Via the Post:
Like most presidential appearances, Obama’s May 2010 stop at Solyndra’s headquarters was closely managed political theater.Apparently, according to the Post's findings, this is a video the administration would like to have back. This should give the Republican Party an something to exploit. Whether they will or not remains to be seen but there seems to be sufficient concern among team Obama that this was a very bad decision.
Obama’s handlers had lengthy e-mail discussions about how solar panels should be displayed (from a robotic arm, it was decided). They cautioned the company’s chief executive against wearing a suit (he opted for an open-neck shirt and black slacks) and asked another executive to wear a hard hat and white smock. They instructed blue-collar employees to wear everyday work clothes, to preserve what they called “the construction-worker feel.”
There is also a surprising number of futile attempts made by the Post to get comments from individuals who might be able to help with the story:
White House e-mails suggest that the original idea for “POTUS involvement” originated with then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, now mayor of Chicago, did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.It is interesting that the decision to publicly align Obama with Solyndra was pushed by Emanuel, who left the administration a few months after that May 2010 video. He also claims to be ignorant of the Solyndra deal.
Well beyond the details of the factory photo op, raw political considerations surfaced repeatedly in conversations among many in the administration.
Just two days before the visit, Obama fundraiser Steve Westly warned senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that an appearance could be problematic. Westly, an investment fund manager with stakes in green-energy companies, said he was speaking for a number of Obama supporters in asking the president to postpone the visit because Solyndra’s financial prospects were dim and the company’s failure could generate negative media attention.
Read it all.