The rWashington Post article today about presidential candidates positions, such as they may be, on space policy got a little attention in the blogosphere (muted, perhaps, because it was the day after Thanksgiving). One person who picked up on it was Steve Benen of The Carpetbagger Report who was thankful that space policy discussion was not focused on UFOs or alien invasions, even if he was a little unclear on some of the details. “Candidly, I should admit that I know very little about the Constellation program, and just how much it costs,” he admitted. Undeterred, though, he adds, “I’m fairly encouraged that leading candidates would explore a policy difference about investing quite a bit of money in a space-exploration initiative.” How much additional “exploration” of that issue, though, by Obama, Clinton, and other candidates remains unclear.
He continues: “Bush may have gotten the ball rolling in 2005 [sic] with a plan for a new generation of spacecraft that can fly to the moon and perhaps to Mars, but most Republican presidential candidates seem to be leaning in Obama’s direction.” He backs that up with a passage from the Post article about the limited space policy platforms of the leading Republican candidates, but that doesn’t mean that they side with Obama about cutting Constellation or other NASA programs. Recall from this morning’s post that Giuliani has argued for “aggressively” pursuing space exploration, while Romney said he had no reason to change NASA’s current direction as described by the Vision for Space Exploration. And let’s not forget Mike Huckabee, surging in the polls in Iowa (maybe because of that Chuck Norris endorsement?) said this summer that he would be in “strong favor of increasing our efforts in space exploration and technology”, although unwilling to commit to a human Mars mission in the near term.