There is a host of reasons to believe the tale told by the White House and Joe Sestak today was nothing but fantasy, the inconsistencies from previous statements as well as the contradictions within the story itself. There is one other piece of evidence that hasn’t received much play in the press outside of Colorado, Andrew Romanoff was Joe Sestak before Joe Sestak. Last September, just as Andrew Romanoff was about to announce his bid for the position of US Senator from Colorado, he was offered a job by the White House to drop his bid.
On Sept. 27, 2009, Mike Riley of the Denver Post reported that Jim Messina, Obama’s deputy chief of staff offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. The paper said the job offer, which specified particular jobs, included a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency (unlike the tale told about the Sestak offer, Romanoff was offered a paid position).
The report claimed Messina contacted Romanoff right after news leaked in August 2009 that Romanoff, would make a primary run against the incumbent Bennet. Romanoff said no and announced his candidacy. Obama immediately endorsed Bennet who was appointed to his senate seat eight months earlier when Ken Salazar became Obama’s secretary of the Interior.
The White House denied that Romanoff had been offered a job. “Mr. Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration,” said White House spokesman Adam Abrams.
Yet several top Colorado Democrats described Messina’s outreach to Romanoff to The Post, including the discussion of specific jobs in the administration. They asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Romanoff declined to discuss any such communication and said the only job he’s focused on is “representing the people of Colorado in the United States Senate.”
At the time the post observed:
“The timing of Messina’s latest intervention sparked particular concern — because of the appearance that the administration was trying to buy off a nettlesome opponent, to some; to others, because the timing made the effort appear so ham-handed.”
The Romanoff report was never investigated by beyond the Denver Post, and on its own is not proof of White House impropriety. Perhaps the human resources director of USAID was staying up at night, desperately searching for someone with Andrew Romanoff’s qualifications at the same time Mr. Romanoff was considering his bid against Senator Bennet. But to believe that you have to believe in coincidences, the tooth fairy and the story told by the White House today. Even if you are inclined to believe the White House/Sestak story,the fact that the same thing might have happened in Colorado has to give one pause.