On Obama Scandals, Public Shrugs

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanprogressaction/3098074555/">Center for American Progress Action Fund</a>

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Remember the supposed White House “scandals” in which Obama administration officials tried to get two Democratic politicians, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) and Colorado’s Andrew Romanoff, to drop their respective US Senate bids by offering them other jobs? If you answered “No,” shrugged your shoulders, or just don’t care, then you’re likely among the 44 percent of voters, according to a new Rasmussen poll, who say such offers are standard operating procedure for Washington. Only 19 percent of those polled said they saw anything unusual about the Sestak and Romanoff snafus. “While politicians profess to be shocked at the job offers, voters see business as usual,” Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, said.

Now, that’s not to say the two events mean nothing to voters. According to the poll, 62 percent of respondents said the White House’s efforts to get Sestak and Romanoff to ditch their Senate campaigns would be somewhat important to how they vote this fall. (Only 32 percent said the White House’s gaffes will have a major impact on how they vote.) The public’s view of the Obama administration’s ethics also took a hit from the Sestak-Romanoff flub: 40 percent believe the Obama White House is less ethical than most of its predecessors, while just over 30 percent say Obama and co. are more ethical.

What’s certain is that, on voters’ priority lists, Dropout-gate isn’t anywhere near the top. Any candidate railing the administration’s supposed ethics lapses—and not economic or national security issues, which huge majorities list as their top priority—should just, well, drop out now. Word on the street is the White House is hiring.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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