Griffin still has to go

GRIFFIN STILL HAS TO GO…. I’ve heard about plenty of behind-the-scenes lobbying for officials looking for top administration jobs, but this is just creepy.

Late on Christmas Eve, one last wish was sent, by e-mail: Please let NASA Administrator Michael Griffin keep his job. It was from his wife.

Rebecca Griffin, who works in marketing, sent her message with the subject line “Campaign for Mike” to friends and family. It asked them to sign an online petition to President-elect Barack Obama “to consider keeping Mike Griffin on as NASA Administrator.”

She wrote, “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.”

The petition drive, which said the President George W. Bush appointee “has brought a sense of order and purpose to the U.S. space agency,” was organized by Scott “Doc” Horowitz of Park City, Utah, an ex-astronaut and former NASA associate administrator.

A cash-strapped NASA last week also sent — by priority mail costing $6.75 a package — copies of a new NASA book called “Leadership in Space: Selected Speeches of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, May 2005-October 2008.”

Seriously? “Selected speeches”?

Without any lobbying effort at all, Griffin’s chances of keeping his job would be minimal, but this campaign on his behalf is a little unseemly.

The truth is, Griffin has no realistic shot. More than anyone else in the Bush administration, he’s been surprisingly uncooperative with the Obama transition team, obstinacy that’s unlikely to be rewarded. It also doesn’t help that Griffin isn’t sure if global warming is real, and believes we should ignore the crisis, even if the evidence is accurate.

But the lobbying campaign should seal the deal.

Former NASA Deputy Administrator Hans Mark, who recommended Griffin to the Bush administration, said Griffin and his friends are handling this wrong.

“Mike ought to play it the way (retained Defense Secretary) Bob Gates is playing it, which is to shut up,” Mark said.

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