Election 2008: January 2008 Archives

Election 2008 Update

Getting Up to Speed on Space, Science (subscription)

"Blogs such as Space Politics and NASA Watch, and organizations such as the Mars Society, keep a close eye on every utterance by a candidate on space policy. They instruct their audience how to contact the campaigns and even coach readers on how to get a space question inserted into a presidential debate. And they are being heard. "It's a small but vocal group, and they've reached out from the beginning," says the Obama staffer. "I'm impressed with the grassroots effort," adds Lori Garver, a Washington, D.C., space consultant and former NASA official who advises Obama's chief rival, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). "They've done more than all the sophisticated lobbyists."

Editor's note: I got this email today:

"Dear Space Advocate, This week, the presidential candidates will be at the podium again discussing the significant topics of our nation, and YOU have a chance to ask about what's important. As a supporter of space, this is your opportunity to get questions about Space Exploration at the forefront of the debate. Please check out the following link: http://capwiz.com/spaceadvocate/utr/1/OSTZIARNGS/ATHLIARRAS/1699563546, and vote for your favorite question, or submit one of your own. Questions about candidates' views on Space Exploration have been in the top 10 for over a week. Let's keep these on the radar. Be sure to check out the "most popular" area in both the Democratic and Republican section to see the specific question and submit your vote. SpaceAdvocate.com is current undergoing maintenance at this time. However, you CAN make a difference by making your voice heard this week. Cast your vote or submit a question.... TODAY!

Sincerely, SpaceAdvocate.com and the Coalition for Space Exploration"

There is one small problem with this. If you go to SpaceAdvocate.com you will see that it is obviously no longer being operated by the Coalition for Space Exploration. Rather, a check of domain records shows that it is owned by some guy in Ankara, Turkey. I'm not certain how the Coalition folks could call this goof-up "maintenance" when they apparently have lost control of one of their prime websites.

Election 2008 Update

Young Engineer Leads Effort To Make Space a Topic of Presidential Debate, Space.com

"[John] Benac's call-to-arms read in part: "[W]e have a tremendous opportunity to put Mars on the political map for the presidential candidates. I have submitted a question for the Republican and Democratic debates that are happening in Los Angeles on January 30th. The way that this debate works is that people submit and vote for the questions that they like online, and the candidates are asked the ones with the most votes. Please tell everyone you think would act on this." Benac's plea to "put Mars on the political map" was quickly picked up and reposted by the Mars Society and the Web site NASAWatch.com, driving more traffic to the CNN/Politico.com Web site, resulting in the posting of new questions and votes for favorites."

NASA Watch on TV

Editor's note: I did an interview earlier today with CNN about the reentering NRO satellite that aired on CNN Moneyline this evening. I am taping an interview with Fox News tomorrow about space and the 2008 election.

O'Keefe Endorses McCain

Former NASA Chief Sean O'Keefe Endorses John McCain for President

"John McCain has been my friend for over 25 years -- and over that span of time in the varied leadership roles I have held, I have witnessed John's passion for doing the right thing on behalf of and as a friend to all Americans. I am proud to support him for president," said Chancellor O'Keefe. "John McCain personifies the depth of character and integrity we need in our next president. His candor, service and sacrifice, and leadership experience in every crucial debate over the last 20 years will serve to inspire the next generation of leaders to serve causes greater than their own self interest."

Editor's note: Don't forget about the 30/31 January Democratic/Republican debates. They are now just days away. These are the last major televised debates before Super Tuesday. You still need to go to this link at Politico.com to submit/vote on space questions.

The frequency of space questions has dropped off and space questions are starting to slip in rankings. I have no idea when they will shut this off. Waste no time: add new questions, go to "most popular" for each party and make sure you have voted for the topic questions. Get your friends and family members to vote. And, if you are so inclined, you might want to vote at work, at home, at Starbucks, from your cellphone ... tell your spouse and kids to vote ... we need to use the same tricks that other "interests" use i.e. vote early - and often - and do so strategically.

You need to keep at this folks. Other "interests" have discovered this web page and are having an effect. This is a chance to make certain that the topic - and the veracity of its supporters - is known. These last few days are crucial. You have done a stellar job thus far - we can't let this opportunity slip as we head toward the home stretch.

As of 12:29 AM EST we are # 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25 on the Democratic side - yet we are only #5, 8, 13, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23 on the Republican side.



Otherwise, just sit down and shut up. You had your chance.

John McCain On the Issues: America's Space Program

"John McCain believes curiosity and a drive to explore have always been quintessential American traits. This has been most evident in the space program, for which he will continue his strong support."

Sen. McCain's comments on S. 2541 NASA Reauthorization Act

"Curiosity and a drive to explore have always been quintessential American traits. This has been most evident in the space program, which continues to show great advances in human knowledge. However, we are fully aware of the inherent risks and costs of space exploration, and the need to mitigate them wherever possible. Based on this knowledge, let us now embark upon this great journey into the stars to find whatever may await us."

Election 2008 Update

Candidates make room for space, Huntsville Times

"A month ago, I wouldn't have thought this the case, but (space exploration) is sort of in the candidates' face right now," said Keith Cowing, a former NASA astrobiologist who runs the Web site NASAwatch.com. "It seems as if something is happening (with space) and that hasn't been the case in years."Much of the political discussion centers on space exploration as a technology and education issue, Cowing said. "If you read some of the position papers carefully, then you see space and exploration as topics that are also linked to other aspects of technology development, balance of trade and education," Cowing said."

Editor's note: Check out the front page of today's (27 Jan) Sunday Huntsville Times. Also, the last line in this story, although attributed to me, was not something that I said. This error is being fixed by the Times.

Action Update: Submit Space Questions to the U.S. Presidential Debates, Planetary Society

"The U.S. Presidential primaries season is now in full swing, and debates among the candidates are taking place regularly before millions of viewers. It is a unique opportunity to push space topics onto the national political agenda. And you can help. Here's how: The sponsors of the debates are inviting the public to submit questions to the candidates online http://dyn.politico.com/debate/."

Election 2008 Update

Guiliani's Gamble, Hartford Courant

"He told them a Giuliani presidency will return America to the dominance it has lost in space. "The U.S. will be the first nation that puts somebody on Mars," he said. "We're not a limited people. We're not a people who think small," he told them. "We're here because we came from people who had grand visions."

Republicans, Lost in Space, NY Times

"Campaigning in his make-or-break state of Florida last week, Mr. Giuliani released a statement promising to "make space a priority." Apparently, America is facing a crisis far greater than health care or education reform: when the current fleet of space shuttles is retired in 2010, it's going to take as much as five years--five years, people!--before we can send another guy into orbit."

Election 2008 Update

Tell McCain and Romney in Your Own Voice, ActionForSpace

"Tomorrow, January 24, all space supporters in Florida: at 6:45 p.m, Governor Romney attends a pre-debate rally at Bogart's Bar & Grille: Muvico Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431 Go get yourself a burger, sidle up to good 'ole Mitt, and tell him why he needs to give NASA a couple billion more dollars. Tell him what effect if will have on your vote. He seems like a nice enough guy to talk to."

Election 2008 Update

Space becomes primary frontier as candidates court voters in Fla., ATlanta Journal Constitution

"For the first time in decades, space policy is emerging as a presidential campaign issue and, political strategists say, could become a decisive factor in the race to the White House. In the run-up to Florida's Jan. 29 primary, candidates have begun to talk about their views on the future of human space exploration. On Friday, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani stopped at Kennedy Space Center to pledge he would give NASA the money it needs to return Americans to the moon and go to Mars. On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed suit."

Time to put the Heat Onto Barack, Political Action For Space

"Barack Obama is opening up a campign office in Huntsville in a few hours! Go there and tell him (or his campaign people) that his space policy needs to be revised!"

Wolf Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?, CNN Politics.com

"I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina"

Editor's 20 Jan note: Wolf Blitzer just (11:44 am EST) read a space-oriented question on the air at CNN selected from those that have been submitted to this web page. Lets see if you can give him some more!

And don't forget about the 30/31 January Democratic/Republican debates. Go to this link at Politico.com to submit/vote on space questions. The frequency of space questions has dropped off and space questions are starting to slip in rankings.

You need to keep at this folks.

Editor's 20 Jan note: Rudy Giuliani was on CNN (12:23 pm EST) with Wolf Blitzer and made a fleeting mention of "having access to our space shuttle" as he talked about being in Florida.

Election 2008 Update

Time to put the Heat onto Romney, Political Action For Space

"Mitt Romney won the Nevada primary this morning. He also accepted the same invitation the Giuliani had acted on yesterday to meet with the Economic Development Council of Floridas Space Coast."

Giuliani pledges to send astronauts to the moon and Mars, Political Action For Space

"Giuliani stated boldly and unequivocally today his commintment to send humans to the Moon and Mars, among other things."

Rudy at KSC today; Mitt coming Monday, Orlando Sentinel

"Next up is Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor plans to visit KSC on Monday for a closed tour and then meet with the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast, which also lobbied Giuliani."

Editor's 14 Jan note: If you are wondering why the presidential candidates don't spend more time talking about space exploration, here's your chance to try and change that situation and toss questions at them. Go to this link at Politico.com and submit a question to the Democratic and Republican candidates for the CNN/Politico/LA Times debates at the end of the month. Imagine what would happen if they had a thousand questions from NASA Watch readers submitted ... its time for y'all to put up or shut up. Send in a question. Send in more than one question.

Space Supporters Hit the CNN Presidential Debate Website Hard, Wired

"This is clearly not random chance. NASA Watch, a private website, ran a note about the website two days ago and it appears the readers (and likely the reader's friends, families, and associates) took this idea and ran with it."

Editor's 17 Jan a.m. update: Space questions continue to do well. There are still 2 weeks until the actual debates- so the trick now is to keep the momentum going. Vote for space questions, keep submitting your own, and try and focus on a single, clear question and avoid long speeches on one narrow topic, etc.

Meanwhile there is another debate where CNN is looking for your input:

Editor's 18 Jan a.m. update: It looks like activity has slacked off. The number of space-oriented questions has fallen from the top portion of the list - most notably on the Republican side. Things are better on the Democratic side but there has been erosion there as well. As best I can figure it there needs to be a constant influx of new questions while people vote for the older ones. The easiest way to do this is to check the "most recent" link several times a day and go down and click on all of the space questions you like. This way you don't miss any. In addition, going to the "most popular" page usually only works for new visitors (or for those of you using another computer). In essence: perseverance, new questions, and new people are required to keep this up. You have done a great job thus far - keep at it!

Space: The Final Electoral Frontier?, Orlando Sentinel

"The surge followed an appeal from NASA Watch, a private website, encouraging space supporters to flood the debate website with questions about space. The request appears to have struck a nerve as NASA Watch aficionados and other space fans came out of the woodwork, inundating the website with inquires about the candidates' views on missions to the moon and mars, robotic exploration and climate change."

Submit Your Space Questions to the Debates, Planetary Society

"When you go to the site, you will see that numerous space-related questions already have been submitted, in large part thanks to the efforts of Keith Cowing, editor of the website NASAWATCH."

Earlier posts:

National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2008, NSF

"Science and Engineering Indicators, published by the National Science Board, provides a broad base of quantitative information on the U.S. and international science and engineering enterprise."

NSB Science and Engineering Indicators 2008: Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding: Highlights

page 7-13: "Relative to other topics, including S&T-related topics, interest in space exploration has consistently ranked low both in the United States and around the world. Surveys in Europe, Russia, China, and Japan document this general pattern."

page 7-26/27: "Although support for federal research investment is at historically high levels, other kinds of federal spending generate even stronger public support (appendix table 7-18). Support for increased spending is greater in numerous program areas, including education (73%), health care (72%), assistance to the poor (68%), environmental protection (67%), and Social Security (61%). Scientific research ranks about on a par with mass transit (38%) and well ahead of Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 7-27 space exploration (14%) and assistance to foreign countries (10%) in the proportion of the U.S. population favoring increased spending."

Your chance to ask the candidates a question, MSNBC

"Watch the Jan. 15th 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidates' Debate the first debate since the New Hampshire primaries on MSNBC TV and MSNBC.com to see if your question is asked."

Obama On Space Exploration

Barack Obama's Plan For American Leadership in Space

"Over the decades, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has embodied the adventurous spirit that lifted this nation to greatness and inspired people around the world. Barack Obama believes that the United States needs a strong space program to help maintain its superiority not only in space, but also here on earth in the realms of education, technology, and national security. Over the years, NASA technology has been applied to improve everything from computers and medical technology to baby formula and automobiles. Work done at NASA, whether here on earth or in outer space, impacts the daily lives of all Americans."

Election 2008, previous posts

Editor's note: Reliable sources report that Rudy Giuliani's visit to the KSC area tomorrow (Wednesday) is almost certainly being put off for a week - perhaps until 18 January.

Editor's Update: Just confirmed - he will be at KSC next week on 18 January.

Editor's note: Last night's Iowa election results left several messages (to me at least). For both parties, it seems that change is in the air and that manufactured candidates pushed by big party interests did not go over all that well (at least in Iowa). For the Republicans, it is unclear whether Huckabee's win is a flash in the pan or the beginning of a trend. For the Democrats, Obama's win over Hillary Clinton (Oh yes Edwards beat her too) signals a potential tectonic shift whereby traditional constituencies that common thought would suggest go for/against a female candidate and for/against a person of color where turned on their heads. Also "experience" and "change" seemed to trade places in terms of importance to voters. Again, we have only one data point thus far: Iowa. The weeks ahead will tell whether these two trends - together or individually will pan out into trends and/or paradigm shifts.

Obama clarifies his space policy, Spacepolitics.com

"Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space vehicles, and complete the international space station. While Obama would delay plans to return to moon and push on to mars, Obama would continue unmanned missions, and use NASA to monitor the forces and effects of climate change, support scientific research, and maintain surveillance to strengthen national security. Obama also believes we need to keep weapons out of space."

Space Makes it into the Presidential Debate, earlier post

"Cooper: Governor Huckabee?

NASA pumps some -- let's see, how many -- $5 billion into Florida's economy.

Huckabee: Whether we ought to go to Mars is not a decision that I would want to make, but I would certainly want to make sure that we expand the space program, because every one of us who are sitting here tonight have our lives dramatically improved because there was a space program -- whether it's these screens that we see or the incredible electronics that we use, including the GPS systems that got many of you to this arena tonight.(Laughter)

Some of you were late because you didn't have one, by the way. Or whether it's the medical technologies that saved many of our lives or the lives or our families, it's the direct result of the space program, and we need to put more money into science and technology and exploration. Now, whether we need to send somebody to Mars, I don't know. But I'll tell you what: If we do, I've got a few suggestions, and maybe Hillary could be on the first rocket to Mars."

Election 2008, Earlier posts

Given Obama's initial and then restated policies on space exploration, and those expressed by Huckabee, what do their respective wins (and possible future wins) mean for space policy? Do they mean anything at all?

Send your comments to nasawatch@reston.com Your comments thus far:

Slippery PR ploys trip up practitioners, Opinion, USA Today

"At first glance, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and NASA chief Michael Griffin don't have much in common. Huckabee is no rocket scientist, and Griffin is no presidential aspirant. But their respective recent forays into the field of communications illustrate a common point: Sometimes it is easy to look dumb trying to be clever."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Election 2008 category from January 2008.

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