The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama 2012: Because Nothing Is Ever His Fault.


From the final Morning Jolt of the week:

Per Se Can You See, By the Dawn’s Early Light

Per se what?

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt,” Obama said. “But understand: This was not our program per se.”

“Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for start-ups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help start up companies get to scale,” he said.

Guy Benson goes to town on the latest round of excuses:

It is true that “Republicans and Democrats” approved a green energy loan guarantee program. But “Republicans and Democrats” did not approve this loan guarantee program. As reminds us, the program under which Solyndra was handed $500 million in taxpayer money was authorized in the Obama/Reid/Pelosi partisan “stimulus” bill of 2009. Zero House Republicans voted for that law. Also, a previous Solyndra loan application was explicitly rejected by Bush-era actuaries because of its inherent soundness problems. Some of Obama’s bookkeepers continued to warn against its approval, but they were overruled by the White House political team because the president’s allies were determined to make the company the “poster child” of his green vision. That’s also why Obama ignored internal worries and held a big presidential photo-op at Solyndra’s (now-defunct) factory. The list goes on: Obama DOE officials sat in on Solyndra board meetings. One of Solyndra’s top investors, George Kaiser — who just happened to be a major Obama campaign donor — also just happened to make a flurry of White House visits right before the doomed loan was given the thumbs-up. Kaiser and the White House claimed they didn’t discuss Solyndra during those meetings. They lied. We also know that even after Solyndra defaulted on its initial loan, Obama’s Energy Department conveniently restructured the loan terms, assuring that investors like George Kaiser would be first in line to get paid if (when) the company went belly-up. Obama owns this mess, and he knows it. But he’s obfuscating and dissembling to save his own skin.

Obama 2012: Because nothing is ever his fault.

Through much of 2004, we saw reporters repeatedly asking President Bush what mistakes he had made as president. We know what those reporter wanted, or expected to hear; some variation of, “I shouldn’t have invaded Iraq” or “I should have done something differently before 9/11” — perfect fodder for John Kerry attack ads. It’s a no-win situation, since every president makes mistakes — almost all of them make big ones at some point — and an honest answer invites the opposition to make hay. Shortly before departing office, Bush felt comfortable discussing decisions he regretted and areas of disappointment.

Will we see reporters asking President Obama for his biggest mistake of his first term? Will Obama tap-dance around that? Because right now, he comes across as a man who doesn’t really believe he’s made any mistakes in this first term. And you thought Steven Chu was an easy grader.

Tags: Barack Obama , Solyndra


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