Here's an angle
no one seems to have given much attention.
After President Bush's election, Ken Lay's name was tossed around as being in the running for a number of potential administration appointments, including Secretary of Energy (Gas Daily, January 5th, 2001) and the Ambassadorships to Great Britain (Times of London, Jan 29th, 2001, February 5th, 2001) and Mexico (Dallas Morning News, March 30, 2001). Obviously, it didn't happen.
Why? (As the Enron ad campaign might say.)
Perhaps it just didn't pan out. Maybe Lay decided he didn't want the job.
But could Lay have been vetted and come up wanting? Could the White House have done a background check and come across some uncomfortable findings? Could Lay have been gracious enough (in that heart-to-heart potential nominees have with high-level officials or presidential confidants) to let on that there might be trouble on the horizon?
Note to White House press corps: this one's on me.
PS. Special thanks to TPM reader WB for putting me on this trail.