Joe Sestak

The Party of New

WASHINGTON—From Ohio, Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy describes "the worry, the anguish and sometimes despair" among her constituents and urges President Obama to spend more time with people who don't make "six-figure incomes." From Pennsylvania, Rep. Joe Sestak says Americans are angry at a government that failed to guard them against economic catastrophe. And from Virginia, Rep.

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Sock It Toomey

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- If there is one candidate who truly wishes that Christine O'Donnell had not won the Republican senatorial nomination in Delaware, it is the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey. Toomey, a former congressman, became a hero to the right for pushing Sen. Arlen Specter out of the GOP. For much of the summer, Toomey ran safely ahead of the man who went on to knock out Specter in the Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Joe Sestak. Then came O'Donnell's defeat of Rep. Mike Castle in one of the tea party's most celebrated victories.

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Seth Masket has an excellent post up responding to Kevin Drum’s question about whether there actually something going on that would mean that “the anti-Washington meme deserves to live.” Seth and John Sides have both been writing about this, at different angles, with John emphasizing that almost all incumbents will win but Seth noting that incumbents may still have to work harder to get there.

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Darrell Issa is being... fair? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) who has spearheaded the charge for an investigation into White House actions, said the revelation has "irrevocably shattered" the Obama brand. "Clearly Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff aren't isolated incidents and are indicative of a culture that embraces the politics-as-usual mentality that the American people are sick and tired of," Issa said in a statement.  Okay, almost fair. Close enough. Issa is exactly right: offering jobs to people you want to remove from a political race is "politics as usual." That's the point.

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I've been trying to make people understand that a White House job offer to Joe Sestak could not be a quid pro quo -- let alone an illegal quid pro quo -- because the quid (Sestak accepts an executive branch job) is identical to the quo (Sestak quits the Pennsylvania primary race.) Maybe you don't believe me. Scott Galupo doesn't, writing, "Splitting hairs Michael Kinsley-style, Chait has outhunk himself here." I've never been called a "hunk" before, and I'm guessing Kinsley hasn't, either.

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Former Bush administration Attorney general Michael Mukasey tells Dave Weigel why he thinks there needs to be a special prosecutor to investigate the possibility that the White House offered a job to Joe Sestak: "People were railing on me for months, demanding a special prosecutor for this, a special prosecutor for that. But here's a case where ...

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Slate's John Dickerson compares the Obama White House's silence on whether it offered Joe Sestak a job to the Bush administration's silence on the Plame allegation: The questions about what Sestak was offered have been nagging for months. They were renewed after he defeated Specter. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has responded as he did months ago.

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Any meaningful political scandal must have one of three elements. The highest level of scandal involves some breaking of a law. The next-highest involves breaking some well-established behavioral norm. The lowest level involves a public official lying. The odd thing about the "scandal" of whether the White House offered a job to Joe Sestak is that it involves no credible charge of any of the three.

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Pittsburgh—Almost all the shibboleths of Washington conventional wisdom took a hit in Tuesday's voting. Yet advocates of a single national political narrative clung to the difficulties of two incumbent Democratic senators to keep spinning the same old tale. It's true that the idea of incumbents and party establishments being in trouble won some support from the defeat of Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary and Sen. Blanche Lincoln's failure to avoid a runoff in Arkansas. But the races tell different stories. Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat who was defeated by Rep.

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The funniest election spin of the day comes from former Bushie Marc Thiessen: The White House will try to distance itself from Specter (indeed, it began doing so days ago when Obama and Vice President Joe Biden reneged on theirs promises to campaign for him). But there is no getting around that this was a repudiation of the president. He ushered Specter into the Democratic party and embraced him – and voters rejected his chosen candidate at the polls. The lesson for Democrats was clear last night: Obama offers to endorse you, run the other way. Really.

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