What Joe Sestak and Rand Paul Have in Common

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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rand Paul wasn't on Meet the Press yesterday — he became only the third person in the history of the show to cancel at the last minute — but host David Gregory made sure to embarrass him in absentia with a segment on Paul's really bad week and media cowardice. Meanwhile, another outsider candidate who was a little too honest about something earlier in his campaign did go on Meet the Press, and Face the Nation, and faced the exact situation Paul avoided: stonewalling about an issue he just doesn't want to talk about anymore.

We speak here of Joe Sestak, the Democratic candidate for senator in Pennsylvania who in February claimed that an official in the White House had offered him a role in the administration if he'd drop his primary challenge against Arlen Specter, which, if true, could be illegal, depending on how it was done. But Sestak has clammed up about the offer since then, repeatedly refusing to reveal anything further — such as who offered the job and what the job was — despite frequent inquiries by reporters. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs has been stubbornly evasive as well, even dodging the question thirteen times in a row at a press briefing last week. So there was Sestak on the Sunday political shows yesterday, days after defeating Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination, and refusing to answer some fairly important questions.

"It's interesting. I was asked a question about something that happened months earlier, and I felt that I should answer it honestly, and that's all I had to say about it," Sestak said on Meet the Press. He sounds just like Paul! On Face the Nation, Sestak said that revealing anything beyond what he has already revealed "just gets into politics." Uh, yeah, that, and also the White House possibly having done something illegal. We know it's awkward for both Paul and Sestak to be badgered about these things they really don't want to talk about, but then they shouldn't have made the mistake of bringing them up in the first place.

Sestak, White House still mum on alleged administration job offer [44/WP]
Sestak confirms WH job offer to get out of Senate race [Politico Live]