Robert Pearlman, the Houston-based editor of the space memorabilia site collectSPACE, reports that he got “a recorded campaign call with a familiar voice” this morning: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stumping for Nick Lampson, the Democrat and former Congressman running for the House seat formerly held by Tom DeLay. “Return Nick to Congress and he will pick up where he left off with eight valuable years of seniority promoting the Johnson Space Center,” Aldrin said, referring to the seniority that Lampson would be able to use for committee assignments and the like should he be elected (seniority that would be even more powerful if the Democrats take control of the House, as many pundits are predicting.)
It’s not the first time Aldrin has made a campaign appearance, either in person or recorded. Back in 2004 he appeared at a Bush reelection campaign rally near Cape Canaveral, voicing his support for the Vision for Space Exploration (even if Bush himself didn’t bring it up in his speech.)
Checking Lampson’s campaign web site, I didn’t see anything about Aldrin campaigning for him. Lampson’s site, though, does include a policy statement about NASA. He doesn’t say anything terribly surprising: he argues for continued support for manned spaceflight and increased funding for NASA, and also calls for eliminating “a space flight gap” between the end of the shuttle program and the introduction of Orion: words that echo those of another Texan, albeit a Republican, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.