White House saw Solyndra collapse as vital political issue

Rick Moran
The Obama administration sought to soften the political blow the Solyndra bankruptcy was going to have, partly by massaging the press in advance of the collapse.

The Hill:

Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration's messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.

The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra - a company President Obama had personally visited - was about to go under.

A White House memo that noted the danger of "imminent bankruptcy" at the end of August 2011 says, "OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break."

Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.

The document, an update on Solyndra's $535 million Energy Department (DOE) loan guarantee, notes that $527 million had been disbursed and that DOE believed no more funds should be alloted. 

The White House document notes that the Treasury Department, OMB and other White House offices agreed that no more money should be provided because there was a "near-zero chance" that the company could survive.

There was a "near zero chance" that the company would have survived when the loan was first proposed. But I find it interesting that the White House was trying to set the narrative with the press prior to the news breaking. I would love to know who in the press they were in contact with and which press outlets got this favored treatment. It would reveal a lot about how the Obama administration manipulates the press - and how the press allows themselves to be manipulated.

The Obama administration sought to soften the political blow the Solyndra bankruptcy was going to have, partly by massaging the press in advance of the collapse.

The Hill:

Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration's messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.

The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra - a company President Obama had personally visited - was about to go under.

A White House memo that noted the danger of "imminent bankruptcy" at the end of August 2011 says, "OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break."

Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.

The document, an update on Solyndra's $535 million Energy Department (DOE) loan guarantee, notes that $527 million had been disbursed and that DOE believed no more funds should be alloted. 

The White House document notes that the Treasury Department, OMB and other White House offices agreed that no more money should be provided because there was a "near-zero chance" that the company could survive.

There was a "near zero chance" that the company would have survived when the loan was first proposed. But I find it interesting that the White House was trying to set the narrative with the press prior to the news breaking. I would love to know who in the press they were in contact with and which press outlets got this favored treatment. It would reveal a lot about how the Obama administration manipulates the press - and how the press allows themselves to be manipulated.