Editor's note: Over the past several weeks I have had an opportunity to talk with people who are working space policy - and related issues - for both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and party organizations. One common theme is readily apparent (so far) - on both sides: a greater use of private sector solutions - i.e. the use of commercial launch vehicles - specifically EELVs - as the launch vehicle of choice for the CEV. No one seems to be all that fond of continuing the development of Ares 1 (a government-owned solution) or the cost of developing something that already exists i.e. something you can buy now (EELVs). Of course, much can change between now and the election - and who will run NASA in 2009. But the writing on the wall is starting to become rather clear.
Editor's update: Contrary to what some of the space chat pages would suggest in response to this post last night, the individuals I have spoken with are not other space chat site posters whose opinions are pulled out of thin air. Rather, these are individuals, many of whom who work here in Washington, DC with significant positions in government, politics, industry, and academia. Many are seasoned political and campaign veterans.