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Clever White House plan to drag out Sestak controversy even longer

May 27, 2010 |  3:29 pm

05-27-obama
Good news!  President Obama says there will be an answer on whether his White House attempted to bribe Rep. Joe Sestak to stay out of the senate primary in Pennsylvania.

But not yet.

Sure, it would seem that with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’s assurance that all conversations between Sestak and the White House were “appropriate,” the president could have easily answered the question Thursday during his first news conference in nearly a year.

But why answer the question now when the administration can drag it out even longer?  

There are more opportunities for really positive exchanges to happen between Gibbs and the White House press corps. 

Sestak said he was offered a job.  And he keeps repeating that.  Gibbs says....

...nothing inappropriate happened.  And he keeps repeating that.

So is there a gray area here?  Will this be another "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is"?

“There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue which I hope will answer your questions,” Obama told reporters Thursday.

No need for hope.  It really is a simple question.  Was Sestak offered a job?

“I can assure the public that nothing improper took place,” Obama added.  “But as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue.”

One person who continues to talk about the issue is Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

He dropped a campaign e-mail comparing the Sestak controversy to Watergate.

"Congressman Sestak has continued to repeat his story whenever asked without varying from the original version,” reads the e-mail.  “The White House however has arrogantly and wrongly assumed that they can sweep this matter under the rug.”

"This may be the way business is done in Chicago, but it’s not the way things are done in our nation’s capitol, and I am intent on getting to the bottom of this,” he wrote.

-- Jimmy Orr

Photo: President Obama before the start of a news conference in the East Room. Credit: Associated Press.

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