Campaign '04

Teresa Heinz Kerry and space

In her speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, Teresa Heinz Kerry managed to work a little space imagery into her talk:

Americans believed that they could know all there is to know, build all there is to build, break down any barrier, tear down any wall. We sent men to the moon. And when that was not far enough, we sent Galileo to Jupiter, we sent Cassini to Saturn, and Hubble to touch the very edges of the universe in the very dawn of time.


Americans showed the world what can happen when people believe in amazing possibilities. And that, for me, is the spirit of America, the America you and I are working for in this election.

I suspect that will be as close as we get to any mention of space during the convention. The language didn’t go over well, though, with CNN’s Tucker Carlson, who wanted something more along the lines of the infamous “shove it” rebuke:

I wanted to hear her talk like that. Instead she went off about Jupiter and Galileo and totally lost me. I didn’t get it at all.

One other space-related convention note: we hear that the Space Foundation and the NSS organized a reception Tuesday night at Boston’s Museum of Science titled “A Salute to the Space Leaders of the Democratic Party.” (To preempt the inevitable comments, yes, there are a few, although I don’t know if any attended.) The reception was sponsored by a number of aerospace companies. A similar reception is planned next month for the Republican National Convention in New York.

8 comments to Teresa Heinz Kerry and space

  • A Salute to the Space Leaders of the Democratic Party.

    It does strike me as something difficult for anyone familiar with space policy to type with a straight face.

    Of course, the same is largely true if you substitute the word “Republican.” Actually, I see no one acting with anything resembling leadership for space (as opposed to local pork) right now except Senator Brownback.

    However, Mrs. Heinz-Kerry’s remarks are slightly encouraging. Jay Manifold has speculated that the president’s interest in space may have been driven to at least some degree by the First Lady. Perhaps a President Kerry (something that I hope I’ll never see for a number of reasons) will be influenced by the provider of his allowance. Of course, there’s little there to indicate that she’s interested in manned space.

  • Anonymous

    Senator Bill Nelson will gladly step up as a space leader in the Democratic Party. However, Nelson is primarily interested in getting his face on television.

  • Arthur Smith

    I don’t know which “space leaders” were invited, but I do know a number of Democrats in congress who have expressed strong support and some leadership on space issues: Nick Lampson of Texas, for example, Dennis Kucinich, senators Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Feinstein and Boxer of California (inconsistently, perhaps). John Glenn was a Democrat in the Senate. I expect others could come up with many more names…

  • I do know a number of Democrats in congress who have expressed strong support and some leadership on space issues…

    That depends on how you define “leadership on space issues.” Everyone you named has mainly defended pork and various NASA programs–not space per se. Certainly Glenn has never been a friend of any space program designed to get non-astronauts into space.

  • Dogsbd

    Gotta give crdit to Tom DeLay too.

  • Arthur Smith

    Rand, who in congress has defended “space per se”? Or perhaps that’s your point?

    In any case, Lampson’s persistent work on various versions of his “Space Exploration Act”, even if somewhat flawed, seemed to be honest attempts at getting us beyond Earth orbit. And that was a clear precursor to the new vision. Kucinich was a supporter on the 2003 Lampson bill; I really don’t think you can honestly characterize that as support for “pork”.

  • Are you unaware of which NASA centers are in or near Lampson’s and Kucinich’ districts? Do you think that they’d be as interested in this issue if they were from North Dakota?

  • Perry A. Noriega

    University of North Dakota at Grand Forks Space Studies curricula students would care about it. And the 50-50 split amongst partisans of the Democratic and Republican party amongst UND Grand Forks Space Studies students indicate that at least some North Dakota citizens from either side of the aisle who know about space care.

    Whether or not the rest of North Dakota’s citizens care about space policy and programs, I guess the space community has its work cut out for it to get them to care.