Former president Bill Clinton was in Houston yesterday stumping for his wife, and he briefly addressed the issue of human spaceflight, according to the Houston Chronicle:
Clinton pointed out that Hillary Clinton places more of an emphasis than Obama on human space travel.
“This is the center of American space travel,” he said of Houston and the Johnson Space Center. “Sixteen thousand (local) jobs — and a lot of America’s future — rely on this.”
(The AP, mentioning that statement in passing, ups the ante, claiming that “about 100,000 in the Houston area work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center or related industries,” which may be true for a particularly inclusive definition of “Houston area” and/or “related industries”.)
Some more from The Hotline’s blog:
“Hillary has always supported the manned space program just as I did when I was president,” he told a crowd of over 250 who gathered in a picturesque neighborhood park in a Houston suburb today. “Her opponent says we should downgrade man space travel and upgrade robotic travel.”
“There are 16,000 jobs and a lot of Americans’ futures riding on this centered here in Houston,” said Clinton today. “You have to make a decision whether you care about this.”
One suspects a few people, recalling the stagnant or declining NASA budgets through much of the Clinton era, may wonder just how strong of an endorsement this is…