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03 June 2010

Honest Question: Was Thurmond Offered A White House Job To Run For U.S. Senate

Was Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond offered a job in the Obama Administration in exchange for announcing his U.S. Senate candidacy?

I'm not one to throw out wild-eyed speculation on issues such as these but in recent weeks, it has been revealed that the Obama White House offered two Democrats positions in the government if they would end their campaigns against the White House preferred candidate.

Pennsylvania Democrat Joe Sestak and Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff have both said they were offered jobs not to run [Allen, Jonathan & Lee, Carol E (2010-6-3). White House political team stumbles, bumbles . Politico. Retrieved on 2010-6-3.].

Now, the Michael Thurmond situation is totally different.

Thurmond is a thrice-elected Georgia Commissioner of Labor. His job is safe. Thurmond could easily get re-elected to his post until the cows come home. The risky move for Michael Thurmond, characterized by a veteran political reporter as "one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics," is running against U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R - Georgia). So, it begs to question, why would a overly-cautious politician suddenly decide to throw caution to the wind? What offers, if any, were made to get Thurmond to run?

It's been repeatedly said that a high profile African-American (like Michael Thurmond) at the top of the ticket may drive up voter turnout in the black community, thus benefiting the Democrats in Georgia [Galloway, Jim (2010-4-19). Your Morning Jolt: Behind Michael Thurmond’s run for the U.S. Senate. AJC Political Insider. Retrieved on 2010-6-3.]. But what does Thurmond get out of this?

Again I ask, were jobs offered? Were appointments put on the table? What convinced a cautious politician to run for a U.S. Senate seat where his numbers have gone down and not up?

It's a question I'm curious about. It's a question, given the recent controversies surrounding Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff, that should be answered.