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Shocker: Obama Reverses Himself On NASA

From the Orlando Sentinel and YouTube:

Obama says he will protect NASA jobs, budget

Robert Block | Sentinel Staff Writer
August 3, 2008

TITUSVILLE – In a dramatic reversal of policy, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Saturday told supporters on the Space Coast he no longer favors slashing NASA’s budget, declaring that the United States “cannot cede our leadership in space.”

Though he said nothing specific about sending astronauts to the moon or Mars — the central focus of NASA’s plans and key to the hopes of many space supporters — Obama was more supportive of the agency than he had ever been publicly…

The Illinois senator promised he would work to add one more space-shuttle flight beyond 2010, the shuttle program’s scheduled end. He said he wanted to ensure thousands of contract workers didn’t lose their jobs. “We cannot afford to lose their expertise,” he said.

NASA has said up to 6,400 KSC workers will be laid off when the shuttle stops flying, though that total will be offset some by Constellation jobs.

Until Saturday, Obama had said he wanted to delay the Constellation man-on-the-moon program for five years to free up money for education programs. His change indicates he considers NASA’s future an important election issue, especially along the critical Interstate 4 corridor

Obama volunteered his shift in position during a question-and-answer session.

“I know it’s still being reported that we were talking about delaying some aspects of the Constellation program to pay for our early-education program,” he said. “I told my staff we’re going to find an entirely different offset, because we’ve got to make sure that the money going into NASA for basic research and development continues to go there. That has been a top priority for us.”

That position had been “reported” on Obama’s official campaign Web site until it was removed Saturday

Obama had indicated he would revise his space policy

Obama also distanced himself slightly from a bipartisan Senate plan to open offshore oil drilling to help finance a $20 billion program to wean the nation off petroleum energy. The plan would allow drilling within 50 miles of Florida’s coast, which is now protected by a 125-mile ban.

Obama had endorsed the plan Friday, only to hear Nelson demand that the 125-mile limit be retained.

On Saturday, Obama was more circumspect:

“The one thing that I’ve said consistently when it comes to the Florida coastline is that as dependent as this state is on tourism . . . we’ve got to proceed with extreme caution when it comes to anything that has an impact on that extraordinary treasure.”

Of course he doesn’t mean one word he says.

He is just pandering for votes in Florida.

Once he is elected (or even out of earshot of Floridians) he will go back to singing his old tune.

This is what he means by “change.” That Mr. Obama can change his position on a dime, depending on which group of potential voters he is courting.

In case anyone has forgotten, here is Mr. Obama vowing to fund “No Child Left Behind” by cutting NASA and specifically its central “Constellation Program,” way back in November 20, 2007:

As the article notes, all mention of Mr. Obama’s plans to delay and thereby effectively kill the Constellation Program has just been carefully airbrushed from his campaign’s website.

But luckily there we can still find past copies of his landmark pronouncement on education (pdf file), “Barack Obama’s Plan For Lifetime Success Through Education,” where he makes this sacred pledge:

But that was then, and this is now:

(Click images to enlarge.)

It’s almost as if we can’t believe a word he says.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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