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Obama does right thing, vows official response on Sestak

A quick post before getting into the main topic of the big press conference: Obama just said that an "official response" is forthcoming from the White House on the Joe Sestak mess.

"There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue," he told reporters. "You will get it from my administration."

"I can assure the public that nothing improper took place," Obama added, promising that the response is coming soon, not in "weeks or months."

Good.

Yes, Republicans will continue attacking no matter what. But at least now this battle can be fought in the realm of facts, rather than in a shadowy fact-free arena where Republicans are making generalized charges of a "cover up." This will prove to have been the right decision.

Also: Check out John Cole's post arguing that now that Sestak "puked this up, he should deal with it." Looks like the White House, not Sestak, is cleaning up the puke, however.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 27, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Joe Sestak , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Time to clean up Sestak mess, part II
Next: Crist now supports DADT repeal compromise

Comments

YES! Good news.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"This will prove to have been the right decision."

Greg, excellent use of the future perfect tense.

Cole's post is a good one and he mostly agrees with your earlier post. If the WH takes over here and sorts this out I'm going to start wondering all over again if Sestak is a very smart guy/savvy pol. Not sure he is.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 27, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Now you are becoming the King of absurd minutia.

President Obama held a press conference, which covered the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, and the situation in Afghanistan, etc, and all you choose to focus on was this absurd Sestak storm in a teacup topic.

Plumline; Now Sestak trivia, all the time.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Here, I'll help ya...

"A quick post before getting into the main topic of the big press conference: "

Liam take a Valium! j/k 8^)

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

You know what I noticed happens often. They address something after the press circus is over.

In other words, the WH isn't on the presses clock, they're working on their own clock.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we are never going to be allowed to post live links, on this new version of Plumline. I never thought I would see the day when I wished that we could go back to the original version of Plumline, flaws and all. It still was more user friendly, that this version.


Since no live links are allowed, you will have to use the following to cut and paste, into a google search for the live link.

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2009/03/17/Governor-Palins-Big-Energy-Battles/index2.html

It turns out that Joe McGinness is no new comer to Alaska. He has been going there to report, for decades.

He wrote a long article from there last year, about Sarah Palin, and if you read the article, you will see why Quitter is anxious to kill the messenger.

Here is a juicy quote from the article, just to wet your reading appetite.

"“Facts to her are like Silly Putty,” said Larry Persily, former deputy commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Revenue, who later worked for Palin in the state’s office in Washington. “She shapes them into whatever people want to hear.”"

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse


Here, I'll help ya...

"A quick post before getting into the main topic of the big press conference: "

Liam take a Valium! j/k 8^)

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 2:08 PM

.....................

Let me help you. It is just another dedicated thread to the Sestak minutia. Count how many Greg has already done on the same subject. The fact that Greg decided to quickly do some more flogging of it, ahead of all the far more pressing national issues that were covered in the press conference, makes my point.

Take your Valium anally.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"I'm going to start wondering all over again if Sestak is a very smart guy/savvy pol."

He's a military guy, I think. Civilian Politics is a different world. Hopefully, Sestak's a fast learner b/c this was flat-out stupid. Private conversations with the White House stay private.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Holy Christ, j/k means just kidding by the way.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Like I said in an earlier thread, Greg: this is just a taster of what's in store for the country if the GOP takes the House and gets subpoena power. We have a lot to do in this country and we can't afford to let the GOP's fourth-grade spitball-shooters gum up the works. Vote Democratic in November!!!!!!!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

When someone wins a primary, and defeats a old pro, who has the entire establishment of the state backing him, I tend to view the winning candidate as having pretty good political instincts.

Sestak used the claim about the White House offer to his advantage. He was portraying himself as the scrappy outside underdog, that the establishment was trying to squash.

Very smart, and successful. Now he has to pivot, because he now has to work with the establishment in order to win in November. That is why he is not continuing to talk about the offer.

Even the stray dogs in the street, understand that.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Liam: "When someone wins a primary, and defeats a old pro, who has the entire establishment of the state backing him, I tend to view the winning candidate as having pretty good political instincts."

Sure. It does NOT make him immune from making a mistake.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Liam: I think you are correct as to why Sestak did it. I still think it was a mistake but, like you said, he won. Now it's time to put it to rest which, apparently, is what the White House plans to do. Good.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The right thing would've been for Obama to address it when he was asked the first time, or even during the press conference.

I watched a lot of it. Something's wrong. This is not the same Barack Obama we've been following for the past 6 years. Maybe the presidency is wearing him down which is perfectly understandable. Or maybe he's dealing with something we don't know about. But he's noticeably distracted.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 27, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

John Cole is nearly completely correct. This is mainly Sestack's vomit, but the press ate it like dogs, and now sits in the garage looking sad with it's tail down, waiting for the adult humans to fix it.

This fake scandal is such an obvious failure of the media to call bulls*@t on the GOP.

Posted by: RalfW | May 27, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff:

Obama will age 20 years before his second term ends. That's the nature of the job (for those who take it seriously anyway). Think about what he has had to deal with less than 2 years in. Or look at it this way: compare the disasters and emergencies Obama has confronted so far versus the entire range of (non self-inflicted) problems Clinton and Bush had. I'll bet in 2 years Obama has had more to confront than Bush and Clinton between them did in the 16 years they were president. I feel for Obama but, hey, that's why he gets the Big Bucks.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Why couldn't Obama give the response then? He hasn't though of one yet?

Posted by: obrier2 | May 27, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Every one claims that Presidents age prematurely while in office.

The facts do not sustain that claim. They look more and more tired, while in office, but that is not to be confused with life shorting.

Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush One. They all lived very long lives.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

So possible answers are:

A The WH did something illegal and will be accountable - but some low level flunky.

B Sestak made it all up and loses his campaign bid. WH gets Spector back (the original plan) and Sestak joins the multitude under the bus.

C It was all a misunderstanding. No foul; no public relations problems before the election. Repeat the play. Pass out the t shirts and have another beer summit.

With the media in play, I'm betting on C. Since with this media if there is no body smelling up the WH lawn, there is no crime.

Posted by: tnvret | May 27, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"The story will go something like this: There may have been discussion of a "job," but it was only about what types of jobs might be appropriate for someone with Sestak's background; there never was an "offer" or "promise" of a specific "job."

"...Someone at the White House is trying to remember which story to tell.

"...We appear to be heading towards a defense of "it depends upon what the meaning of 'job offer' is."

http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2010/05/it-depends-upon-what-meaning-of-job.html

Posted by: sbj3 | May 27, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne I echo your sentiments.

I thought Obama did a great job during the presser, hindsight is 20/20 but I simply wish he had done this at least a week if not two weeks ago. He answered all the nagging questions about the oil spill and they were like a festering sore until he treated them today.

My huge disappointment was his answer to Helen Thomas' Afghanistan question. OMG she has been before so many Presidents, she has the look of the grim reaper. I loved it...her face said..c'mon..you're the President not Mr. Bojangles..stop already with the dancing around reality.

It was such disingenuous answer and it was one of the RARE times I have ever seen Obama squirm as if he didn't believe the BS he was spouting either. Virtually every report I've seen on Afghanistan including the opinions leaked from the Pentagon are that this war is not going well at all and it's just a matter of time until like the Russians we have to leave.

We should simply admit our failure to subdue a middle age nation that has never really had a sense of coherence, a nation of tribes and tribal rivalry and corruption. Trying to fix Afghanistan is like picking up Grandma's old vase that just dropped, shattered into a 1000 pieces, and then trying to figure a way to match them all up and glue them altogether before Grandma realizes what has happened. Ain't gonna work.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 27, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

BTW Can somebody explain to me once again the logic of Afghanistan. The President said there are people there that wish to do us harm. Well....why do we stop in Afghanistan...why haven't we invaded Somalia?
Perhaps Indonesia?

Perhaps O should listen to Sister Sarah and begin making those plans to invade Iran.

I don't know about anybody else...but I love the small government folks who are supporting a defense budget that exceeds the rest of the world COMBINED!

China is kick our butts...and when they win it won't be militarily it will be economically. Guns or butter folks.
Screw the cholesterol I'd like some butter.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 27, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Crist comes out in support of Don't Ask Don't Tell

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/charlie_crist_now_supports_rep.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ruk-

Read the latest Afghan article in the New Yorker. The main thing I came away with is that there seems to be no "light at the end of the tunnel", as it were.

You are correct, we will leave after the the goal posts have been moved so far as to redefine "winning".

A large part of this still has to do with stablization of Pakistan vis a vis Afghanistan, and Pak's relations with India.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | May 27, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Considering this issue in the most cynical manner possible, how is this important? What possible conspiracy could be at the root of this? This furthers the agenda of global socialism/communism (etc, etc.) how?

Who cares if the WH did or did not offer Sestak a job? What evil could possible attend to such an offer?

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 27, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Sen. Russ Feingold's amendment to require the president to produce by year's end a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan got just 18 votes."

Posted by: sbj3 | May 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg, if you won't listen to Chait, will you, for the love of God, listen to a Bushie? Here's former Bush administration ethics counsel Richard Painter:

The allegation that the job offer was somehow a “bribe” in return for Sestak not running in the primary is difficult to support....

Many candidates for top Administration appointments are politically active in the President’s political party. Many are candidates or are considering candidacy in primaries. White House political operatives don’t like contentious fights in their own party primaries and sometimes suggest jobs in the Administration for persons who otherwise would be contenders. For the White House, this is usually a “win-win” situation, giving the Administration politically savvy appointees in the Executive Branch and fewer contentious primaries for the Legislative Branch.

This may not be best for voters who have less choice as a result, and Sestak thus should be commended for saying “no”. The job offer, however, is hardly a “bribe” when it is one of two alternatives that are mutually exclusive.

=endquote=

Posted by: RalfW | May 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

SBJ I'm not surprised. Having lived through the stupidity that was Vietnam this all just deja vu. Same moronic kind of logic. Then of course it was the "domino theory" a variation of the idiotic let's fight them there so we don't have to fight them here.

And what did history show. We lost Vietnam and did they takeover Australia?

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 27, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Sestak is an idiot. He thought he could throw the White House under the bus to score political points in the primary and not have to answer questions about it. If there was a discussion of some job, that should be private between the two parties.

Sestak decides to use it to his advantage and then won't step up when he should have a good answer.

There was nothing illegal or even shady about offering a job to someone as may have occured. It happens all the time on both sides. Remember how Rove and the Bushies intervened in the Minnesota GOP primary in 2002 to get Pawlenty out of running for Senate and clear the field for Coleman? You think Pawlenty wasn't given some quid pro quo for dropping out? Give me a break!

This right-wing outrage machine is unbelievable. Yet when we had 8 years of continual outrageous behavior from 2001-2009, all they did was protect their Teaxas idiot and his partners in crime.

Posted by: 9moons | May 27, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"Sestak MESS?" What, it's not even a "gate?" How about "L'affaire Sestak" or the "Sestak Imbroglio" or even "The Plumline Ultimatum" (coming soon to a theater near you, I hear Damon's interested).

Posted by: joeff | May 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"This right-wing outrage machine is unbelievable. Yet when we had 8 years of continual outrageous behavior from 2001-2009, all they did was protect their Teaxas idiot and his partners in crime."

You said it!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

John Cole truly has a way with words sometimes.

Posted by: CalD | May 27, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"I'll bet in 2 years Obama has had more to confront than Bush and Clinton between them did in the 16 years they were president."

That is beyond absurd, wb. Come on. I know you worship this demigod, but no one can be that delusional.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 28, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Stepak isn't the issue, IMHO. It is the black out of information by WH staff that elevates concern for transparency, that isn't even a pretense.

On Memorial Weekend, I would urge all of us to think of ALL WHO HAVE AND ARE SERVING ALL OF THE UNITED STATES, PROTECTING AND DEFENDING ALL WE HOLD DEAR, WITH THEIR VERY LIVES AND THOSE OF ALL OF THOSE FAMILIES.

WAKE UP! GET A MOVE ON. WE ARE IN A NATIONAL CRISES. Notice all deadlines fall "after" November; that "Health Reform" carried no restrictions of "how high" premiums could go; in CA, increases were as much as 76% causing businesses to postphone hiring ... and perhaps considering layoffs? Who knew? Anyone paying attention. When you increase risk .. "pre-existing conditions" and "remove life time caps,"this isn't rocket science. The only solution was UNIVERSAL SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE. Why not?

Posted by: SavvyRead | May 28, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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