Another theme is politics. Politics is key to the plot of the book, since it gives weight and urgency to the discovery of the meteorite. The discovery is exactly what the current administration needs, while being a severe blow to Sexton's campaign. The underlying race for the presidency gives important weight and context to the discovery, and consequently to the discovery that it was a set-up. The entire set-up was master-minded for political reasons so that Pickering could ensure that Sexton never became president, and NASA maintained its monopoly of space.