For Secretary of Defense?
I agree that we need someone who understands the technology threat at the helm of the Pentagon. But I wonder how familiar Goldman is with Griffin’s actual record when I read “praise” like this:
The overriding strategic risk to the United States is the loss of our technological edge, and the Defense Department needs a leader with the vision and expertise to restore it. Michael Griffin would be an excellent choice. A first-rate physicist, Dr. Griffin headed NASA under the Bush 41 administration.
First, Mike knows physics, but I wouldn’t call him a “physicist.” He’s first and foremost an aerospace engineer (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The problem is that, during his tenure at NASA, he devastated the space R&D budgets and promoted Constellation, an attempt not to develop needed new technology, but to repeat Apollo (except this time “on steroids”) with decades-old technology based on Saturn and the Space Shuttle.
At the time he left the agency (unwillingly) in 2009, all that was being developed to get back to the moon was a rocket designed to carry a capsule into low earth orbit, with no serious plans for things like a lunar lander, and those items were far over budget, and slipping more than a year per year (one of the reasons that, almost a decade later, we remain dependent on the Russians for access to our own space station). Even if they’d succeeded, the planned flight rate would be very low, at ridiculously high cost.
Now, in theory, he could argue that he is now older and wiser, and learned his lesson from that, but that’s negated by the fact that he continues to support their successors, the SLS and Orion. So, if we need someone to restore our technological edge, it’s hard to make the case that he’s the right guy for the job.
[Update a while later]
OK, if Mike Griffin were SecDef, just what would he do, going on past performance? Would he propose a giant expendable combat aircraft, based on parts from F-15s and F-16s, that would fly once a year, and each service could take a turn?