Campaign '08

Richardson: make sure Obama is pro-commercial space

On Friday New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson paid a visit to Las Cruces International Airport to participate in a press conference with the Rocket Racing League and Armadillo Aerospace about their new joint venture to develop suborbital vehicles (with support from the state to help develop facilities at the airport for manufacturing the vehicles). At the tail end of the press conference a reporter asked Richardson if he would take a position in an Obama administration.

“I am very happy where I am,” Richardson replied, then added, “But here’s what I want to be sure of: that the Obama Administration is pro-commercial space. [applause] We’re going to push that. We’re going to make sure it’s pro-space: pro-government space but also pro-commercial space. I think it’s in the interest of our national space industry that commercial space be properly developed. So I’ll be an advocate wherever I am, hopefully here still as governor of New Mexico, but you never know.”

Richardson’s visit coincided with Armadillo Aerospace’s effort to win Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge; in fact, the press conference took place as the Armadillo team was on the pad prepping their vehicle for the flight that would win them the $350,000 first prize. Richardson stayed around the flight, which took place a few minutes after the press conference ended, then departed for other commitments in town.

43 comments to Richardson: make sure Obama is pro-commercial space

  • Al Fansome

    While reading this, I experienced cognitive dissonance. I then heard the theme to the twilight zone.

    A very well known, and popular governor, stating he wanted to make sure that an Obama Administration is “pro-commercial space”.

    I don’t know how to explain this. It is not April 1st.

    The world must be coming to an end.

    - Al

  • MarkWhittington

    Considering the taxes Obama wants to raise on business and “the rich” in order to “spread the wealth” I wonder hoiw Richardson is going to do that.

  • Chuck2200

    Mark, they got to you? They made you drink the koolaid?

    Here’s the real skinny:
    For 7 years (entire Bush Administration) John McCain was an unapologetic opponent of the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country. He called those cuts unconscionable and without precedent in modern American history. He decried the fact that the tax cuts were being paid for by the middle class. He hated them and opposed them vigorously. That’s a well established matter of record. Then he became the nominee and realized that unless he supported those tax cuts he would loose the Republican base and the election. So he became a supporter of the Bush Tax cuts.

    Enter Barak Obama, who also was an unapologetic opponent of the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the country. He also called those cuts unconscionable and without precedent in modern American history. He also decried the fact that the tax cuts were being paid for by the middle class. He also hated them and opposed them vigorously. That is also a well established matter of record.

    What the difference is that Obama didn’t change his position. Obama’s so-called “tax hike” is exactly what McCain wanted to do until he became the nominee; let the Bush Tax Cut expire. That’s it! That’s Obama’s “Tax Hike”. All he is doing is returning the tax structure to the way it was under the Clinton Administration; a tax structure by the way that John McCain supported. It is not a “tax hike” in the purest meaning of the phrase.

    By the way, the wealthiest people in the country actually were better off during the Clinton years, even with that tax structure, because the middle class had more money to spend on the goods and services that the wealthy produced. It was win-win for everyone. That is also a well established matter of record.

    At one time Henry Ford paid the highest wages in the nation (without a union) and his friends asked him why he did that because it was contrary to what wealthy people did. His answer was that by paying them more, they could afford to buy his cars, thus making his company a success and his future secure. Henry Ford was a smart man.

    That’s exactly what Obama’s doing. He is retargeting the tax structure to favor the (vast) middle class because THAT rising tide, contrary to Reagan’s famous statement, actually DOES lift all boats, including the wealthy. Once implemented, it will look exactly like it did under Bill Clinton.

    Obama is not “spreading the wealth” by spreading the money around. I can’t believe you actually bought that. You’re smarter than that. He is focusing opportunity on the middle class, like it used to be, instead of the wealthy, like Bush did. That’s what he’s spreading; the wealth of opportunity and pushing it down to the middle class where it used to be only 7 years ago.

    I did a lot better for myself under the Clinton years than I did under the Bush years, and I’m looking forward to seeing those kinds of conditions again.

  • Adrian

    silliness. Nixon stopped Apollo. Reagan stymied plans to internationalize and commercialize the space industry, preferring a shuttle-truck and missile defense. Clinton wasnt much better, but at least he quit the star wars gobbledygook. W has been the worst thing for space in decades. VSE? Constellation? weaponization of space? with anything more than a two second memory it seems impossible to vote anything other than D this election if you’re a space advocate, and I would be saying that if it were Obama or Richardson as the nominee.

  • Brian Swiderski

    Sometimes I think certain people in this community would rather have space stall so they could falsely attack liberals on yet another front. Obama listens to everyone willing to offer ideas, and if Richardson makes the case well, I have every confidence Obama will be convinced.

  • Chuck2200

    Which is exactly how Obama got from taking money from NASA to fund Early Education to the most comprehensive Space Policy of any Presidential nominee – ever. Somebody that he knows and trusts (Lori Garver) told him his space policy did not reflect reality. Unlike the current President and the Republican nominee, Obama does not like to change the facts to suit his policy. So he convened a panel of REAL space experts, got himself educated, and then crafted his Space Policy to suit the facts. He listens to people, really listens, and then crafts policy that reflects what he learns.

  • Nixon stopped Apollo.

    No, that was Lyndon Johnson. Nixon initiated the Space Shuttle.

    Reagan stymied plans to internationalize and commercialize the space industry, preferring a shuttle-truck and missile defense.

    No, Reagan created the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which was necessary to allow commercial spaceflight to occur. Prior to that, there was no regulatory regime for private launch companies. He also (after Challenger) barred the Shuttle from launching commercial payloads, opening up the market for private launch systems.

  • anon

    Rand,
    You forgot to add that SDI broke the camel’s back and ended the cold war. Also Clinton didn’t end SDI, it was still going strong. There has been no change in the “weaponization” of space in the last 20 years

  • Eric Sterner

    Chuck220:

    Have to agree with you that Obama’s space prosciptions improved quite a bit after Lori shifted from the Clinton to the Obama campaigns. But, I suspect his change of heart also had something to do with the realization that Florida, where space has long been recognized as a political issue by both parties in the state, has 27 electoral votes. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lori, or someone like her, also pointed out that the battleground states of Ohio (20), Virginia (13), Colorado (9), and New Mexico (5) also had reasonable space interests (facilities and/or industry) in their states and constituted another 47 electoral votes. Space may not be as important in those last four, but in close race, it doesn’t hurt.

    At this point, I don’t see much substantive difference between McCain and Obama on civil space. They’re both promising more money to reduce the gap in U.S. human access to space. They’ve been less specific about where this money comes from and what it represents to the total program. The online arguments have more to do with baiting one another over spin, style, and rhetoric than they do with anything substantive.

    In re Adrian’s comments about Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II, dittos on Rand’s response. It’s also worth mentioning that Reagan internationalized the space station by bringing the Europeans and Japanese in. Question to any and all who might know….who created the Office of Space Commerce at DoC? Reagan or Bush I (or, for that matter, a Democratic Congress?)

    Either way, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I worked with Democratic Congresses to make some good things happen. Clinton worked with a Republican Congress to make fewer bad things happen. (NASA’s budget declined precipitously, but the Clinton Admin initiated major pro-space-commerce policies with the support of a Republican Congress.)

    Partisanship doesn’t have much of an impact on the space program in general. Opponents of civil space tend to be left-wingers who’d prefer to spend the money on social programs and right-wingers who think it’s a waste of money. I’d submit that the left-wing opponents outnumber the right-wing opponents and that Republican supporters outnumber Democratic supporters, but I’ve never really researched it. Either way, it’s a wash politically. Space isn’t a litmus test for either party and you’ll find strong coalition from both parties working for/against any particular space issue at any given time. The personal views and access of people in influential positions (e.g., OMB, Approps, OSTP, CoS, NASA, VP, NSC) are more important than their party affiliation.

  • Chuck2200

    Eric;
    The only thing I’d like to add to your remarks is that this election is too important to let our views of space policy determine our vote – except as a possible tie breaker. The issues we all, as Americans, must face and address are pivotal to the future of our nation. I’d ask that we all pledge to look at the whole range of issues facing us, and select our candidate, across party line if necessary, that best fits what our individual core beliefs are.

    I’ve actually heard people say “I prefer McCain, but I could never vote for a Republican”. I’ve also heard people say “I prefer Obama, but I could never vote for a Democrat”. I would submit that this election is so pivotal to our future that we must dismiss the label from our thinking process entirely, and select the candidate that connects to us, that speaks to our core values. Each one will take this country in a different direction than the other. We need to choose the candidate that will take us toward the future we prefer. This election can’t be about Democrat vs. Republican. It has to be about the future and what we want it to look like. Vote for the Candidate, not the Party. Otherwise, we may live to regret our lack of personal courage.

  • Rusty

    soviets did a lot in space, maybe it will be good for us too.

    Welcome to the USSA!
    Old tricks, new face, I had a feeling we’d be “history” by 2050 but I figured it’d be from an apathetic social collapse, not a frenzied leap into Marxism.

  • Chuck2200

    a frenzied leap into Marxism?
    That’s just beyond ignorant.

  • Jim Muncy

    Eric-

    Office of Space Commerce was originally set up under Reagan in office of General Counsel. Later, moved to TA under Clinton and then NOAA by one of those laws you and I worked on back in 1999-2000.

    Courtenay Stadd was first staffer, then Greg Fawkes, Rich Dalbello, Jim Frelk, Keith Calhoun Senghor, then Ed Morris.

    – Jim

  • Eric Sterner

    Thanks Jim. I recalled Courtney’s and Jim’s involvement early on, but my memory only goes back to Bush 1. (Sorry if that makes anyone feel old.) I didn’t realize Rich worked there.

  • Rusty

    the existence Obama-maniacs frightens and disturbs me.

    He’s stated many times that he believes economic status determines an individuals motivations. He’s also said a couple times that he believes in the redistribution of wealth. Obviously not ideas for the leader of the free and capitalist world.

    Either way I say yeah Obama will be good for space, it will motivate many (and myself) to establish a space-colony far far away from the America we’ve become.

  • Eric – I would submit the fact that Obama’s the fact that Obama’s space policy covers much than simply address the gap, but also includes things like ITAR reform, and reforming NASC, show a more fully developed space policy.

    I will say that McCain has offered up some stuff, but, despite space actually being in his issues section, there isn’t a central place for all of his proposed changes to space policy, which makes it harder to figure out what he has offered.

    Rusty – I have to ask – exactly what do you think he is going to do? Raise taxes on the wealthy? Declare marshal law and force payments? I mean, really, what in the world do you expect him to do? And I want specifics not “he’s a socialist”

  • Eric Sterner

    Ferris:

    Good point, but that may only mean Obama has a staffer (Lori) with the knowledge, skills, and time needed to present an integrated picture through a series of disparate releases, whereas McCain lacks the resources to do so.

    FWIW, when I poke around Obama’s website, there’s no separate section on space under issues. Space doesn’t even rate a mention in his technology and innovation plan. “Diversity in media ownership” received an entire paragraph. It’s true that space gets a mention in the “additional issues” paper on science, but the relevant paragraph doesn’t actually say anything substantive, new, or different from the platitudes and happytalk that any politician responding to a particular constituency would say.

    In short, there is no substantive “space policy” per se and we’re reading tea leaves from a few mentions and occasional campaign press releases designed for the primary purpose of poking McCain in the eye in Florida, none of which the candidate necessarily read before they went out. The only thing I recall him specifically saying was that the space program no longer inspired anyone in response to a floor question asked outside of Florida, which was only reported in a few blogs and bulletin boards, including this one if I recall. That may be my personal bias at work and he may have changed his tune, but one suspects the comments in an unguarded moment in a venue where his answer didn’t matter electorally are closer to his real thoughts than a press release massaged by space-savy staff and released in FL.

    I’ve said it before elsewhere, I don’t really think it matters too much what the candidates say about space on the stump. Sadly, it’s not generally a national issue. What they do say tends to be focused on particular constituencies and their local interests. Everything changes when you move into the Oval Office and have to start dealing with the reality of governing. Barring some outside event, I don’t think we’ll get our first real inkling about the future for space until we see who the next President starts appointing to various positions and how long it takes him to do so.

    Anyway, there’s two cents worth.

  • Eric – No, I don’t agree we are (or at least have to be) looking at tea leaves. While I wish the Obama space policy was on the website, I don’t think you can discount what was written at http://www.fladems.com/page/-/Obama_Space.pdf as a mere press release – to me, thats much more in line with what one expects for policy development than mere press releases.

    That said, I wish it were actually on his website.

  • Kevin Robles

    “a frenzied leap into Marxism?”
    “That’s just beyond ignorant.”

    Why? Bush has nationalized the banks and the insurance industry, and his chosen successor, McCain, is proposing having the government take over home mortgages. Sounds a lot like Marxism to me.

  • Chuck2200

    Kevin;
    The only possible way that you could say something like that is you really don’t know what a Marxist is. You’ve probably got this fuzzy idea from reading blogs and rehashed-rehashed so-called “insights” from people who claim to know something who are also doing the same thing, but no personal experience, only what you’ve heard other, equally educated, people say.

    Do you actually know any Marxists? Have you ever actually talked to any? I do and I have and they make my skin crawl. I need a shower afterward. Trust me, you don’t want to be around them. They are ugly parasites. So I stand by my statement that the observation that “a frenzied leap into Marxism” as applied to either candidate is beyond ignorant.

  • CATS friend

    STERNER: Good point, but that may only mean Obama has a staffer (Lori) with the knowledge, skills, and time needed to present an integrated picture through a series of disparate releases, whereas McCain lacks the resources to do so.

    Eric,

    I really do thing there is a different underlying cause here.

    To be clear, Lori is a volunteer. This means is that …

    A) The Jim Muncys, Eric Sterners, and the Courtney Stadds of the world did not volunteer to do something similar for the McCain campaign,

    B) You did volunteer, but the McCain campaign was not interested.

    Let me add, that the Bush campaign for 2000 had Bob Walker, Courtney Stadd and Jim Muncy to help them develop a coherent space policy position, and to advise on campaign issues if needed. I am guessing they were volunteers too.

    Again, why hasn’t a similar group emerged to advise John McCain?

    Eric/Jim, you might be able to illuminate this for all of us.

    - CATS Friend

  • Al Fansome

    STERNER:In short, there is no substantive “space policy” per se

    Eric,

    Please check out the following 6-page policy statement on the Obama website.

    I think it is pretty substantive.

    - Al

  • Al Fansome

    Hmmmm … the link did not post. Let me try again.

    plus

    - Al

  • Al Fansome

    OK. 3rd try.

    http://

    plus,

    http://www.barackobama.com

    plus

    /pdf/policy/Space_Fact_Sheet_FINAL.pdf

    - Al

  • Al Fansome

    Jeff,

    The software you chose is weird. It failed to post the link on the first two attempts. On the third attempt, it automatically inserted the “http://” in front off the “www”.

    - Al

  • Chance

    “Nixon stopped Apollo.

    No, that was Lyndon Johnson. Nixon initiated the Space Shuttle.”

    And THAT turned out just peachy.

  • Do you actually know any Marxists? Have you ever actually talked to any? I do and I have and they make my skin crawl. I need a shower afterward. Trust me, you don’t want to be around them.

    Apparently Barack Obama doesn’t share your views. He’s perfectly comfortable with them. Maoists, too. In fact, according to his autobiography, he sought them out.

    And THAT turned out just peachy.

    I didn’t say it was a good thing. I was just pointing out Nixon’s actual role, rather than the mythical one about him killing Apollo.

  • Chuck2200

    Rand: “Apparently Barack Obama doesn’t share your views. He’s perfectly comfortable with them[Marxists]. Maoists, too. In fact, according to his autobiography, he sought them out.

    McCain’s campaign doesn’t have enough money left to buy that kind of Kool-Aid. Where do you get it? Anyway, it’ll all be over soon and we can get back to actually implementing Obama’s Space Policy.

  • McCain’s campaign doesn’t have enough money left to buy that kind of Kool-Aid.

    ??

    No koolaid necessary.

    You are unaware of his relationship with Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and Mike Klonski (among others)? Did you not read his book?

  • Rusty

    well I didn’t want to feed the troll so I’m not going too much into the things Obama said to convince me he’s got a student’s awe of marxism/socialism but I have known one (ex-marxist actually) and he explained why he felt he was so smart at the time. he felt confident he could explain anything through socioeconomic(sp) analysis.
    Looking at your background Ferris, I don’t think any of my expectations of his socialism would be a negative thing in your eyes so what’s the point.
    Yes I agree, the buyout made me die alot inside, I am sourly disappointed, and equally in both economic recovery scams each of the candidates have.
    Where we differ, I would rather individuals and communities make decisions for themselves and ONLY involve government when it trespasses between people. I don’t want welfare, social-security, I want to be taxed by how much I use, not how much I produce. (sounds funny huh? ) I don’t find it “unfortunate” that people in hard times must depend on family and churches/communities rather than government. (maybe someone can find that quote for me).
    I’m not thrilled about McCain, I don’t see any overwhelming positive in his presidency.

    What would really be great if NASA was just disbanded all together and push that burden off to commercial space. I also believe Profit(engineering) will get us to the stars, not Science.

  • Wow, to be called a troll, when I haven’t really been actively/regularly posting is rather impressive. Also, I didn’t mention the buyout, or what convinced you he was “a socialist.” I asked you what do you fear he would do.

    BTW, FWIW, I’d argue that part of the community is the government. FWIW.

  • Al Fansome

    Rand,

    Please take the hyperbolic comments elsewhere. You clearly have gone over the edge in this election.

    There is nothing Marxist about Obama’s space policy, which is the topical focus on this website.

    - Al

  • Please take the hyperbolic comments elsewhere.

    The truth is “hyperbolic”? I didn’t bring up the subject of Barack Obama and Marxists. I was just pointing out to a(n Obama-supporting) person who claims to be repulsed by them that Barack Obama is not, by his own admission. That’s all that I said.

    I also think that if we are going to discuss Obama’s space policy, it is a legitimate part of that discussion to point out that he is a disingenuous and misleading man, and we shouldn’t assume that his policy in office will be the same as that on his campaign web site. I tend to judge people (and particularly politicians) on the basis of their actual record and history, and not what they say in a political campaign.

  • Kevin Robles

    “Please take the hyperbolic comments elsewhere. You clearly have gone over the edge in this election.”

    You should see his blog. It’s one long obsessive rant about Obama. Obama Derangement Syndrome. He went over the edge a long time ago.

  • There is nothing “deranged” or “over the edge” about it. But Obama supporters seem to get upset when you point out that the halo is tarnished.

  • Monte Davis

    anon: You forgot to add that SDI broke the camel’s back and ended the cold war.

    Possibly because it isn’t true, no matter how often it’s repeated.

  • Al Fansome

    RAND: I also think that if we are going to discuss Obama’s space policy, it is a legitimate part of that discussion to point out that he is a disingenuous and misleading man.

    Rand,

    I have read your blog. I used to respect your thinking. But you have totally lost it. You only anger these days. You only communicate fear. And mud sling. And name call.

    As a man of reason, you are committing a fallacy of logic. You have made up your mind, and in your anger you only look for pieces of data that fit your conclusion, and ignore everything else. You are compelled to do this. Passionate about finding that latest gotcha, that you leap at anything that might help you confirm your views. You have doing this for months.

    You like to talk about “fascists”, and have repeatedly suggested/implied that Obama is fascist. But in your anger, it appears that you have missed where the fascist tendencies truly are emerging.

    The hate and anger and fear being stirred up by McCain over the last month is the bringing out the worst in people. The Republicans only have fear and hate to run on.

    Republicans used to be the party of hope & optimism & reason & principal. It was Not any more.

    Where is the hope & optimism? Where is the reason & principal?

    I love THAT party. Where is it?

    Where is the party of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”?

    It is gone. It has been taken over by the ghost of Tom Delay in the current form of Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin. Instead of a party of ideas, we have bumper-sticker campaigning. The growing anti-intellectualism of those who are left in the Republican party is being driven by fear and anger.

    They have nothing to be for, so they can only run on what they are against.

    And now YOU are only communicating fear and anger That is all you have … fear & anger.

    In other words, you have lost it.

    - Al

    PS — I could easily go back to McCain’s history and selectively pick out facts to paint a story of a disingenous and misleading man. But I will not. Doing so would be a logical fallacy.

  • Al, why are you lecturing me about Republicans? I’m not a Republican, and never have been.

    You have made up your mind, and in your anger you only look for pieces of data that fit your conclusion, and ignore everything else. You are compelled to do this. Passionate about finding that latest gotcha, that you leap at anything that might help you confirm your views.

    While I was never going to vote for Obama, I didn’t have a big problem with him initially, until I started to learn more about him, and I learned things that he has struggled mightily, and with much success (aided by a fawning press) to keep hidden from most of the voters. Now that these things are finally coming out, you’re angry with me?

    Let’s review the bidding. I simply pointed out an inconvenient reality about Barack Obama to one of the mesmerized. The response was not to rebut it, or say “I didn’t know that,” but to accuse me of drinking koolaid and to call me deranged.

    I think that the psychological term for this is called “projection.”

  • Al Fansome

    Rand,

    I never said you were a Republican. (I know you are a libertarian.)

    I never used the word “deranged”. I said you are “angry” and that you “communicate fear”.

    Considering that have denied either, I consider that to be an implied acceptance of my charge — that you recognize you are angry, and that you are communicating fear (perhaps intentionally.)

    I am not angry with you. (I am angry with what has happened to the Republican Party.)

    I ask that you to take your off-topic charges elsewhere.

    - Al

  • I never used the word “deranged”. I said you are “angry” and that you “communicate fear”.

    I was referring to the other responses, not yours.

    Considering that have denied either, I consider that to be an implied acceptance of my charge — that you recognize you are angry, and that you are communicating fear (perhaps intentionally.)

    The charge was so silly I didn’t bother to reply.

  • [...] space has its advocates in, or connections with, the new administration. Recall what New Mexico governor Bill Richardson said last month: “But here’s what I want to be sure of: that the Obama Administration is pro-commercial [...]

  • [...] policy given his recent comments on the topic of commercial space. As reported here last month, Richardson vowed to make sure “that the Obama Administration is pro-commercial space” during comments at a press conference in Las Cruces. (At the same press conference he also said he [...]

  • [...] comment is similar to remarks he gave in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in October 2008 during the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. “[H]ere’s what I want to be sure of: [...]

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>