I would be shocked, shocked to find out that someone would make such a deal! In this particular case, Arlen Specter may be telling the truth, because he really hates deals that compromise his autonomy:
Santorum, who opposes abortion, takes some hits from conservatives for supporting Specter, who is pro-choice, in the 2004 Republican senatorial election against Pat Toomey. Santorum, responding to former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney during the debate, said he struck a deal with Specter for his political support that year. Santorum claimed Specter pledged to support any nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court from then-President George W. Bush in return for political support.
"That is flatly not true," Specter says just after the 3-minute mark in this video. "We never had any such conversation. It would be improper to make a commitment on a vote before I knew who the nominee was and whether I thought the nominee was qualified."
Progressives will be watching some big primary races this Tuesday. But the biggest race of all is in Pennsylvania's Democratic senatorial primary, where groups like MoveOn and Democracy for America have poured resources behind Joe Sestak, backing him against the Obama-backed Sen. Arlen Specter:
Perhaps no race has as much symbolic significance for Obama as the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania between incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak. According to the most recent polls, the two are locked in a virtual tie as they go into Tuesday's voting.
A Specter loss would be viewed by many as a defeat for Obama, even though the president remains highly popular among Pennsylvania's Democrats. That's because Obama was personally involved in wooing Specter to the Democratic Party and promised support in his bid to stay in the Senate. One of the final ads Specter is running features the senator visiting Obama.
The White House signaled more than a week ago that the president would not make another campaign trip for Specter in the final days of the primary race, perhaps wanting to avoid a repeat of the presidential-visit-followed-by-loss sequence that occurred in January when Republican Scott Brown won the open Senate seat in Massachusetts just days after Obama campaigned there for Democrat Martha Coakley.
But a win by Sestak may not offer any lasting damage for Obama. He campaigned as a supporter of the president's, and the congressman could turn out to be a better candidate in the fall against the Republican nominee.
If Specter loses -- or even if he wins by a tiny margin -- it could foreshadow difficulties for all incumbents, as further evidence that voters are fed up with those in power. It would also be an indication of the difficult prospects for party-switchers; Obama is asking many Democrats in Pennsylvania to support Specter after they had spent years campaigning and voting against him.
Democrats have been voting for Specter for a long time, so I don't think that's a real problem. If anything, people will vote against him because they think it's time for new blood.
So Joe Sestak says the White House offered him a job to keep him from running against Specter. That part doesn't surprise me; I imagine the White House did try to keep him out of the race. The part that's fascinating is that Sestak went public with it.
In politics, other politicians need to trust you - and your sense of discretion. Embarrassing the White House publicly probably isn't a good way to build relationships:
In the face of a White House denial, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak stuck to his story yesterday that the Obama administration offered him a "high-ranking" government post if he would not run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary.
A White House official "vociferously" denied his account yesterday as Sestak insisted on national television that he had told the truth, but declined for a second day to divulge details.
[...] Sestak made his startling claim Thursday during the taping of Comcast Network's Larry Kane: Voice of Reason, a public affairs show televised on Sunday evenings.
"Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?" Kane asked near the end of the 30-minute interview.
A Senate Republican on Tuesday directly challenged President Bush's declaration that "I am the decision-maker" on issues of war. I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said during a hearing on Congress' war powers amid an increasingly harsh debate over Iraq war policy. "The decider is a shared and joint responsibility," Specter said.
via Think Progress: Speaking on the Senate floor today, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) put the filibuster fight in context: Through blue slips and holds, seventy of President Clintons nominees were blocked.
When it became clear that the Republican-controlled Senate would not allow the nominations to move forward, President Clinton withdrew 12 of those nominations and chose not to renominate 16.
Specter gave a very long speech today. I wanted to put up video but its over 30 minutes long. He also attacked the special interest groups like Dobson's gang for trying to pressure Senators to vote one way or another and called the commercials " ineffectual and insulting."