Election 2004: July 2004 Archives

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."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Election 2004 category from July 2004.

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