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A Theory: Obama Waiting for Gov. Bill Richardson, to Nominate Him as NASA Administrator? May 4, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Bill Richardson, NASA, Obama.

President Obama has gone a long time without naming a new NASA administrator, with many at NASA growing nervous and some (including Sen. Bill Nelson) puzzling over what the delay is for:

“There is some political center that is slow walking this, and I don’t know what it is, who it is or why.” –Sen. Bill Nelson,  as reported by Florida Today (via SpacePolitics.com)

As leading administator candidates have been dropping off the list left and right, few strong candidates seem to remain.

After Nelson’s “slow-walking” comment, I got to thinking about what events in the near future Obama could possibly be waiting for, and remembered a series of events and Obama comments from this past January…

Back in January, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was Obama’s choice for Commerce Secretary, but withdrew from consideration due to a “pay-to-play” investigation that Richardson underestimated the duration of (video).

At the time, Obama stated that he expects to have Richardson back at some point:

“Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Gov. Richardson’s decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration.” –Barack Obama’s statement regarding Richardson’s withdrawal

As the video linked above of Richardson’s additional comments and other sources suggest, Richardson and Obama believe the investigation will eventually come out in Richardson’s favor, at which point Richardson would be clear for an appointment somewhere.

Richardson’s space credentials are strong, as are his political ones. With things not going so hot for Richardson as Governor of New Mexico since the withdrawal, he’s probably also eager to move on to something new. Things do appear to be progressing to a degree (April 29th article) in regards to the investigation.

Obama is mysteriously waiting  to nominate a NASA administrator…the investigation into Bill Richardson may be waning soon…and Obama stated he expects Richardson to be back , presumably once Richardson is cleared enough of wrongdoing to ease his acceptance by Congress—which, by the way, is now also effectively filibuster-proof anyhow (thanks to Sen. Arlen Specter’s recent defection).

Could Obama simply be waiting for Richardson’s storm to blow over, in order to nominate him as Administrator?



1. aeroastronut - May 11, 2009

Good theory.

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