Already buried on the Washington Post website is a story that the White House knew that Solyndra was planning to announce layoffs just before the Midterm elections.
From the piece:
Senior White House officials were warned that solar-panel-maker Solyndra planned to announce layoffs just before the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.
The White House also got advance notice that the company had agreed to postpone delivering the politically damaging news, according to the e-mails provided Friday by a government source. Energy Department officials persuaded the company to delay the announcement until after Election Day . . . A Solyndra investment adviser wrote at the time that department officials were pushing “very hard” for a delay until after the elections.
There’s no smoking gun here showing that it was the White House’s idea to get Solyndra to postpone the announcement. But the operation within the administration most concerned about how things look politically is located in the West Wing, not the Energy Department. And Solyndra’s decision to wait came just a day after the White House was looped in.
The e-mails show the looming news set off a flurry of activity at the White House. The first warning came Oct. 26, when the Energy Department’s chief of staff, Rod O’Connor, told Browner and other White House aides that the company’s bad news would come in two days and offered to discuss the matter.
The e-mails show that a day later, a top deputy to Browner was telling colleagues that the layoff announcement had been put off a week.
The White House communications team was alerted, and must have understood the gravity of having to spin this thing just before the election.
It’s very difficult to think that none of the cronyism and unusual contacts between the Obama administration and Solyndra had their provenance in the White House. The White House is playing this game poorly, allowing information to drip out and milk the story along instead of putting all its cards on the table.
Unless, that is, the true story is so damaging it’s better to try to withhold information for as long as possible . . .