John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
July 8th, 2011
10:28 PM ET

Kennedy, Obama and the moon

(CNN) – The moon isn't what it used to be.

When President John Kennedy promised the country a lunar landing within eight years, his famous declaration became a symbol of the American can-do ideal, stating that we do such endeavors, "Not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

In February 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama used that sentiment as a defense from his Democratic primary rival, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, who attacked his campaign for being too idealistic.

An indignant Obama channeled the Kennedy sentiment when he declared at the Wisconsin Jefferson Jackson dinner, "That’s what hope is. Imagining and then fighting for and then working for what did not seem possible before. That's leadership. John F. Kennedy didn't look up at the moon and say, 'That's too far. We can't go.'"

In April 2010, an election, a financial crisis, and an Inauguration later, Obama voiced a different sentiment, however, seemingly tempering his aspirations for the moon as a human destination.

"I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the moon first, as previously planned," he said at Cape Canaveral, Florida. "But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We've been there before. Buzz (Aldrin) has been there."

But minutes after the final shuttle launch Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted that the president's space policy is not restrained, but rather expansive.

"The fact is, the president has laid out an ambitious agenda, an ambitious vision for human space life that will take American astronauts beyond where we’ve been ever before, with the ultimate goal being a human mission to Mars,” Carney said.

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Filed under: JKUSA
July 8th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

Be in the know: Today's political bullet points

Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington. Blogger/Founder Jane Hamsher:

Obama’s Political, Economic Advisers Say Jobless Rate Won’t Matter in 2012
The Breaking Point – Protect the Social Safety Net
Mr. President; You Are Out Of Touch on Debt

RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:

– "Plop, plop. Fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is." No doubt they're singing that at the White House this morning as the jobs report comes out and the Alka-Seltzer gets passed around. Start your stop watches and see how long it takes the White House to suggest another stimulus package is needed. Already, left-wing boy wonder Ezra Klein is lamenting that the last one was just too small.

– Meanwhile, Bill Burton of Obama campaign and White House fame says no one will vote based on the unemployment number. He is most likely right. People won't be able to afford the gas to get in their car to drive to the polls to vote at the rate we are going.

– And then there is John Boehner. The new rumor is he is leading Republicans toward going along with $1 trillion in new revenue for the government through "revenue increases" that are somehow not supposed to be tax increases. There's just one problem. Should you take a chart and plot on it all the revenue projections to come in from tax . . . er . . . revenue increases in the past thirty years and then plot how much those increases actually brought in, the actual is always less than the projected. It's the opposite of Barack Obama's now-famous chart showing what unemployment would be if the stimulus passed versus it not passing.

Editor’s Note: The blog is a place for a freewheeling exchange of ideas and opinions. CNN does not endorse anything said by its contributors.

Filed under: Bullet Points
July 8th, 2011
03:42 PM ET