Senate hopeful Joe Sestak joined Senate Democrats at their weekly caucus lunch today, where he was grilled by CNN producer Ted Barrett about his claim that the White House once offered him a job to get him out of the Pennsylvania primary. Sestak bobbed and weaved, and ultimately got away without answering, but if there’s any indication that the story isn’t going away–or that the dam is about to break–this was it.
“The question is what job was offered to you and by whom? Because David Axelrod said last night that it would be illegal if you were offered a job. So who offered you the job?” asked Barrett, who towers over Sestak by a foot or more.
“I have nothing to say on the matter. I’ve answered,” Sestak offered.“Do you think this will go away, though, or this will not be a liability for you?” Barrett pressed.
Sestak seemed visibly rattled, but continued to pivot away from the questions.
“What we have to make go away is how Washington, D.C. is not focused on families in Pennsylvania,” Sestak attempted.
“So you’re not going to answer the question.”
“Why won’t you answer the question?”
“Politics is not what I’m interested in.”
“You were the one who raised this. You were the one who put this out there.
“I was asked a question about something that happened seven, eight months earlier. I answered it, and moved on.”
It’s puzzling that Sestak hasn’t at least tried to kill the story by insisting that there was no explicit quid pro quo in his conversations with the White House. Republicans have been pressing for answers harder and harder every day, convinced that the odd silence from Sestak and the White House will come back to hurt them both. And having successfully injected the story into the consciousness of the mainstream press, they may be right.