NASA, White House

And then there were four

Members of Florida’s Congressional delegation who met with President Obama during his trip to the state to help sell the stimulus package tell the Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today that the president has narrowed down his list of candidates to be the next NASA administrator. The Sentinel says that Obama is down to four names, while Florida Today reports that he said “several names are under consideration”, but in neither case did he give any names and other hints. (He did ask Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas is she had any suggestions; she told Florida Today that she didn’t specify anyone in particular to the president other than the administrator needs to be an “advocate of manned space exploration”, a criterion Obama said he’d support.)

So who might those four (or several) be? If reports like the article Saturday in the Wall Street Journal are to be believed, Lester Lyles is likely one of them. So may be Jonathan Scott Gration, the sure bet in mid-January who since faded, but is still under consideration according to the Journal report. And the rest? Whoever they are, one thing is probably a safe guess: their tax records are being thoroughly reviewed.

7 comments to And then there were four

  • Commenter

    Well, I voted for Obama, but now I’m starting to have my doubts. If he’s going to drink the kool-aid and reinforce Constellation and the present implementation of VSE, then he rightly deserves a big bronx cheer. I really was expecting more from him and his Administration.

    Bush’s ghost continues to haunt us.

  • Doug Lassiter

    What’s the evidence that Obama is trying to “reinforce Constellation”? The Obama administration has made management assignments to keep NASA from going completely off the rails with the departure of key leadership. These people, Chris Scolese for example, have no special love for Constellation that I’ve been able to detect.

    Yes, NASA is due an administrator and even perhaps a new mission, but I’m willing to cut some slack three weeks into his administration for a President who comes into office with the economic and national security worries that he faces. (Speaking of “ghosts”.) If he’s drinking anything, it sure ain’t kool-aid. If Obama wanted to make a “small deal” out of NASA, he could tell his folks to throw some patches on. But politically it would be suicide to make a “big deal” out of NASA right now, and start talking vision stuff. From a space perspective, I think we agree that the latter would be encouraging. The delay in doing it may cost some money, but so would any big changes.

  • Paul

    You have it wrong about Rep. Kosmas’s recommendation. She definitively and strongly recommended that the new administrator should be a supporter of manned space flight.

  • Al Fansome


    I believe you misinterpreted Jeff’s typo.

    I am guessing that Jeff’s “need sot be” = “needs to be”, not “need not be”.

    – Al

  • Yes, I was startled to say the least when I saw that a Representative from Florida would want an Administrator who did not support human spaceflight!

    — Donald

  • Jeff Foust

    The typo has been corrected. My apologies for any confusion it may have caused.

  • […] may recall a couple of weeks ago reports that the Obama Administration had narrowed down its list of candidates for NASA administrator to several,…. This afternoon the Orlando Sentinel reported who its sources say are those four. Three of the […]

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