Recently in Election 2004 Category

Down-to-Earth choices, editorial, LA Times

"Human exploration of space is such an epic notion, conjuring images of both a science-fiction future and a real-life history of giant steps for mankind, that it's hard not to be swept up in the romance. President Bush certainly seemed to have been having "Star Trek" fantasies when he delivered his vision for returning astronauts to the moon, and eventually sending them to Mars, during the run-up to the 2004 presidential election. Afterward, Bush dropped his proposal like a sizzling meteorite, having scarcely mentioned it since."

Things change

23 November 2004: Congress Approves President's Request for NASA Budget, Planetary Society

Lori Garver: "The approval of the budget was aided by strong support from The White House, which requested full funding for the new human spaceflight exploration policy."

14 October 2004: WIA Space Policy Debate

Lori Garver: "You say you haven't heard anything from the Kerry-Edwards folks during the campaign - I haven't heard word one from the Bush-Cheny folks about the space program during the campaign either. Its not clear to me that they believe they are on the right side of this issue with the public."

18 July 2004: Kerry Space Advisor Dismisses Bush Space Policy

Lori Garver: "The Bush initiative is simply hot-air and has made it impossible in an election year for Kerry to say much on space."

Post Election Reflections

15 November 2004: The making of a space policy, The Space Review (Jeff Foust/Futron)

'One thing that surprised [Kerry Space Advisor Lori] Garver was the strong negative reaction directly at her. "This was a very challenging thing to do, personally. I was attacked and slammed within my own community," she said. "It is difficult to operate in that kind of environment, since I was very concerned that this would come out negatively within the campaign." She noted that, for example, she was vilified for "flip-flopping" on the Vision for Space Exploration, initially supporting it before arguing against it, but insisted her change in opinion was sincere. "I truly believed, over time, that we would have a better chance of sustaining a NASA program that would evolve civilization into space," she said. "I truly started to believe that Kerry would be a better pro-space president." '

Editor's note: Gee, Lori. Talk about being naive. When you and/or your candidate say something in public - people remember.

7 November 2004: Bush re-election likely to boost NASA, Huntsville Times

"The space policy was introduced not even a year ago and support was lagging from the start. Nobody (in Congress) really embraced it at first," [NASA Watch editor Keith] Cowing said. Now dates will be put with goals, he added. U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, predicted it still will not be an easy ride for Bush's plan because members of both parties question giving a priority to space exploration in times of war and social needs. "There's not been a lot of support for it" on Capitol Hill. "There are members who support part of the plan but not all of it," Cramer said during a meeting at The Times in late October. "Where it will go after the election" depends on budget priorities and the war."

OK, So Now What?

3 November 2004: Victory will jump-start space plans, Florida Today

"President Bush's re-election will jump-start his plan to send astronauts back to the moon, transforming a new vision for space exploration into serious marching orders, analysts said Wednesday. What's more, NASA will have until 2008 to get the new presidential initiative entrenched enough to make it difficult to undo."

Space: Changes in Congress

Editor's note: Ironically, the back side of the quarter honoring Ohio, the state upon which the outcome of this election rested, features both the Wright Flyer and an astronaut on the lunar surface (Neil Armstrong).

So far the space landscape in Congress has only changed a little. Of all the key players, only Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX) has lost a reelection bid. One change in the House Science Committee should be expected: chairmanship of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) got the nod to continue as chair in the current Congress even though term limits would have otherwise moved him out. Rep Ken Calvert (R-CA) has expressed interest in the position.

4 November 2004: U.S. Election Leaves Congressional Aviation Leadership In Flux

"Tuesday's elections will usher in a change in aviation leadership across the board in both the House and Senate, throwing the future of pending legislation into uncertainty."

Editor's note: There are several somewhat odd articles on The Space Review run by Jeff Foust at Futron. One article "Both ends of the spectrum" by Sam Dinkin concludes with the author stating that he does not plan to vote (and thus becoming part of the problem). The other article "November's moral dilemma" by Greg Zsidisin mentions George Bush and Adolph Hitler in the same sentence (it goes downhill from there).

On the other hand, Rand Simberg has an article "A Space Program vs. the Moral Equivalent of a Space Program" online at Tech Central Station which takes a much more reasoned (and responsible) look at space policy and the election.

Editor's note: This week's issue of Space News (as well as last week's) has a lot of good material relevant to space policy and the election. One item of interest is a letter titled "Partisanship Dangerous for the Space Program" written by Planetary Society Executive Director Louis Friedman. The letter ends with one of the silliest leaps of logic I have seen in years: "But if Internet bloggers persist in polarizing the shuttle issue, and in using that issue for personal attacks on the Kerry campaign, then we can look forward to two possibilities: If Kerry wins it will most likely result in a reaction against anything Bush has proposed. If Bush wins it will destroy the chances to build widespread congressional and public support for human space exploration. Either way the space program loses."

Aw c'mon Lou. I assume NASA Watch is among the offending websites you are referring to. Suggesting that what is on NASA Watch or any other website is going to affect how either Kerry or Bush are going to frame and then pursue their space policy is just plain silly and suggests a certain ignorance on your part as to how the world works.

On the same page Kerry space advisor Lori Garver whines about the way Space News handled statements by her and Frank Sietzen. She closes with the following hollow plea: "We in the space community require bipartisan support for our initiatives and programs to be successful. We ask Democrats and Republicans alike to support our issues. We cannot expect continued bi-partisan support unless the aerospace community treats each political party equally."

All I can suggest for Lori (who is as partisan as they come): if you really wanted to see space issues treated on a bi-partisan (preferably non-partisan) basis, then why on Earth did you openly align yourself with a specific candidate - and party? You helped make this partisan, Lori !

29 September 1995: Text of S.1290, Responsible Deficit Reduction Act of 1995

Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 9/29/1995)
Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 9/29/1995 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Budget

Excerpt:

(16) Terminate the National Aerospace Plane Program.
(1) Terminate NASA's support for producers of commercial airlines.
(4) Terminate the International Space Station Program.

31 October 2004: Bush's bold space policy, Op ed, Washington Times

"The contrasts are stark. A Kerry administration would delay - if not doom - America's reach into space."

30 October 2004: NASA's robotic moon mission spins wheels, Florida Today

"Outside analysts say NASA is hesitant to draft detailed plans for follow-on flights -- missions key to President Bush's plan to return astronauts to the moon -- until the election is over."

29 October 2004: Bush, Kerry differ on space, Florida Today

"Also, Sietzen alleges a Kerry administration would fly "far fewer" shuttle missions than the 28 to 30 NASA says are needed to complete the space station. Garver said Bush backers are stretching something she said in a Washington debate with Sietzen far out of context. Noone knows how many times the shuttle must fly to finish the station or do other jobs such as maybe repairing Hubble Space Telescope, she said. "They're trying to get Florida votes by scaring people," Garver said."

Editor's note: "Far out of context", Lori? I recorded the entire event - here is an excerpt - in context. I guess this means that what you actually say is not what you actually mean.

29 October 2004: Glenn's take on Kerry was way off the mark, Florida Today, Op ed by Reps. Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney

"Exactly where Glenn gets his facts we do not know. The Kerry-Edwards space policy makes no mention of the shuttle or station, dismisses the notion of a return to the moon and makes no commitment to a Mars expedition."

27 October 2004: Kerry's vision for space, Op ed by John Glenn, Florida Today

"There have been false rumors circulated that if my good friend John Kerry is elected president, he will limit future space shuttle flights to 10 or less. Kerry has no such plans. Indeed, it is President Bush who has proposed ending space shuttle flights by 2010 and limiting the use of the International Space Station. And where does that leave us for transportation of U.S. astronauts to the station?"

Bart Gordon Weighs In

28 October 2004: Being Good Stewards of the Nation's Space Program - excerpt from Science and Technology: The Untapped American Resource - Prepared for Rep. Bart Gordon

"An agency that was once managed by some of the most distinguished engineers and scientists in the nation is now becoming a parking place for inexperienced retired admirals and generals because of the hiring decisions of the Administrator."

Thank You Brian Berger

Editor's note: Brian Berger from Space News has been busy on the telephone today. He has been calling around Washington DC asking if I have a business relationship with USA or any other aerospace company - or if I am on the Bush campaign payroll (secretly) What an idiotic notion, Brian. As if I would 1. do something like that and then 2. not tell people. The net result, after making all of these calls, is that people now have suspicions about me which have no basis in reality. For the record I have no business relationship with USA or any aerospace company - anywhere. Nor am I seeking one. As for the Bush campaign giving me money, the answer is 'no' to that nonsense as well. Besides, having publicly stated that I am voting for Kerry, where's the logic in that, Brian?

John Kerry and John Edwards on Space and Aeronautics for the 21st Century

"Americans are justifiably proud of this nation's past aeronautics and space accomplishments. John Kerry and John Edwards believe that maintaining and increasing America's leadership in aerospace is more important now than ever.NASA research has led to breakthroughs in a number of fields, far beyond space flight, aeronautics, or the other NASA missions. "

Editor's note: Lori Garver and John Logsdon couldn't even get a statement about the Kerry campaign's position on the future of the space shuttle program in this document. The shuttle must not be a high priority for Kerry. For that matter, the ISS is not mentioned either - and when human spaceflight is mentioned it is located in a sentence where Kerry bashes Bush. This document sounds more like a retreat than a step forward.

26 October 2004: Logsdon comments on Kerry Space Policy, FPSPACE

"The whole point of this statement is to demonstrate that human exploration is not at risk under a Kerry administration."

24 October 2004: Draft Paper Provides Insight Into NASA Space Policy Options, NASA Watch

"A draft space policy paper circulating around Washington, D.C. provides some insight into what some space watchers - and NASA employees - think NASA should be doing in space - especially when it comes to the risks inherent in NASA's current human space flight systems. Given that a prominent space advisor to the Kerry campaign (John Logsdon) is a key participant in this project, this paper may also provide some insight into policies the Kerry campaign appears to be embracing - the most important of which is getting rid of the space shuttle fleet as soon as possible."

Recent Election 2004 Stories on NASA Watch

Where's Lori?

Editor's note: Over the past week or so several items have appeared on NASA Watch detailing Lori Garver's activities on behalf of John Kerry's presidential campaign. Despite the fact that Lori is annoyed with what has appeared here (according to multiple sources) she has yet to ask to address these points on NASA Watch. This could be because she 1. finds me and NASA Watch annoying (understandable - many people do) 2. Ignoring things like this for the next few days will cause them to go away or become moot or 3. what has been posted is accurate and it would be hard to refute.

Debating Space: A Tale of Two Policies - One Real, One TBD, Keith Cowing

"A day after the last of the Presidential campaign debates, a hundred or so space professionals gathered this morning in Washington, DC to hear a debate between representatives of the Bush and Kerry campaigns on space policy. One campaign talked about what it was doing in space - the other talked about what it might do."

18 October 2004: The great (well, ok) space debate, Jeff Foust (Futron Corp.) The Space Review

"Exploration is exciting, but it isn't the only thing we get from space," Garver said. "Sending a few people to Mars maybe isn't the most inspirational thing that we can be doing."

Editor's note: Once again Lori Garver chokes when it comes to making a strong statement rearding the exploration of space - beyond Earth - by humans. Or is this John Kerry speaking - or echos of the Clinton Administration? Hard to tell.

15 October 2004: Bush, Kerry Campaign Reps Debate Space Issues, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

18 October 2004: Space can wait until after Nov. 2, Houston Chronicle

"Space should not be politicized, and we're trying to remind people that space is not the domain of one party," [George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society] said. " ... We're all keeping our fingers crossed that no matter who gets elected, NASA is going back out there and exploring the universe."

Editor's note:This is a rather naive position to take. Space has been politicized since Day One, George. Indeed, we only have a space program because of politics. Wake up and read some history.

Editor's note: At last week's debate between Lori Garver and Frank Sietzen, Garver was heard to suggest to a number of aerospace contractor representatives that they block access to NASA Watch from their employees. When pressed as to why she'd make such a request, she eventually admitted that it was because there were some things about her on NASA Watch that she did not like. It would certainly seem that Lori learned the wrong lessons from her time on Dan Goldin's senior staff.

20 October 2004: Dittmar Associates' Market Study for the Space Exploration Program

"On the eve of the Presidential election, Americans continue to support human space flight and endorse the Space Exploration plan to return to the Moon and to Mars, but they also question the relationship of NASA to its constituents.

79% of respondents believe that NASA is "marketed" poorly or very poorly."

14 October 2004: Debate: The Aerospace Platform of the Presidential Candidates

Representing the Kerry Campaign position: Lori Garver
Representing the Bush Campaign position: Frank Sietzen (co-author with the editor of NASA Watch of "New Moon Rising")

Election 2004 (previous NASA Watch postings)

13 October 2004: Aerospace workers hear congressional candidate, The Citizen

"[Richard] Morrison said the first phase of President Bush's back to the moon and onward to Mars did not get properly funded. Politicians and bureaucrats are putting NASA at risk, said Morrison, adding that six shuttle flights a year until 2010 is "impossible." "That's unsafe and that's not a realistic time schedule," Morrison said. "We must put the scientists and engineers back in control."

10 October 2004: Race doesn't reflect NASA, exploration, Orlando Sentinel

"Jason Furman, an economic-policy director for the Kerry campaign, said the senator is supportive of continued exploration -- and is open to the idea of spending more money on the space program -- but thinks Bush's plan is too expensive and shortchanges some worthwhile NASA programs. "John Kerry believes the space program has made really important contributions, both to our knowledge about the world and the universe and also has been very important to the economy," Furman said. "Space exploration, and NASA in particular, will be very important to him."

The Candidates on Space

23 September 2004:Presidential Campaign Representatives Voice Support for Space, California Space Authority

"Representatives of the campaigns for both President George Bush and Senator John Kerry voiced their support for civil space program this week at an invitation-only event held in Washington, D.C."

14 October 2004: The Aerospace Platform of the Presidential Candidates" co-sponsored WSBR and WIA

"Women In Aerospace & Washington Space Business Roundtable invite you to attend The Aerospace Platforms of the Presidential Candidates - A Debate Between Representatives of the Bush-Cheney & Kerry-Edwards Campaigns"

1 October 2004: Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science, [subscription] Science

SPACE POLICY - Science: Can we afford to send astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars? Should that be the cornerstone of U.S. space policy? If so, what parts of the current program should be scaled back or eliminated to make room for it?

Bush and Kerry on Science

15 September 2004: Bush, Kerry Go Head to Head on Science, Discovery News

The respected science journal Nature posed 15 questions to President George W. Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry on key science issues.

7) NATURE: Do you think the United States should send astronauts to the moon or Mars in the next 10 to 15 years? If so, why send humans instead of robots? If not, what is the purpose of the space shuttle and space station?

Kerry Space Policy Update

In an exchange this afternoon between Fox's ever cherubic Neal Cavuto and perennial Democratic commentator, former Dukakis Campaign Manager Susan Estrich, Cavuto noted that Kerry's image was not affected too much "by that Willie Wonka get up". Estrich agreed with Cavutos assessment.

Meanwhile, KerrySpace, a new space website focused on developing a space policy for the Kerry campaign, was announced in a posting by a group of Kerry space supporters.

According to the developer of the website, KerrySpace.com is also soliciting contributions. "This fund will be used to make purchases that will further our cause, such as postage and stationary to do a letter writing campaign, purchase an ad in Space News or Ad Astra to tell the space community about our group, and other ideas that are described on the website." In addition "donations can be made anonymously by request."

Alas, it would seem that this group is somewhat uninformed when it comes to FEC regulations about activities on behalf of a candidate - and what you have to do if you are going to raise and spend money on their behalf and how you need to document all contributors and expenditures. I tried to post something to this effect on their website, but the moderator rejected my post - twice.

John Glenn in space - again?

In introducing Sen. John Glenn to the National American Legion Convention today, John Kerry joked "If I am elected President I told John that he can go into space one more time". Kerry then said that Glenn had told him that it would "cost the government less money since he'd get a senior citizen discount."

Gee, why Glenn didn't mention that discount the last time he flew?

31 August 2004: Republican Party Platform 2000, 2004

"In addition, the Republican Party will remain committed to America's leadership in space research and exploration. We will ensure that this Nation can expand our knowledge of the universe, and with the support of the American people, continue the exploration of Mars and the rest of the solar system. We consider space travel and space science a national priority with virtually unlimited benefits, in areas ranging from medicine to micro-machinery, for those on earth. Development of space will give us a growing economic resource and a source of new scientific discoveries."

Editor's note: So far no such clear, emphatic statement from John Kerry - just an attempt by his staff to bury photos of him inside a space shuttle orbiter. This is from the 2000 RNC platform - not the 2004 platform, so we'll have to see what the RNC comes up with this time. None the less, it would still be nice to hear from John Kerry on this topic. One paragraph would be just fine.

Reader comment: The only mention of NASA or the space program in the GOP 2004 platform is on page 63: "The President's support for NASA and vision for space exploration will also enhance scientific development and technological breakthroughs."

29 August 2004: Combustible DeLay may be low key at RNC, AP

"An ardent supporter of the aerospace industry, DeLay will speak at a "Space Jam" reception at Studio 450 honoring him Tuesday night, a month after he vowed to restore $1.1 billion that House Republicans tentatively cut from NASA's budget. Sponsors of the invitation-only reception include Boeing , Northrop Grumman, Orbital, software company AGI and the Space Foundation. Brian Chase, the foundation's vice president, said the $50,000 reception is to thank DeLay, not an effort to affect the outcome of the spending fight."

Editor's note: There will be another space-related reception at the RNC. This one will be held on Thursday evening and will honor Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX). Sponsors include Boeing, USA, and Lockheed Martin.

26 August 2004: NASA JSC Standards of Ethical Conduct Determination: Reception at University of Houston Clear Lake honoring Rep. Tom DeLay, NASA JSC

"On August 24, 2004, the University of Houston System is hosting a reception honoring The Honorable Tom DeLay, Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, at the Atrium II, Bayou Building, University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be served. There will also be a cash bar."

Editor's note: Word has it that this reception is under scrutiny for possible use of state funds. Moreover, it was sent out a day after copies of the Hatch Act were distributed to NASA employees. Stay tuned.

1 August 2004: Kerry Visit Could Put NASA in the Hot Seat, Washington Post

The visitors center is managed by a vendor, Delaware North Cos., and often rents out rooms to conventions and corporate groups. When Democrats called to see if they could book Kerry, the appearance was deemed "a permissible event" by the center's staff members and their counterparts at NASA, said Dan LeBlanc, chief operating officer for the visitor complex. LeBlanc said Kerry was accompanied by Florida's two senators, Bill Nelson and Bob Graham, as well as former senator John Glenn, the legendary astronaut. All are Democrats. "It was not a campaign event but a town hall meeting," LeBlanc said. "It was not in a federal workplace but in a public facility on federal property."

Editor's note: Oh c'mon, Dan. This was a campaign event, plain and simple - by a presidential candidate on his way to a national convention. Besides, why would a senator from Massachusetts come to Florida for a 'town hall meeting'? Indeed the attendees were hand-picked by the Kerry campaign. If this was truly a 'town hall meeting' then any resident from Brevard County would have been allowed to attend.

31 July 2004: NASA Photos Unearthed: George H.W. Bush Wore a Bunny Suit Too, SpaceRef

In 1981 Vice President George H.W. Bush visited Kennedy Space Center and toured Space Shuttle Columbia with the two astronauts who flew it on its first mission - John Young and Bob Crippen. Bush also wore a bunny suit.


30 July 2004: An Unsuitable Costume for the Manly Candidate, Washington Post

"Being generous, one might argue that Kerry's intellectual curiosity caused him to ignore how ridiculous he would look in the clean gear. The chance to crawl around in a spaceship was too tempting. Most folks would find that hard to pass up. But he is not most people -- he wants to be president. As a general rule, anyone aspiring to be the commander in chief should always try to avoid looking like a Teletubby."

30 July 2004: NASA flip-flops on 'bunny' pics, Florida Today

"Just as a silly story like this begins to fade, some bureaucrat breathes new life into it," said Keith Cowing, editor of the space Web site nasawatch.com, which posted all of the pictures Thursday before NASA deleted them. Cowing said the episode illustrates how confusion inside the Kerry campaign turned a tour "dripping with opportunity" -- one that included a space shuttle and a national hero, Mercury 7 astronaut and former senator Glenn -- into a "self-inflicted" political mishap."

Editor's note: This was posted on the Yahoo group kerryspace. Lori Garver (Yahoo ID astromom2004) told people at a reception the other night that she is working on space policy issues for John Kerry. These comments were posted to a newsgroup with over a 160 members (a hundred of whom joined in the 24 hours since this was first posted on NASA Watch and SpaceRef - and linked to by the Drudge Report), several of whom are prominent space and science journalists. Moreover, these comments were already making the rounds within NASA.

From: "Lori Garver" < lgarver@d... >
Date: Sun Jul 18, 2004 10:17 am
Subject: RE: [kerryspace] Come Celebrate Kerry's Great VP Choice, Edwards!

Please don't write-off the Kerry-Edwards camp on space. The Bush initiative is simply hot-air and has made it impossible in an election year for Kerry to say much on space. What he has said -- will support increased funding for NASA R&D, will support Prizes, a more genuinely international effort, etc... is already more than most Presidential Candidates. It took Bush 3.5 years and a tragic Shuttle accident to come up with a policy. Democrats will be able to pull-off a better record -- if not rhetoric! Totally agree on futility of ISS as pharmacy source and need to retire Shuttle -- Kerry can be convinced of this, but perhaps not in the campaign. The Moon-Mars Blitz was a good way for Congress to see citizens supporting space -- always a good thing.

29 July 2004: Excerpt from John Kerry's acceptance speech

"Two young bicycle mechanics from Dayton asked what if this airplane could take off at Kitty Hawk? It did that and changed the world forever. A young president asked what if we could go to the moon in ten years? And now we're exploring the solar system and the stars themselves."

26 July 2004: John Kerry Visits NASA Kennedy Space Center - Photos

Update: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has told NASA to remove all images of Kerry's visit to KSC from all NASA web sites - immediately - due to Hatch Act concerns. These images have now been removed.

Luckily, you can download the original pictures here: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|

Just as you think this silly story is going away some bureaucrat finds a way to breathe new life back into it.

CLARIFICATION 1:00 PM EDT: NASA sources are now saying that NASA's General Counsel ordered the images removed - not the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

YET ANOTHER CLARIFICATION 4:00 PM EDT: After reviewing all of the Kerry photos to ensure NASA's apolitical position, NASA has decided to put the photos of John Kerry in the OPF back online. The photos of the political rally at the visitors center will remain offline.

28 July 2004: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by John Glenn, Democratic National Convention


"Good afternoon. More than 40 years ago, in a time of Cold War challenges -- but also a time of hope, possibility and new frontiers -- America sent me on a journey into space that not only changed my life, but changed our nation's view of earth itself.

A few years ago, I was privileged to make another journey into space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery, this time with 83 scientific research projects on board -- projects to benefit you and your children right here on earth. The world I saw from the heavens was no less spectacular the second time around. And while I am exceptionally proud to have represented America on these journeys of discovery, I am concerned.

It was education and research that fueled our post-war economic boom; with so many veterans studying under the G.I. Bill, it generated a whole new base for new technology, new types of business and good, middle-class jobs. It was education and research that gave us new opportunities to study in this new and unique laboratory of space, and that helped America put my friend Neil Armstrong on the moon, and win the Cold War.

In short, a commitment to leadership in education and research underpinned America's rise to greatness over the past 100 years. Our strength was built on sound public schools in every community, strong universities with the best labs, and a commitment to the ever-curious, questing spirit of America that is still unlocking the secrets of the universe through top-flight science. And it will be future education and research -- from earth and from space that will create the new industries and new jobs that increase our standard of living and will determine our leadership position in the world."

28 July 2004: Right Stuff, Wrong Staff: John Kerry Visits NASA and Blows a Photo Op, SpaceRef

"On Monday Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry made a campaign stop at NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Monday. Kerry was accompanied by former Ohio Senator John Glenn and Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Bob Graham. Photos taken of this visit depict Kerry and others wearing so called "bunny suits" which are required of all visitors entering a space shuttle orbiter in the Shuttle Processing Facility. Bumbling by Kerry's staff, and a press corps itching for something to make fun of, and a perfect photo opportunity turns into a media nightmare. The net loser? NASA."

26 July 2004: John Kerry Visits NASA Kennedy Space Center - Photos

28 July 2004: Craig Kilborn re-enacts Kerry Photo-op on CBS (image)

28 July 2004: NASA defends photos of Kerry during his tour of space center, Florida Today

"Furthermore, NASA spokesman Bill Johnson said the Kerry campaign asked that the pictures be taken of the senator's unusually up-close tour of the Discovery and that processing be expedited so reporters could have them."

28 July 2004: Not Quite Ready for His Close-Up, NY Times

"Mr. Kerry's aides say privately that they had no idea anyone would be photographing him when he visited NASA in Florida on Monday and donned a special suit to tour the space shuttle Discovery."

28 July 2004: Kerry 'bunny suit' pics bring laughs from GOP, Newsday

"Kerry's campaign professed to be unconcerned about the pictures, with one Kerry official saying his worries were "zero. Absolutely zero." Republicans have had far less success painting Kerry as out of step, with Kerry running even with Bush in the polls. But this campaign official also said the campaign didn't expect the pictures of Kerry's tour with two other senators to be made public. "We were told that this was a private tour, and images of them wouldn't be released," said one Kerry official."

John Kerry
"Asked by FOX News' Brit Hume if a dirty trick was being played, [Mary Beth Cahill, campaign manager for John Kerry] didn't answer the question directly but said: "What do you think?" "This was a legitimate tour of a NASA facility and this photograph came out of absolutely nowhere. We were surprised then. We aren't surprised now."

Editor's note: This is just silly. Kerry's handlers goofed - not NASA. According to NASA sources Sen. Bill Nelson suggested on the spur of the moment that Kerry and his entourage ought go and look at the inside of space shuttle orbiter. NASA tends to take a Senator's requests seriously and did their best to oblige. Originally Kerry's visit was to be confined to the KSC visitor's center. This new request was not part of the original planned visit. In order to visit the inside of a shuttle orbiter in the Orbiter Processing Facility, you need to wear a bunny suit. Everyone does. Kerry's staff asked NASA for photos - and NASA provided them. Since the photos were made with government resources, they were posted on the KSC website. Also, given that they were produced by the government they can be obtained via FOIA request.

Former NASA PAO chief Peggy Wilhide (Al Gore's former press secretary) is currently the spokesperson for the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Kerry's campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill (who is accusing NASA of 'leaking' these photos) would do well to have Peggy explain how these things work - and stop making these goofy charges against NASA. Oh yes, NASA's current PAO Chief, Glen Mahone, went to high school with Bill Clinton and was appointed to his current job while Clinton was still president. Anyone looking for political anti-Kerry bias in releasing these photos is wasting their time.

This really is silly. I cannot fathom why the Kerry folks think this is a bad image. John Kerry climbs inside the same space shuttle that carried John Glenn back into space - with Glenn at his side. Although Kerry's record on space is mediocre at best, such a photo op with an American icon inside an icon of America's space prowess ought to be something that the Kerry campaign proudly promotes. Or does the Kerry campaign have a problem with images of John Kerry inside a space shuttle being circulated i.e. are they afraid that he will be forced to take a stronger position on space than they would like him to adopt?

Update: NASA sources inform me that NASA KSC gave the Kerry campaign people about 30 CDs, which were to be distributed to local media by the Kerry people. The photos in question were on these CDs. Local reporters were seen with with these CDs later in the afternoon. As such, assuming that the reporters got the CDs from the Kerry campaign, the Kerry people distributed the photographs themselves! There was no "leak". Read the story: Kerry Camp Peeved at 'Leaked Photo', Fox News

27 July 2004: Republicans Try to Ridicule Kerry with NASA Photo, Reuters

"My hunch is that the brilliant Republicans who put George Bush in a flight suit to strut around an aircraft carrier won't get very far giving advice to NASA and John Glenn about the kinds of coveralls to wear on the Discovery," Kerry spokesman David Wade said of the first American to orbit earth."

"We sent men to the moon, and when that was not far enough, we sent Galileo to Jupiter, we sent Cassini to Saturn, and Hubble to touch the very edges of the universe at the very dawn of time. Americans showed the world what can happen when people believe in amazing possibilities. And, that, for me, is the spirit of America - the America you and I are working for in this election. It is the America that people all across this nation want to restore..."

John Kerry does KSC

26 July 2004: Kerry hunts for votes in Florida, Houston Chronicle

"About 250 people crammed a conference center at Kennedy Space Center for a Kerry forum billed as a discussion of science and the future. But the senator, sleep deprived by a hectic schedule , delivered a far-ranging but sometimes listless riff on the keywords of his campaign: strength, respect abroad, health care and jobs."

26 July 2004: John Kerry on Space 2004, SpaceRef

"Given this rather blunt rejection of human space flight and a permanent human presence in space, one has to wonder: if Kerry is this strongly against the International Space Station, a multi-year, multi-billion dollar international program several hundred miles overhead, whether he'd be any more interested in a similarly large, long-term project that sent humans to the Moon or Mars."

Editor's note: Excerpt from "New Moon Rising - The Making of America's New Space Vision and the Remaking of NASA" by Frank Sietzen Jr. and Keith L. Cowing which will be in bookstores in early August 2004.


26 July 2004: Kerry stumps at space center, Orlando Sentinel

"Speaking before an invited audience, Kerry said that the nation needs to continue exploring space -- but that it also has to apply the same vigor to problems on Earth. Kerry said it made perfect sense to be at KSC on the day the Democratic National Convention began in Boston."

26 July 2004: Kerry and Edwards Highlight Health Care Plan on Journey to Boston

"Americans have always come together to reach for distant horizons," Kerry said during his visit to the space center. "Our spirit of discovery has always united us - from Lewis and Clark's expedition to landing on the moon. That same spirit is what makes America strong. And it's what has always made America a leader in the world. We need to harness that spirit of discovery and innovation to build a stronger America."

From launching people into space to discovering new cures for the deadliest diseases, America has always pushed the boundaries of science to use America's can-do spirit to make us stronger at home. While the Bush administration has threatened our leadership in innovation and put ideology ahead of sound science, Kerry and Edwards' plan for America's future will once again ignite our country's sense of discovery and innovation to ensure high-quality health care for all Americans."

"As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, we always remember that it was Neil Armstrong who walked on the moon," Kerry said. "But we must never forget the American spirit of discovery and innovation that led us there."

26 July 2004: Deputy with Kerry injured in motorcade, ABC7News.com

"The campaign says the presidential candidate's car turned around and Kerry came back to check on the deputy. Fire and rescue crews arrived and, after about a five-minute stop, the motorcade continued to the Kennedy Space Center."

26 July 2004: Kerry is mum on moon and Mars, Florida Today

"The other astronaut-senator in attendance, Sen. Bill Nelson, said he has spoken at length with Kerry and is convinced the space program will not wilt under his leadership. Nelson said Kerry wants to continue exploring space with people and humans. He said Bush, despite announcing a new vision, has done little to fight for the funding NASA needs to do it."

Editor's note: Sen. Nelson is either unaware of the fact that the President has threatened to veto appropriations legislation that would cut implementation of his new space policy - or he is distorting events for partisan purposes.

Also - the phrase "continue exploring space with people and humans" has me a little confused. Is this a direct quote of something Nelson said? I always thought "people" = "humans".

Update: The article has been changed to read "people and robotic spacecraft."

14 July 2004: Kerry's Inner Circle Expands, Washington Post

"And experts have been enlisted to draft policy memos on issues -- from the technical to the obscure -- that just may crop up between now and November. Advisers have crafted briefings on Microsoft billionaire Paul G. Allen's private spacecraft, African trade agreements, a manned mission to Mars and federal tax deductibility of state sales taxes."

8 July 2004: AIA Asks Bush, Kerry To Back Increased NASA Funding, Aerospace Daily

"We just wanted to remind both candidates that this part of the aerospace industry is enormously important to us. It's enormously important to the American people and we need to make sure that NASA is adequately funded to meet this important need of the future," said AIA President and CEO John W. Douglass."

Spending Money "in SPACE"

26 February 2004: Candidates on the issues: Space, AP

"The Associated Press chooses an issue three times a week and asks the presidential candidates a question about it. SPACE: Do you support the plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 in preparation for manned missions to Mars?"

27 February 2004: Kerry targets Bush's economics in University of Toledo speech, Toledo Blade

"What we need to do as we enter this dawn of the 21st century, is not talk about going to the Moon or even to Mars. We need to go to the Moon right here on Earth by creating the jobs, building the high value-added jobs of the future..."

Editor's note: Duh. I wonder if it occured to the good Senator that no jobs have yet been created off this planet and that every dollar that goes to someone's salary working on the President's space initiative is spent "right here on Earth" and that this also accomplishes the Senator's desire to create "high value-added jobs of the future" as well.


18 January 2004: Clark takes stand on flag: 'Flags ought to be a way of uniting people, not dividing people', Times & Democrat

"Clark is dubious about President Bush's proposal to establish a base on the moon and work toward an eventual manned mission to Mars. "It's not clear to me that the program, as Bush has explained it, makes sense or fits into our priorities," Clark said. "It looks like an election year gimmick to me."

Dems don't like space

15 January 2004: Gore blasts Bush space plan, says Earth neglected, Reuters

"Instead of spending enormous sums of money on an unimaginative and retread effort to make a tiny portion of the moon habitable for a handful of people, we should focus instead on a massive effort to ensure that the Earth is habitable for future generations," Gore said to a cheering Manhattan crowd."

15 January 2004: Bush Calls for New Direction for Space Program, McClatchy Newspapers

"Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in New Hampshire last week, said Bush's plan "is not worth bankrupting the country" and suggested it is politically motivated. Some analysts said Bush wants to inject a bold, forward-looking domestic initiative into his re-election campaign this year."

15 January 2004: Kerry comments on Moon Policy, SF Chronicle

"Rather than sending Americans to Mars or the moon right now, these people would be better off trying to figure out how to get Americans back from Iraq," he said."

15 January 2004: Transcript - Bush Space Plans, Dr. John H. Gibbons Former Presidential Science & Technology Adviser, Washington Post

"Dr. John H. Gibbons: I'm sad about the focus on human space flight when we're doing so well with robotics which extend human presence. This refocus on human flight is something that worries me greatly. I think its a misplaced focus on the future that will borrow heavily from an already deficit-ridden country. It also seems to be unilateral, and it should be an international effort."

15 January 2004: Razor-thin race whips Iowa into final frenzy, Washington Post (via Seattle Times)

The passion that unions feel about defeating Bush became evident when, in his speech, Gephardt made a dismissive reference to the president's new proposal that would send Americans back to the moon and eventually to Mars. Spontaneously, the union workers broke out in a chant: "Send Bush to Mars! Send Bush to Mars!"

12 January 2004: Dean admits he had no minorities in his cabinet, AP

"Asked about Bush's expected call for a costly new effort to return U.S. astronauts to the moon and send them to Mars, Gephardt said that NASA ought to remain focused on the space station. "I think we ought to see this through before we go on to something else," he said. He also said that with the deficit at $450 billion, the nation's first priority ought to be job creation."

11 January 2004: Dean catches flak over record on minorities, St Louis Post Dispatch

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio turned a question on the space program into a platform of canceling President George W. Bush's tax cuts, bringing troops home from Iraq and slashing the Pentagon budget. And, he threw in a joke for good measure: "I've been wondering why the president would, while we're still in Iraq, talk about going to the moon and going to Mars. Maybe he's looking for the weapons of mass destruction still."


11 January 2004: Mars, the moon on Bush's Agenda, Marin Independent Journal

But politics does not stop at the atmosphere's edge. At a rally in Rochester, N.H., yesterday for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, suggested that Bush's motivation was political, and he asked how the program would be paid for. "I happen to think space exploration is terrific," Dean said. "Where is the tax increase to pay for it? It is not worth bankrupting the country."

11 January 2004: Democrats in Tight Race Before Iowa Caucuses, Reuters

"At a pancake breakfast in Waterloo, Iowa, Dean took aim at Bush instead, calling him out of touch with reality and ridiculing his upcoming call for replacing aging U.S. space shuttles with a new generation spacecraft to get Americans back to the moon and on to Mars."

11 January 2004: CNN Late Edition (Transcript)

BLITZER: "Let's go through a few of the substantive issues on the agenda right now. The president expecting next week, in this coming week, to announce a major new initiative on space, to perhaps send man, maybe women, men and women, back to the moon for some sort of a permanent base there, and maybe even, long term, go out to Mars. Is this money well spent?"

LIEBERMAN: "You know, I have very mixed feelings about it, but I'll make clear where I end up. Remember, I was attracted into politics by President Kennedy, so the moonshot program thrilled me, and I've always supported the space program. But if you ask me whether the best use of $1 trillion of American taxpayer money in the coming years is to land a mission on Mars or the moon, I'd say no. We need it right here on Earth to give health care that's affordable to everybody, to improve our education system, and do better on veterans' benefits and homeland security. And I'll tell you, I've got an idea to create an American center for cures, that will set as the goal something that seems as impossible today as it did when Kennedy said we could go to the moon, and that's to cure chronic diseases like Alzheimer's and forms of cancer and diabetes, et cetera, et cetera. But if we need -- if we had that kind of money, we could do it right here on Earth. And, frankly, I think that's more important to the American people than that kind of space voyage at this point in our history."

space as a campaign issue?

26 December 2003: Bush Advisers, With Eye on Dean, Formulate '04 Plans, NY Times

"As a result, the White House is considering using the State of the Union address to propose a big new national goal that would not be partisan or ideological and would help rally the country behind Mr. Bush's leadership, an outside adviser to the administration said. The possibilities floated by the White House include a major initiative for the space program or an ambitious health care goal like increasing life expectancies."

21 December 2003: Space must be a global frontier, OpEd, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Twenty years from now we can imagine a team of astronauts planting the flags of many nations on a distant surface, an iconic reflection of Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind. We should embrace this prospect."

Clark: no moon fan

15 December 2003: Clark brings anti-war campaign to state, The Tennessean

During his campaign speech, Clark made indirect reference to reports that Bush plans to return U.S. astronauts to the moon. ''I see a country that can produce great scientists and engineers,'' Clark told the crowd. ''We've already been to the moon. We did it.'' Afterward, he told reporters, ''We need to get America pointed into the future on the things that represent the future in this country.''

Dean on space

6 November 2003: Online Chat with Howard Dean, Washington Post/ Concord Monitor

"Dallas, Tex.: If elected President, what are your plans for NASA and the Space Program? Do you think it's time to retire the Shuttle and move on to bigger and better things, such as a human mission to Mars, or returning to the moon?

Howard Dean: I am a strong supporter of NASA and every government program that furthers scientific research. I don't think we should close the shuttle program but I do believe that we should aggressively begin a program to have manned flights to Mars. This of course assumes that we can change Presidents so we can have a balanced budget again."

Editor's note: Oops - balanced budgets. In other words "don't hold your breath". Then again Wes Clark has been supportive - but vauge as well. At least Clark's campaign has a space-related website (run mostly by Mars Society members).

Clark on Space

30 September 2003: Clark Campaigns at Light Speed, Wired

"Clark's comment about FTL travel came at the end of a long answer to a question about his views of NASA and the U.S. space program. Clark said he supports the agency and believes "America needs a dream and a space program." But Clark said the nation must prioritize its technological goals and take a pragmatic approach to focusing its scientific resources and talent."


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