As PhillyClout predicted way back on Sept. 3, President Obama has named Joe Torsella to a top post at the United Nations. Torsella, Gov. Rendell's appointee as chairman of the State Board of Education, was nominated yesterday by Obama to be the United States Representative for U.N. Management and Reform. Torsella, who twice served as president of the National Constitution Center and was deputy mayor for policy and planning when Rendell was mayor of Philadelphia, must have his appointment approved by the U.S. Senate.
Torsella ran briefly last year for the U.S. Senate seat held by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. He dropped out after Specter, at the urging of Rendell and Obama, jumped from the Republicans to the Democrats in a bid to save his seat. Specter lost the May 18 Democratic primary to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, who then lost the Nov. 2 general election to Republican former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey.
Republicans assailed Sestak during the campaign after he said former President Bill Clinton, acting on behalf of the White House, tried to lure him out of the race against Specter with a job offer. The White House eventually explained that Clinton offered Sestak an unpaid post on an intelligence advisory board if he would drop his Senate bid and remain in the U.S. House.
A Rendell spokesman in September said the governor had "recommended Joe to the White House for a number of positions," after Torsella dropped out of the Senate race. We expect the Republicans, especially U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, will have some questions about Torsella's new job offer. Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has said he wants to hold more hearings on the actions of the Obama administration when his political party takes control of the House in January.