My colleague Russell Berman and I looked into whether the White House used the lure of an administration position to protect Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) from a primary challenge.
New York Reps. Steve Israel, Carolyn Maloney and Carolyn McCarthy, along with former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-Tenn.), all told us the White House didn’t offer them jobs in exchange for forgoing a bid.
The administration and its allies – including Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) – did, however, send signals they would work against any primary rival to Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson (D) to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Bottom line: The White House's tactics in New York helped Gillibrand avoid a primary challenge, whereas its maneuvers in Pennsylvania and Colorado failed to clear the field.