The Corner

The Man Who Asked ‘The Question’ Speaks

Larry Kane, the host of a Comcast Network public-affairs show in Philadelphia, is the veteran reporter who first asked Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) back in February whether he was offered a “federal job” to get out of his Senate race against Sen. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.):

KANE: “Were you ever offered a federal job to get out of this race?”

SESTAK: “Yes.”

KANE: “Was it secretary of the Navy?”

SESTAK: “No comment”

Later Kane asks again, “Was there a job offered to you by the White House?” to which Sestak nods and replies “yes, someone offered it.”

Kane asks “It was big right?” Sestak replies, “Let me ‘no comment’ on it.”

“Was it high-ranking?” Kane asked. Sestak said yes.

This afternoon, National Review Online caught up with Kane to get his take on the White House memo.

“After Sestak said on my show, without hesitation, that he had been offered a federal position, I, along with Tom Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was in the studio doing a ‘day in the life’ piece on Sestak, called up the White House,” Kane recalls. “We got on the phone with the deputy press secretary there, who said they’d get back to us right away. Yet the phone didn’t ring again until 6:45 a.m. the next morning.”

“When the White House finally called back, they denied it,” Kane says. “Strategically, the White House press person I spoke with said Sestak’s statement ‘was not true.’ So I pressed: Was anything, at all, dangled? She repeated that all she could say was that Sestak’s words ‘were not true.’ Looking back, I was curious as to why it took so many hours for them to respond. And now I’m curious as to why it took so many months to issue this report. Why did they let it drift?”

“When I asked [Sestak] that question, he answered in a nanosecond,” Kane observes. “No hesitation, no pause. I figured something was up, especially after he kept resisting further explanations these past few months.”

Kane says his sources, who told him about the federal-job rumor, are “impeccable.” He notes that as far back as summer 2009, there “was buzz in Pennsylvania political circles, and especially in Washington, about some kind of meeting.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More