Did Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) get more than a phone call from President Barack Obamalast year to persuade him to drop his planned primary against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand? That question arose after news that the White House offered upstart Joe Sestak an unpaid appointment to skip the Pennsylvania Senate primary (which he won), and Andrew Romanoff three possible jobs to forgo Colorado's senate primary. When asked, Israel deadpanned, "They offered me the choice of vice president or secretary of state" but he refused "because I don't like to travel." When he stopped laughing, he said White House chief of staff Rahm Emanueloffered "no hint, no intimation, no promise" of anything beyond certainty Obama would back Gillibrand.
"Any White House dating back to the first administrations have engaged in this kind of issue," he said. "It's regrettable that it happens. But it certainly didn't happen with me." - Tom Brune