Campaign '08

Obama’s “general” space policy advisors

So who is advising Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on space issues? We know that Lori Garver, who previously worked with the Hillary Clinton campaign, is helping the Obama campaign on this issue; she noted at the Mars Society conference debate that she had talked with Obama several times on this. He is also getting input from others, as well, including, as Roll Call reported today, a group of “about 60″ former generals and admirals:

David McGinnis, a former Army National Guard general who has also been active in the senior officers group, said that aside from media appearances and speaking at campaign events, the group’s members do a lot of vetting of national security policies and field questions from the campaign and Obama himself. The group has discussed topics with Obama and his campaign ranging from the economy as an instrument of national power to the nation’s space policy, McGinnis and other officers said.

41 comments to Obama’s “general” space policy advisors

  • Chuck2200

    Buzz Aldrin also has had talks with the Obama campaign. I don’t know if that includes Obama himself or not, but there have been several quite in-depth conversations with staff, at the very least.

  • anon

    Sounds like Obama’s campaign is pretty loose with the term advisors. Are you really able to get any good advice with a cast of dozens each pushing their own narrow agenda?

  • Isn’t that better than what we’ve gotten from Griffin? Coming in with the assumption that you know everything, and therefore, even people who have their own agendas, will have nothing to offer?

  • Al Fansome

    Obama has made it clear that he is both “inclusive” and a “listener”. This means he will listen to a lot of people and make them feel included.

    Everybody who “talks to Obama” and “gives advice” may think they are an “advisor”, but those who care about such things should objectively measure the so-called advisor’s effectiveness and influence by what happens afterwards.

    FWIW, a six-page written policy statement is objective proof of influence.

    - Al

    “Politics is not rocket science, which is why rocket scientists do not understand politics.”

  • Anon

    Sounds more like the Borg Hive designing a horse.

    Really, by the time the 60th advisor has their 15 minutes of fame giving advice events have moved on. Obama’s policy would have been good a year ago, but Russia’s invasion of Georgia and its threats to Eastern Europe has changed the equation overnight.

    The core of the space policy crisis now is not VSE, but ensuring American access to ISS, not only if Americans are banned from Soyuz, but also if Putin decides to pull out of ISS as a geopolitical statement. Yes, that is a long shot, but Putin may well be looking for symbolic gestures like that to show its displeasure with the west over defending the rights of former soviet colonies like Georgia. It should be part of any contigency planning for ISS.

  • Even if we keep Shuttle flying, while it maintains access to ISS, it doesn’t allow crew to stay there without Shuttle. So we could only man tend it, while the Russians can have permanent crew. Unless we want to take the risk of losing them in an emergency.

  • Anon

    Have a loaf is better then none. And will provide an incentive to get a better option, either with Dragon or a capsule on an EELV.

    Yes Griffin needs to be hauled in front of a Senate committee and grilled for his driving NASA into the ground with Ares I. It would set the stage well for his firing and killing the ESAS.

  • red

    “Anon: The core of the space policy crisis now is not VSE, but ensuring American access to ISS,”

    I wouldn’t even say it’s that. I’d say things like ITAR reform, Operationally Responsive Space, Cheap Access to Space, and such matters are more important space policy concerns, and each is sort of a semi-permanent crisis.

    However, to the extent that American ISS access is important (which I think it is, just not as much as these other areas that affect military space, commercial space, etc), it’s a shame that a well-funded COTS-D crewed ISS access round wasn’t started when the COTS cargo rounds were started … or upon the Columbia accident, for that matter. Well, as unpleasant as it is that we waited this long and got ourselves in this unsurprising Shuttle-Soyuz-ISS-Ares mess, it will be even more unpleasant if we delay COTS-D even longer.

  • Really, by the time the 60th advisor has their 15 minutes of fame giving advice events have moved on.

    If one thing is true about the space industry, it’s that NOTHING happens quickly, even if the boosters like to pretend otherwise when they trot out their latest powerpoint presentation for whatever program they’re hawking…

    Obama’s policy would have been good a year ago, but Russia’s invasion of Georgia and its threats to Eastern Europe has changed the equation overnight.

    Read a few history books – Ossetia has as much right to be independent as that little “nation” of Kosovo that we bombed the crap out of Serbia over. Georgia attacked first, hoping nobody was paying attention during the Olympics, and the Russians kicked their asses six ways from Sunday. The fact the US media buys the whining rants of a non-elected President of Georgia and that McCain’s advisor was a paid shill for Georgia doesn’t change the facts of the situation.

    Yes, that is a long shot, but Putin may well be looking for symbolic gestures like that to show its displeasure with the west over defending the rights of former soviet colonies like Georgia. It should be part of any contigency planning for ISS.

    Whatever. Russia would more likely just assume control via defacto access control to ISS – as payback for us “forcing” them to deorbit Mir back in the late 90s. Yeah, they have memories, you know. And this would be a delicious irony for them.

  • Anon

    Shubber,

    Read a few history books – Ossetia has as much right to be independent as that little “nation” of Kosovo that we bombed the crap out of Serbia over. Georgia attacked first,

    You need to read a few more history books, as well media beyond the main stream. It appears that Russia took a page from Germany in 1939 in Ossetia and Georgia.

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/08/the-truth-about-1.php

    Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn’t start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.

    And this is about much more then simply Georgia. Georgia is just their coming out party.

    And yes, Russia does remember how the U.S. forced it to deorbit Mir. The Putin mob would enjoy seeing the same happen to the ISS as payback. Especially since the U.S. and its allies paid for nearly all of it. Putin would especially enjoy the ISS partners begging Russia to keep ISS in orbit. And the out cry from the rest of the world againist the U.S. for it making an uncontrolled re-entry.

    Keeping the Shuttle flying ensures that the ISS doesn’t become a replay of Skylab, even if its only man-tended until a western capsule becomes available for a lifeboat. .

  • me

    “Keeping the Shuttle flying ensures that the ISS doesn’t become a replay of Skylab, even if its only man-tended until a western capsule becomes available for a lifeboat. ”

    Incorrect. Russian support for the ISS is required for the duration of the program. The ISS can not maintain its orbit by US and ESA support.

    Progress flights are needed to provide propellant and spares for the Russians segment. You may counter that the ATV can maintain the orbit. But the ATV requires Russian docking hardware and what is going to control the ISS in between ATV flights

  • me, would it be easy to remove Zvezda? No. But Russian participation is not required on ISS, there are workarounds that, though expensive, could be put in place. The Interim Control Unit could be taken out of caretaker status at the NRL and launched on the Shuttle. Just removing ICU from caretaker status would tell the Russians that they are expendable. The inverse in not true.

    The one hitch are the propellant flights. But DARPA’s Orbital Express showed that inflight autonomous rendezvous, refueling, and hardware transfer was doable.

    As for Obama’s Space advisors, pretty much the same as for Kerry and we all remember how great his support for Space was when we finally got his Space statement a mere 5 days before the general, ergo “I’ll do something about the Space program but I don’t know what yet”. The southern upset by Obama isn’t happening so Obama changed his tune on Space because he needs, but doesn’t lead in, Florida, specifically the I-4 corridor, to become President. His Space guy in Brevard county isn’t even a Space guy. Rocket equation? Hello? Were his campaign serious, it would have someone who knew the material on the ground.

    I mean, McCain’s campaign has a Space guy on the ground, really a team.

  • Terrence Wragg

    “I mean, McCain’s campaign has a Space guy on the ground, really a team.”

    Who?

  • Terrence Wragg

    “Ossetia has as much right to be independent”

    They don’t want to be independent, they want to be part of Russia, and Russia wants them too.

    I agree with you–all these uppity little nations ought to shape up and learn that they better not get out of line, or Russia will have to stomp on them too. This means you, Latvia! And you too, Estonia! And you Poles better behave! Just because you have your freedom now doesn’t mean that you get to keep it!

  • Me

    “But Russian participation is not required on ISS, there are workarounds that, though expensive, could be put in place. ”

    It isn’t the expense, it is the time to enact any changes. The ISS would have reentered long before the ICM and tanker spacecraft would be ready

  • Al Fansome

    ME: It isn’t the expense, it is the time to enact any changes. The ISS would have reentered long before the ICM and tanker spacecraft would be ready

    True.

    Meanwhile, the Russian segment would be doing just fine in orbit. They might just rename it Mir 2.

    Before we try to poke somebody in the eye at the ISS, Mr. Hillhouse, make sure we are not poking ourselves. It is not clear from what you post that you know what you are talking about.

    - Al

  • BD

    Getting back to Obama…

    Does anyone else find it curious that the two space policy papers that have been released by the campaign have appeared via SpaceRef, but haven’t appeared as official publications on BarackObama.com? Why is that?

    /b

  • <<“I mean, McCain’s campaign has a Space guy on the ground, really a team.”

    <Who?

    TerrenceWragg, me. I am responsible for making sure that not one Brevard County voter does not know Senator McCain’s Space record and plans for the nation’s Space program.

  • Me, you’re probably right that ICU would not be ready in time if the Russians pulled out, literally, tomorrow. People responsible for ISS need to know that attention needs to be paid to the details of this issue if contingencies are to be available. I just hope they do.

  • toothless hick

    I am responsible for making sure that not one Brevard County voter does not know Senator McCain’s Space record and plans for the nation’s Space program.

    Can you translate that into American English for me, I don’t speak conchy joe.

  • Terrence Wragg

    “me”

    You’re the “team”?

    I’ve never heard of you.

  • Al Fansome

    HILLHOUSE: I am responsible for making sure that not one Brevard County voter does not know Senator McCain’s Space record and plans for the nation’s Space program.

    That would mean that you understand Sen. McCain’s plans for the nation’s space program. As a spokesperson for Sen. McCain’s campaign maybe you could answer a few questions.

    1) Does Sen. McCain plan to increase NASA’s budget? If so, how much?

    2) If “yes”, does he plan to abrogate his commitment to put a freeze on all discretionary spending?

    3) If “yes”, what part(s) of NASA’s budget will he increase?

    4) How will he reduce (if not eliminate) the gap in human spaceflight?

    5) Will Sen. McCain promote the emerging entrepreneurial space transportation industry? If “yes”, how?

    6) Does Sen. McCain support an increase in COTS? Does he support COTS capability D (humans to space)?

    7) Sen. McCain has announced a $300M prize for energy. Will he support a space prize? (like one of those propose by Newt Gingrich)?

    Since you know McCain’s space plans, I look forward to your answer to these questions.

    - Al

  • First Al, I am not a spokesperson for the McCain campaign–that is very far above my pay-grade. However, as to your questions, please understand that I was brought on Monday, and that though I have been a part of the campaign off-and-on since New Hampshire, I played no part in the development of Senator McCain’s Space policy. I have taken your questions and run them up the flagpole. I encourage you to press the very same questions to the Obama camp as well and to post both sets of responses here once you have them.

    I can answer questions 2 and 3 in part because of what McCain has said in public, namely that NASA is special to the U.S. and that the proposed freeze on discretionary spending never included NASA. If you watch Senator McCain’s press briefing after meeting with Space coast industry leaders on August 18th, it’s clear that his key interest is minimizing the gap between Shuttle and Orion/Ares IOC, keeping the talent pool on the Space Coast in-tact, and making sure that Constellation continues strong. In fact, the only candidate who campaigned for 17 months that he was going to cut Constellation funding by 85% for 5 years was Senator Obama.

    For question 4, as I wrote above, Senator McCain came down to the Space Coast on the 18th and spent time talking to Space workers about the state of the Space program and what should be done about the gap between the proposed end of the Shuttle program and the beginning of Constellation’s Orion/Ares I IOC. Earlier this week, Senators McCain, Hutchison, and Vitter wrote to President Bush requesting that all efforts to terminate the Shuttle program be suspended for at least a year so that the next President can decide whether or not to move forward with ending the Shuttle program or maintaining America’s own manned access to Space. Senator McCain August 18th statement can be found at http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_space_thewritestuff/2008/08/mccain-hears-pl.html.

    It should be remembered though that the 2005 NASA Reauthorization Act, which was the Act that launched VSE and re-org’d NASA for VSE, came out of a Bill introduced by Senator McCain in 2004. And if you read the Act and then read the McCain/Hutchison/Vitter letter to the President, you will note that the Senators mention that the 2005 Act prohibits a lengthy period during which America has no manned access to Space.

    Lastly, if you haven’t done so, please go to the Senator’s campaign site (http://johnmccain.com) or to http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-news/2061008/posts and check out his Space policy statement–it’s been up since February but has matured since then. And then reflect that Senator McCain’s statement supporting Space exploration stood for 7 months even as Senator Obama was telling voters that he would halt our manned Space program for 5 years, throwing Space workers effectively “under the bus”, because his other domestic initiatives were more important than continuing America’s manned Space exploration efforts beyond LEO.

    Once I have some more difinitive answers, they will be posted here if this site will allow.

  • Concerning McCain’s views on additional NASA funding, near bottom of the page, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane/orl-mccain1908aug19,0,1566279.story

    “As for funding, McCain told reporters that he supported an additional $2 billion in NASA funding, but he said the agency must do a better job of setting priorities and communicating them to taxpayers.”

  • Jeff Foust

    Once I have some more difinitive [sic] answers, they will be posted here if this site will allow.

    I would certainly welcome it, although I would suggest (as much as for Mr. Hillhouse’s benefit as anyone’s) that he carefully delineate when he is speaking for himself and when he is speaking as an official representative of the McCain campaign.

  • anonymous.space

    “I am responsible for making sure that not one Brevard County voter does not know Senator McCain’s Space record and plans for the nation’s Space program.”

    Unless there are two Jim Hillhouses working the McCain campaign, your Linkedin entry states that you are located in Austin, Texas, not Brevard County (or anywhere else) in Florida.

    “I am not a spokesperson for the McCain campaign–that is very far above my pay-grade.”

    Your Linkedin entry states that you are a Cocoa programmer and work in the McCain “Data Group”. Data entry and management is a far cry from space policy. Unless you’re making statements without permission, it’s not clear why IT support is representing the McCain campaign on this (or any other) issue.

    It’s even more perplexing why the McCain campaign has given IT support (in Austin or anywhere else) responsibility for rounding up potentially critical Florida voters.

    See (add http://www):

    .linkedin.com/pub/dir/Jim/Hillhouse?trk=ppro_find_others

    “I can answer questions 2 and 3 in part because of what McCain has said in public, namely that NASA is special to the U.S. and that the proposed freeze on discretionary spending never included NASA.”

    This is new news. Where and when was it reported that McCain stated that NASA is exempt from his proposed FY 2010 discretionary budget freeze? And did he really justify the exemption by calling NASA “special”?

    “the only candidate who campaigned for 17 months that he was going to cut Constellation funding by 85% for 5 years was Senator Obama.”

    This is also new news. The Obama campaign has never used an 85% figure in reference to any program at NASA. Where and when was this reported?

    FWIW…

  • Al Fansome

    Mr. Hillhouse,

    Let us assume that the report from the Orlando Sentinel is correct, and he has changed his position on capping NASA’s budget (NASA is part of the federal government’s discretionary spending budget), and that he now supports giving NASA an extra $2 Billion.

    First, in every context I have seen it, this $2 Billion is a one time amount.

    And it will not eliminate the gap. I believe Mike Griffin suggested it might reduce the gap by as much as 6 months … but I am not sure these days because I believe I read reports that Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program Manager, disagrees with even this.

    Second, Wayne Hale (former Shuttle program manager) has put the “keep Shuttle alive” idea to rest by explaining how and why this can’t be done, and even if you wanted to throw a lot of money at this, why it is a bad idea. (Basically keeping Shuttle alive kills Constellation, and it probably kills astronauts too. Read his post. He is saying this is a bad idea because it will not be safe.)

    So, how will Sen. McCain reduce/eliminate the gap?

    You still have not answered the question.

    It can be done, but to succeed Sen. McCain needs to do something different.

    To succeed, he needs to be the maverick he says he is.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • ctyri

    Jim Hillhouse criticizes the Obama campaign for not having a space team on the ground, and then describes himself as the McCain space “team” on the ground.

    Priceless.

  • ctyri

    Jim Millhouse: “the only candidate who campaigned for 17 months that he was going to cut Constellation funding by 85% for 5 years was Senator Obama.”

    Would you care to cite? You should have 17 months worth of sources.

    I don’t think this forum is the right place for partisan hackery and propganda (lies).

  • Anonymous Space, yes, I live in Austin, Texas and am…well, was a full-time Cocoa programmer that pretty much ended when I went to New Hampshire on January 2nd to volunteer for the McCain campaign. My original intent was to volunteer until the NH vote and then leave. Well, that didn’t happen–I got bit by the bug. Since NH, I’ve worked at the campaign headquarters, the Florida hq during the two weeks leading up to the FL primary, during which I encouraged the campaign to come out with a Space policy statement that I distributed to sites such as this, and I’ve done other work for the campaign since then. In-between, I’ve still managed to keep working on my app though slowly, support the programming group I stated in 2003, help the Austin local iPhone development group get off the ground, and help a co-working company start-up.

    I’m not atypical of many campaign volunteers who, though not paid, are willing to give up what they were doing to work for someone like Senator McCain or Senator Obama. And I’m a short-termer–I’ve met people who left their jobs over 16 months ago to work for Senator McCain.

    On Tuesday Sept. 2nd, I move to Brevard and from then on I’m on for the campaign 24/7.

    I believe in a strong manned Space program, clearly. And this last job I will have with the campaign is one that I could have only dreamt of a few months or even weeks ago. I look forward to meeting all of you who live in the Brevard area and having a chance to learn more about what you believe is the best course of action for our country’s Space program.

  • As to where my views end and the campaign’s begins, once I was brought in on Monday, my views ended. What was stated on my blogs are my own views and definitely do not reflect those of the McCain campaign in any shape, form or spirit.

    For a general Space policy statement by the McCain campaign, you can go to http://www.johnmccain.com/informing/issues/7366faf9-d504-4abc-a889-9c08d601d8ee.htm.

    Detailed answers are coming. Sorry, but was a busy day.

  • ctyri, if you live in the Brevard area, be glad to meet you when I hit the ground on Tuesday night. Meeting the others will have to wait until they get in a week later.

    Googling “Obama cut space Constellation ” revealed much, but here’s a good 10 months worth,

    From Kos on 20 Nov. 2007 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/20/215249/38

    From the Obama campaign on 20 Nov. 2007 (near the bottom) http://obama.3cdn.net/a8dfc36246b3dcc3cb_iem6bxpgh.pdf

    And from this site on 20 Nov. 2007 http://www.spacepolitics.com/2007/11/20/obama-cut-constellation-to-pay-for-education/

    Wired Magazine on 21 Nov. 2007 http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2007/11/obama-pits-huma.html

    From NPR on 1 March 2008 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87829747

    From here on 7 March 2008 during a townhall meeting http://www.spacepolitics.com/2008/03/07/obama-nasa-no-longer-associated-with-inspiration/

    From SpaceDaily on 7 April 2008 http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1100/1

    So, I must apologize to everyone because, as I was only able to find comments by Obama concerning his intent to cut…well, really kill Constellation only go back 10 months. So, from now on, I’ll use 10 months, not 17.

    Is this the info you were looking for ctyri?

  • Al Fansome

    OK — for both sides — let’s discuss & debate THE EXISTING SPACE POLICIES.

    Not the old, overcome-by-events, no-longer-current-or-accurate space policies.

    Whoever brings up OLD non-existing space policies INSTANTLY LOSES CREDIBILITY.

    - Al

  • Al, I would disagree with you on this basis. McCain has a legislative history that is supportive of manned Space exploration. Senator Obama does not. So voters don’t know what Senator really believes about Space exploration. And what I worry about is that Senator Obama’s first policy inclination on November 20th, 2007 might have been where his heart really was and might be where he goes back to.

    Has Senator obama really changed his mind? Or is Senator Obama merely doing what so many candidates have done over the last 40 years–show up at KSC, get a nice photo-op, offer up some nice platitudes to please the Space worker masses, win the election, and then blow-off Space? Or worse?

  • My apologies everyone, I incorrectly spelled Senator Obama’s name on that last paragraph. And AL, still waiting for your answers. Here goes again…

    I would disagree with you on this basis. McCain has a legislative history that is supportive of manned Space exploration. Senator Obama does not. So voters don’t know what Senator Obama really believes about Space exploration. And what I worry about is that Senator Obama’s first policy inclination on November 20th, 2007 might have been where his heart really was and might be where he goes back to.

    Has Senator Obama really changed his mind? Or is Senator Obama merely doing what so many candidates have done over the last 40 years–show up at KSC, get a nice photo-op, offer up some nice platitudes to please the Space worker masses, win the election, and then blow-off Space?

  • anonymous.space

    “yes, I live in Austin, Texas and am…well, was a full-time Cocoa programmer… I’ve worked at the campaign headquarters, the Florida hq during the two weeks leading up to the FL primary, during which I encouraged the campaign to come out with a Space policy statement that I distributed to sites such as this… I’m not atypical of many campaign volunteers who, though not paid,”

    I don’t mean this as an insult — I really don’t. But are you serious that McCain’s position on civil space policy is being influenced by an unpaid computer programmer (yourself)?

    Seriously, there would be no McCain civil space position if you had not “encouraged” the campaign to come up with one?

    The enthusiasm is laudable, but this says very bad things about the campaign’s staffing in this area.

    I thought Obama’s 60-odd space advisors was silly. And I thought sending Walt Cunningham to represent McCain to the Mars Society when Cunningham didn’t even know the campaign’s positions was sad.

    But this is outright ridiculous.

    “As to where my views end and the campaign’s begins, once I was brought in on Monday, my views ended.”

    First you said that you were the campaign’s representative on civil space issues in Brevard Co.

    Then you backtracked and stated that being a spokesman was above your pay grade. And we found out that you’re not actually in Brevard quite yet.

    And now you once again claim to be espousing the campaign’s official viewpoint.

    Which is it? Are you authorized to speak on behalf of the McCain campaign or not?

    “I can answer questions 2 and 3 in part because of what McCain has said in public, namely that NASA is special to the U.S. and that the proposed freeze on discretionary spending never included NASA.”

    Again, where and when was it reported that McCain stated that NASA is exempt from his proposed FY 2010 discretionary budget freeze? And did he really justify the exemption by calling NASA “special”?

    “the only candidate who campaigned for 17 months that he was going to cut Constellation funding by 85% for 5 years was Senator Obama.”

    “here’s a good 10 months worth,

    From Kos on 20 Nov. 2007…
    From the Obama campaign on 20 Nov. 2007…
    And from this site on 20 Nov. 2007…
    Wired Magazine on 21 Nov. 2007…
    From NPR on 1 March 2008…
    From here on 7 March 2008 during a townhall meeting…
    From SpaceDaily on 7 April 2008″

    I searched the sources at each of these links, and an 85% figure (cut or add, to any NASA budget or program) does not appear in any of them. Again, where and when was the 85% cut reported?

    “… from now on, I’ll use 10 months, not 17.”

    The lack of accuracy in your figures, the unsourced figures, the back-and-forth on whether you actually represent the McCain campaign or not, the misleading statements about where your base of operations, and the incredulous credentials — it’s all getting a little tiresome. Maybe you’re a troll having a big laugh at a bunch of space cadets’ expense. But if not, I’d urge you to get your story straight and doublecheck your figures and sources before coming back. You’re not doing the McCain campaign any favors.

    FWIW…

  • anonymous.space

    “McCain has a legislative history that is supportive of manned Space exploration.”

    No, he doesn’t. McCain has been negative on NASA’s human space flight programs multiple times in past speeches, testimony, and votes.

    McCain spoke against the $1 billion “Mikulski miracle” budget boost to pay for NASA expenses associated with Columbia and Katrina recovery as recently as last year. See (add http://www):

    .washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/18/AR2008081802171.html

    McCain submitted written testimony that was negative on the VSE when it was rolled out in 2004. See (add http://www):

    globalsecurity.org/space/library/congress/2004_h/040128-mccain.htm

    And McCain has a fairly long record of voting against NASA funding
    .spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=26112

    All politicians change positions and speak out of both sides of their mouths.

    But to pretend that McCain has not changed his position on NASA’s human space flight programs more times than Obama is either a very poorly informed statement or a bald-faced lie.

    FWIW…

  • Al Fansome

    HILLHOUSE: I would disagree with you on this basis. McCain has a legislative history that is supportive of manned Space exploration.

    Jim,

    Senator McCain is a good man, but I know space policy, and he is not a leader on space policy. Senator McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and as a good Republican he put his name on two bills … but he did not LEAD the legislative effort on those bills.

    Chairman McCain was doing his “duty” as Chairman of the Commerce Committee for legislation requested by the Bush White House. His staff did the work. The legislation was pretty non-controversial, and did not require any significant legislative work. In fact, it would have stood out if McCain had not helped the President, who was the leader of his party.

    A second bill was the companion piece to House legislation that was lead by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA), who was the then-Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space. Now, if you want to know what a real leader on space looks like — think Dana Rohrabacher.

    I can name many other *LEADERS* on the Hill on space policy, on both sides of the aisle, but Senator McCain is not on a list of any serious space policy expert (that I know) as somebody who has demonstrated serious interest or leadership in space.

    Senator McCain has had nearly 30 years on Capitol Hill, giving him plenty of opportunity to demonstrate an interest in space, and the record is clear. He is about as interested as the average Member of Congress.

    I don’t hold this against him. The Member of Congress who likes and supports space, without it being an item of local interest, is pretty rare. It is just the way it is.

    I just find it pretty annoying with admitted flacks try to sell him as being more pro-space than he really is.

    McCain is a good man, but I can do without the spin.

    If you want to win me over, then get the McCain campaign to release a more detailed space policy statement that addresses some of the obvious and fundamental issues. If McCain really is pro-space, and if you really are “connected”, then that should not be too much of a problem for you.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • Spacer

    Al,

    As an expert on space policy, what are the voting records of both McCain and Obama on space? Who voted for which bills when? That would be very interesting to see and it sounds like you would have the data handy based on your post above.

  • Al Fansome

    Spacer,

    Some of the data you seek has already been provided above (by anonymous), and elsewhere on this site.

    If I worked on the McCain campaign (as Mr. Hillhouse does) I would talk to Mr. Floyd Deschamps and ask for his help in putting together a detailed case.

    I will leave the exercise to Mr. Hillhouse.

    - Al

  • Spacer

    If they are on this site then it should be easy for you to provide links to them… After all you are trying to make the case Obama had a record on space before his 2008 promises.

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