taliban are going to come over here and kill us?

    This is really worth reading:

  10. By the time Sestak finds out that Chief Page Spanker is not a real administration position it will be too late. Bwahaha etc.

  11. [re=586688]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: Of course it was Garrett. Pathological Liar Hannity has been treating this like Watergate on his TV and Radio show for the last week. According to him, it’s definite grounds for impeachment. Next week on Hannity: Why hasn’t Obama resigned yet?

  12. How’s this for a statement: “Yeah, we offered something to Sestak so he’d stay out of the race. Offering a bribe like this for political reasons has been done by President’s since the founding of the nation and the last administration literally bribed people on the House floor to get the Welfare bill passed last year, something for which none of you seem to have cared about. So, in conclusion, suck my big-ass black balls.”

  13. The question is bullshit and Garrett knows it. I can all but gaurantee that no one in the WH actually said to Sestak “You can have job x if you drop out”, but someone (whether in the admin or not) almost certainly threw an arm around him and let it be known that he could be doing something much more important than being a back bencher representative or getting in a nasty fight with Specter for the right to take on Toomey. So the direct answer is No – but if that’s all you say, the story becomes that the WH is calling Sestak a liar and about all the machinations that took place to ensure no one could be accused of trying to bribe Sestak.

  14. Special Prosecutor Hannity will get to the bottom of this.

    Right after you buy tickets to Hannity’s “Freedom Isn’t Free” tour, which establishes “Not Free” credibility by charging $75 a head to sit on a metal folding chair in a corrugated metal building while Chuck Norris, Mike Huckabee, and Victoria Jackson sign 8×10 glossies for $10 bux a pop.

  15. [re=586729]Geogre[/re]: “Yes, but…” never works here in America. Right after the “but” all that’s heard is “Waaa wa wa, waaawawa wa waa wa…” Just like in a Charlie Brown ABC Special Presentation.

  16. These are whatcha call, uh, simple misunderstandings out of context.

    What the Boss really said was: “We’re going to bring blackjacks to the White House, dig me?”

    And the Sestak thing, well, he got it all wrong. What happened was, Rahm said the boys were going to do “a job” on Sestak if he didn’t drop out of the race.

    So, forget about the whole thing, or else the “jobless rate” in this podunk town is going to go way down, if you know what I mean.

  17. It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up that gets those sleazy pols in the end.

    (serious-ie question: Why is Obama’s message shop so lousy?)

  18. Just to be clear on this is it;
    Obama = 1,000,000*(Hitler + Nixon) ; which is a very precice number and limits Obama.
    or is it
    Obama>= 1,000,000*(Hitler + Nixon) ; which allows Obama to really move up the scale.

  19. So the answer is obviously “Yes,” but Obama doesn’t want to fuck up his news cycle, so he’ll issue a statement at 3:00 PM on the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, and everyone will forget about this stupid thing. I can respect that.

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