Breaking: White House Practices Politics

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Fresh from the AP:

WASHINGTON — Administration officials dangled the possibility of a job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forego a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, his rival in an Aug. 10 primary, administration officials said Wednesday.

These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.

The episode follows a similar controversy in Pennsylvania, where the White House last year turned to former President Bill Clinton to suggest Rep. Joe Sestak back out of another primary in favor of an unpaid position on a federal advisory board.

I don’t see the scandal here. I refer you to the judicious Congressional scholar Norm Ornstein’s response to the Joe Sestak affair (via my old TNR colleague Jon Chait):

If what the Obama administration did was impeachable, then Rep. Issa might want to consider retroactive impeachment action against Ronald Reagan, whose White House directly suggested to S.I. Hayakawa that he would get an administration position if he would stay out of the Republican primary for Senate in California; or call for an investigation and special prosecutor of the Bush White House for discussing a Cabinet post with Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska to clear the field for their preferred Republican candidate Mike Johanns in 2006. At the same time, Issa might want to call for expulsion of his Senate colleague Judd Gregg, who insisted before he accepted the post of Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration that there be a guarantee that his successor, appointed by a Democratic governor, be a Republican.

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