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This Is Unusual

Normally, the selection of a NASA administrator is low priority in a presidential transition, because (as I point out often) space is not very important, politically. That may be different this year, though. The GAO has identified Shuttle retirement as an urgent transition issue.

Which brings up an interesting point. In addition to the snow princess, who are "Hefferen, Ladwig, Whitesides, and Monje"? I know that "Ladwig" is Alan and "Whitesides" is George, but I've never heard of the other two.

I will also say that I am somewhat reassured by the involvement of Lori, Alan and George in the transition, if they are, because they all understand the importance of commercial solutions. I would also add that if President-elect Obama wants to (at least for bipartisan appearance' sake) appoint some token Republicans, NASA would be a good ostensibly non-political place to do it. I wonder what Alan Stern's political affiliation is?


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Jim Muncy wrote:


Ed Heffernan is the former AA for Legislative Affairs and White House Liaison under the tail end of the Clinton Administration. A good guy.

Carlos Monje is a young and talented member of the Obama campaign policy team, and handled space.

- Jim

Rand Simberg wrote:

Oh, so it was a misspelling of Ed's name. I should have realized that. But I'd never heard of Monje.

Ashley wrote:

As I understand it, the first President Bush appointed Dan Goldin (a democrat) just before Clinton took office, because he wanted continuity. The end of an administration is when you're looking for bipartisanship, but maybe not so much at the beginning.

Rand Simberg wrote:

As I understand it, the first President Bush appointed Dan Goldin (a democrat) just before Clinton took office, because he wanted continuity.

I don't think you understand it correctly. There was no plan within the Bush administration to lose the election, though it may have looked like it in retrospect.

Goldin was picked because NASA is a relatively non-political position, he looked good on paper, and he was willing to take the job. It's hard to get a good NASA administrator, as the history of the agency (including Goldin's tenure) indicates.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on November 6, 2008 10:45 AM.

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