Larry Kane, the Philadelphia reporter who first broke the story, blogs about it.
“Were you ever offered a job to get out of this race? (The contest against Arlen Specter).
Sestak didn’t flinch .
“Yes,” he answered.
“Was it Navy Secretary?”, I asked
He proceeded to talk about staying in the race but added that “he was called many times” to pull out.
Later, I asked, “So you were offered a job by someone in the White House?”
He said, “Yes.”
When the taping stopped, Joe Sestak looked surprised .
“You are the first person who ever asked me that question.”
As the Congressman left the building, there was an obvious dilemma. The show wouldn’t air till Sunday the 21st. The story could be big. I called Comcast executives. With their blessing, I broke the story with an audio interview on KYW Newsradio. But first there was work to do. I needed a White House response.
I called the White House Press Office. I played the interview for the individual who answered the phone. She said someone would call me back. A few minutes later, another individual called. She said the White House would call back with a reaction “shortly.” That was 3:45 in the afternoon.
The report aired all night without a White House response.
At 6:45 the next morning, 15 hours later, a Deputy Press Secretary called. She said, “You can say the White House says it’s not true.”
A similar call was placed to the Inquirer’s Tom Fitzgerald. Tom was in the studio during the show taping. He was following Sestak around, working on a feature story. He took the story to page one of the Friday Inquirer.
A few days ago, both of us were still wondering why it took the White House 15 hours to issue a simple denial.
Emphasis in original.
Well, it was a simple denial. Now it’s obviously Bill Clinton.
I’m still wondering why President Clinton would be in a position to offer a pay-nothing advisory panel “job” to keep Sestak from running against Specter?
Even more important… he was offered a job by the “White House.” Not Bill Clinton. There is a difference.