Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NASA and the Presidential candidates

Space policy has not been much of an issue in the Presidential race, but the candidates and their advisers have staked out some positions. This item from the Orlando Sentinel notes there will be an actual debate between advisers. Unfortunately, the sponsoring organization will not open it to the media or the public.

COMMENTS: Sure, the Aerospace Industries Association is a private organization and does not have to open its meetings. But why not stream it to the Web in the interests of creating a better informed public?
I did smile when I saw who was debating: Senate staffer Floyd DesChamps for McCain and former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver for Obama. I smiled because, at the last AAS National Conference in Houston (November 2007), I was there when Garver was introduced for a luncheon talk on space policy and instead gave an embarrassingly overt pitch for her candidate: Hilary Clinton. Hmm... Clinton was the right candidate for space, and now Obama is?
BTW, Garver also spoke for Obama in a debate in August before the Mars Society, where former astronaut Walt Cunningham argued for McCain. The difference? The Mars Society made the debate open to the public.

ALSO: The candidates, or their advisers (it's not clear from this Web site) did answer a question on space policy along with 13 other science topics for a wonderful organization, Science Debate 2008, which has worked to see that scientific and technological issues are addressed in this year's campaigns. See answer #11 at:

AS ALWAYS: Comments represent solely the personal opinion of the author as a private citizen.

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