Transition Watch: Petitioning at NASA


The Associated Press reported last week that the wife of Michael Griffin, the current NASA administrator, has been sending e-mails to friends and family asking them to sign an online petition urging President-elect Barack Obama to keep her husband on as administrator.

Save Mike Griffin?

Save Mike Griffin?

Rebecca Griffin apparently sent the appeal entitled “Campaign for Mike” on Christmas Eve. According to AP, she told the recipients:

Yes, once again I am embarrassing my husband by reaching out to our friends and ‘imposing’ on them…. And if this is inappropriate, I’m sorry.”

It’s not clear why she’d start such a petition, particularly given the reportedly strained relationship between her husband and the head of Obama’s NASA policy team, Lori Garver. I blogged last month about an Orlando Sentinel report that Griffin was not sharing information with Garver and her team.

In addition to that, NASA spokesman David Mould told AP Michael Griffin wasn’t campaigning to keep his job and would likely be replaced.

But despite these obvious roadblocks, this reporter wonders if Rebecca Griffin won’t be successful in the end. After all, in recent years there have been a few successful online campaigns.

For example, in 2007, the fans for the now-cancelled show “Jericho” used an online appeal to convince CBS to keep the program on the air for another season. And a couple of New York Mets fans started an online petition to save the team’s giant homerun apple from the scrapheap or auction block after the team moves from Shea Stadium to the new Citi Field this spring. The Star-Ledger reports that the apple will be on display at Citi Field.

If television and sports fans can meet with such success, surely fans of the NASA administrator can mount a successful campaign…right?


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  1. Pingback: Fedline » Transition Watch: NASA

  2. I read anywhere that NASA had planned a manned mission to Mars by August, 1982, but the fact that the Viet Nam war was too pricey. This type of mission would have been a drop inside the fiscal bucket, compared to the military spending back then. Comparing the value of a manned mission to Mars to that of slugging it out in Southeast Asia, I vote Mars, completely. We lost Viet Nam; what a waste. We lost our early trip to Mars; what a waste. Now, we now have financial woes and budget cuts. Again, Mars takes the back seat just to fall out of the vehicle. What can we do to stop strike three?

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