Rick C. Wade is an exceptionally busy man.
The former Obama cabinet official helped run the president’s latest campaign while simultaneously serving as a Democratic Party executive and vice president of GreenTech Automotive, the “green car” company owned by Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.Besides Wade, the venture has attracted other high-profile political insiders: Bill Clinton appeared at a company launch party. Hillary Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham runs the firm’s foreign-investor outreach. Former Republican National Committee chair and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour used a mix of grants and tax holidays to persuade McAuliffe to build Greentech in Mississippi.
But Wade might be the insider who carries the most weight.
Following a senior adviser role in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, Wade was named interim director of the Department of Commerce and later became the department’s chief of staff and spokesman. While there, he helped craft Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill — the one that hyped such green-energy projects as the now-bankrupt Solyndra and even sent money overseas to aid production of green ventures in foreign countries. Wade got an education in cars via the president’s Auto Recovery Task Force, a $25 billion effort to prop up the failing U.S. auto industry.