As the Republican Party works itself into a lather over the Obama administration’s offer of a job to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn) in exchange for him not entering the Pennsylvania Senate primary, seasoned political observers, historians, and lawyers are responding with veritable yawns.
American presidential history is littered with quid pro quos, implicit and explicit secret job offers, and backroom deals, so much so that the Sestak offer may be more the norm than the exception to it.
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Back when I was managing the media of political campaigns, it was routine for the strongest candidate in a primary to commission a poll affirming the fact. The poll results were then the subject of meetings between a senior party official and each of the other candidates. The weaker candidates were told “you can’t win, but if you drop out we will take care of you in an unnamed fashion.”
It was routine in every primary race with more than one candidate. Sometines the candidate dropped out, sometimes not. But they all got the offer.
There are no virgin office holders in D.C. that have not experienced the same thing. This is all about politics and show and creating a negative bullet point for campaign literature in the November elections.