The Solyndra scandal cost... at least a half-billion public dollars. It is plaguing President Barack Obama. And it's being billed as a Washington story.
But back in Obama's political hometown, those of us familiar with the Chicago Way can see something else in Solyndra ? something that the Washington crowd calls "optics." In fact, it's not just a Washington saga ? it has all the elements of a Chicago City Hall story, except with more zeros.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden got a nice photo op. They got to make speeches about being "green." But then Solyndra went bankrupt. Americans lost jobs. Taxpayers got stuck with the bill. And members of Congress are now in high dudgeon and making speeches.
Federal investigators want to know what role political fundraising played in the guarantee of the questionable loan. Washington bureaucrats warned the deal was lousy. And White House spokesmen flail desperately, like weakened victims in a cheesy vampire movie.
So forget optics. What about smell? It smells bad, and it's going to smell worse.
Or, did you really believe it when the White House mouthpieces ? who are also Chicago City Hall mouthpieces ? promised they were bringing a new kind of politics to Washington?
This is not a new kind of politics. It's the old kind. The Chicago kind.
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