Did President Barack Obama offer Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, now the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, a high position in our federal government in exchange for not running against Arlen Specter?
Sestak didn’t take the deal, if indeed one was offered. But months ago, Sestak said, unequivocally, that a job had been offered. He has since clammed up, especially after defeating Specter last Tuesday.
Back in February, a White House spokesman denied any such deal was proffered. But, Sunday, on CBS’s Face the Nation, chief White House spokesman Robert Gibb’s declared, “I’m not going to get into it, but people who have looked into it assure me the conversations were not inappropriate in any way.”
A ringing defense! And after such an exhaustive search for the truth . . .
On ABC’s This Week, George Will offered context. “Politics is a transactional business,” he said, and offered his judgement: “I don’t see a thing wrong with it.”
Yes, well, Will has a point. Many businesses are “transactional” — banking comes first to mind. But there are honest transactions . . . and less-than-honest ones. I wouldn’t want the president of my bank hiring or promoting his girlfriend to, say, prevent her from finking on him to his wife.
Government employees have jobs to do — jobs that carry out legitimate governmental functions. If not, those jobs shouldn’t exist. If so, they should be staffed on the basis of merit, not political expediency.
I thought that was very simple, basic common sense. I’m Paul Jacob.