The White House and the Andrew Romanoff campaign agree that Romanoff applied for a job before White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina presented him with a few job options in the weeks before Romanoff announced a primary campaign against sitting Sen. Michael Bennet.
Though Romanoff did not report that he applied for a job in the statement he issued last night, the campaign confirmed to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post that Romanoff applied for a job at change.gov in November 2008. He followed up the application with several phone calls, but got no response and stopped trying in Spring 2009.
Messina called and emailed Romanoff just before Romanoff entered the primary against Bennet to suggest positions Romanoff might apply for, an effort to avoid a “costly primary battle,” as White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs put it Thursday morning.
That the two sides agree now stands in contrast to some of the conventional wisdom, summarized by POLITICO’s Ben Smith, who called last night’s Romanoff release a “middle finger” to the administration. He said the release of the email was “a sign of…How little Establishment Democrats like Romanoff fear the White House. It’s a remarkable act of defiance.” Less than 24 hours later, both the White House and Romanoff campaign don’t dispute what happened, nor do either of them, at least publicly, view the Romanoff release as a snub.[Photo: The Colorado Independent]