Campaign '08

Space questions slipping in Politico debate standings

The most popular debate question suggested for this week’s debates being organized by Politico, CNN, and the Los Angeles Times is no longer related to space policy, according to a check midday Sunday. For the Democratic debate January 31, the top-ranked most popular question is related to Gulf Coast hurricane relief, although space questions still dominate the overall list (13 of the top 15). For the Republican debate January 30, the top-ranked space policy question is now only the fourth most popular, after questions about the war on terrorism, Gulf Coast hurricane relief (the same as the top-ranked Democratic debate question), and taxes. For the Republicans, only 3 of the top 10, and 5 of the top 15, most popular questions are about space.

I suspect that these standings will lead some to call for a final round of voting to push space questions up in the standings. (The site doesn’t mention when the deadline for voting is.) However, the voting process remains something of a black box, with no clues about just how many votes the most popular questions have received, nor any statement about how—or even whether—the voting process will factor into the selection of questions for the debates. It’s easy for someone to go in, spend a few seconds clicking on the vote buttons for some questions, and think they’ve done their good space advocacy deed for the day. In the long run, that time might be better spent firing off an email (or fax or letter) to their favorite candidate(s) asking them directly some of the same questions being voted on at the Politico site.

9 comments to Space questions slipping in Politico debate standings

  • I believe that Space.com will mention the political debate questions as a headline tomorrow. That should help things a bit.

  • D. Messier

    I dunno. Given the climate (possible recession, mortgage crisis, foreign wars, immigration, dollar worth little, national debt, etc. etc. etc.), it would be tough to answer a question about moon and Mars exploration that won’t even occur until three to four years after you’ve left office. You want to so just enough enthusiasm as to not piss off the aerospace employees and pro-space people. Yet, not so much that you annoy people with much more urgent concerns who think this shouldn’t be a priority.

    I’m guessing the answers will be pretty similar to lumpy oatmeal. And it’s not like you can really hold them to anything they might promise anyway. Bush refused to provide the billions of extra dollars he promised for the moon and Mars. And it was his own proposal!

  • Bush refused to provide the billions of extra dollars he promised for the moon and Mars.

    When did he promise that? Did I miss something?

  • D. Messier

    Take it up with Griffin. I’d refer you to his recent speech.

  • I repeat the question. When did Bush “promise” to provide “billions of extra dollars” for the moon and Mars? The whole premise of the VSE was that it would be done within existing budgets, by phasing out the Shuttle.

  • Rand: I repeat the question. When did Bush “promise” to provide “billions of extra dollars” for the moon and Mars? The whole premise of the VSE was that it would be done within existing budgets, by phasing out the Shuttle.

    The initial VSE did propose a substantial increase in NASA’s budget, which failed to materialize. Mr. Bush may or may not have been aware of it, but his Administration did make this promise.

    – Donald

  • Actually, it did materialize, but a lot of it was eaten up by Katrina down at Michaud. And of course, much of it has been eaten up by Ares, which was not specifically part of the VSE but rather an arbitrary choice by Mike Griffin.

    Here’s all I can find in the VSE speech:

    Achieving these goals requires a long-term commitment. NASA’s current five-year budget is $86 billion. Most of the funding we need for the new endeavors will come from reallocating $11 billion within that budget. We need some new resources, however. I will call upon Congress to increase NASA’s budget by roughly a billion dollars, spread out over the next five years.

    He didn’t “promise billions of extra dollars.” He said that he would ask Congress for a billion, which he did. Furthermore, he made his first veto threat in his administration over the singular issue of whether or not NASA would get a funding increase, and he got it. Blaming George Bush for NASA’s budget problems, or of reneging on a non-existent “promise” (no president is in a position to even make such a promise, given who holds the purse strings in Washington) is a classic symptom of BDS. As I said, there’s much to criticize Bush for, but this is silly.

  • Well, the first debate – and nothing at all about space. CNN asked most of the questions, only 4 were asked by the Politico talking-head. So, since space dropped out of the top 10 questions on the Republicans side of things… It makes sense that space was not mentioned. So, now on to the Dems tonight… with fingers crossed.

    Take care. mjl

  • Al Fansome

    DONALD: The initial VSE did propose a substantial increase in NASA’s budget, which failed to materialize. Mr. Bush may or may not have been aware of it, but his Administration did make this promise.

    Donald,

    The White House released a budget sand chart showing more money for NASA in the out years, but the sand chart by itself is not a promise. That was a long-term budget projection. 5-year budget projections get revised every year.

    A promise, is when you make a promise.

    - Al

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>