But with this administration, it’s hard to get ahead of oneself. Fearing the worst usually is the safest bet.
And that worst fear seems to becoming true, as the coordination by the administration at high levels to push a massive loan through for political purposes is becoming the scandal which may be for the Obama administration what oil leases and bribes were to the Harding administration.
As reported by Bloomberg (and many other places):
President Barack Obama’s aides pressured White House budget officials to complete a review of a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee to Solyndra LLC, a solar-panel maker that has filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a House committee report based on e-mails and other documents.
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the findings of a seven-month investigation into U.S. support for Fremont, California-based Solyndra before a scheduled hearing today with two witnesses from the administration. The Department of Energy and the Office of Management and Budget “did not take adequate steps to protect taxpayer dollars,” according to the report.
Solyndra was a focal point of Obama’s energy and political plans, and his administration did everything it could to get the deal done so Obama and Joe Biden could run around the country trumpeting the deal as a keystone of economic and job growth.
As pointed out at NRO, which has a good history of the deal, the loan was from Obama’s Stimulus Plan funds, so the scandal goes to the core failure of one of Obama’s claimed achievements.
This was a rotten deal done for political purposes. We don’t know if money changed hands, but we do know that money was traded for political sound bites and photo ops, which is worth more than money to Obama’s campaign.
Update: Obama administration officials are trying to blame Bush, but that doesn’t hold up because the Bush administration rejected the loan as premature. Some interesting background on the Teapot Dome Scandal and the appointment of special prosecutors is here.