Overall, Bush administration officials deserve credit for making this transition as painless and drama-free as possible. One notable exception is NASA Administrator Mike Griffin:
Tensions were on public display last week at the NASA library, as overheard by guests at a book party. According to people who were present, Logsdon, a space historian,
told a group of about 50 people he had just learned that President John
F. Kennedy’s transition team had completely ignored NASA.
Griffin responded, in a loud voice, “I wish the Obama team would come and talk to me.”
Alan Ladwig, a transition team member who was at the party with Garver, shouted out: “Well, we’re here now, Mike.”
Soon after, Garver and Griffin engaged in what witnesses said was an animated conversation. Some overheard parts of it.
“Mike, I don’t understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood,” Garver said.
“If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar,”
Griffin replied. “Because it means you don’t trust what I say is under
He reportedly also told the head of Obama's space transition team, a former senior NASA official, that she was "not qualified" and demanded to speak to the president-elect personally.
Obama expressed skepticism about the utility of manned space flight during the campaign and has proposed partially funding his education plan by delaying NASA's manned Constellation program. In light of this, it makes sense that Griffin is suspicious, but something tells me Richard Muller's going to be very happy.
(Hat tip: Matt Yglesias)
Photo: Matt Stroshane/Getty Images