New “Poster Child”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has been so dubbed by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who bemoaned to reporters Friday the hold Shelby now has on 70 Presidential nominees ostensibly over the Air Force’s KC-X tanker competition. According to a report by The New York Times, a Shelby spokesman said the Senator has several national security concerns, including the tanker replacement program, which Shelby does not believe is being handled in a “transparent and fair” manner. Shelby supports the Northrop Grumman-EADS team, which has threatened to pull out of the competiton unless USAF makes significant changes to the request for proposals. Air Force and Pentagon leaders believe the RFP is spot on. (Also see The Hill report; Federal Times report)