One lawmaker, one change, one entirely different result in the Boeing/EADS contest

Boeing’s rival for the Air Force contract announced it wouldn’t contest the decision Friday, prompting statements from nearly every Washington politician we ever deal with.

Excuse the tardiness of this post. I was off work much of last week.

For a glimpse of how one change can make such a major difference in a thing like a contract, read Rob Hotakainen’s story from the McClatchy DC bureau and you’ll get an education on politics in government and how U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, pushed for one change in the contract process that may have changed the entire outcome.

From the story:

Dicks pressed the issue at the 2008 congressional hearing after learning that the Pentagon was using a 25-year timeframe to examine costs. After the hearing, the defense subcommittee voted to require the Pentagon to consider the cost of operating the new tankers over the longer 40-year lifecycle.

And then later:

In a conference call with reporters, a top Boeing official said the lifecycle costs were key to winning the contract, which will produce 50,000 jobs nationwide, many of them in Washington state and Kansas.

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