Editor's note: NASA Watch has learned that Major General Charles F. Bolden will most likely be named NASA's next administrator according to our sources. He will still need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Keith's note: As I have said numerous times before, this would a wonderful choice. You don't get face time with Obama unless you are at the absolute top of the list - and no other names are being floated. My guess is that the job is Bolden's if the stars all align properly. So far, align they have.
Frank's note: Well, it didn't happen in the first 100 days, but Obama beat both Clinton (who inherited Dan Goldin as administrator but didn't decide to keep him for several months into 1993) and George W. Bush (who kept Goldin on for the better part of a year until drafting Sean O'Keefe- having failed to find a suitable other candidate) in the time it took him to pick a NASA Administrator. Bolden brings both astronaut experience as well as corporate and military management skills to NASA at this critical time, having been sought as Deputy Administrator by O'Keefe, a move blocked (gleefully at the time) by O'Keefe's arch nemesis Donald Rumsfeld. My prediction is a political type for his deputy- maybe Lori Garver gets her long sought patronage appointment? The only question is-what took Obama so long, since Bolden had been talked up for the post for months. Stay tuned!
Editor's Update: Poll: Do you approve of Charles Bolden as NASA's next administrator?
Frank's update: Sources tell me a powerful member of the Senate Approps Committee has signaled opposition to Bolden, for reasons not yet clear. So the appointment may not yet be a done deal..
Editor's Update - Friday 10:28 p.m. PDT: Someone is going to meet with President Obama on Monday it would seem, and it still appears to be Bolden.
Bolden to Meet with Obama Monday about NASA Job, Washington Post
"White House press secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed the Monday meeting between Obama and a NASA administrator prospect during today's daily briefing, but wouldn't name Bolden.
QUESTION: And on Monday, Robert, will there be a NASA administrator announcement?
GIBBS: I think you know that the president will meet with somebody that he hopes will -- wants to meet with somebody about filling the important role of future NASA administrator.
GIBBS: He will meet with them on -- on Monday, and we'll have -- we'll see how that goes. "
"However, reached by phone May 15, Bolden told Space News he had not been asked to take the job and had no plans to meet with White House officials to discuss it.
"I am hearing the rumors, and as far as I know there is no truth in the rumors," Bolden said. "You can't say 'yes' or 'no' when you haven't had a conversation. I haven't had that conversation and I don't have one scheduled."
Charlie Bolden: News or Noise?, NASA Watch, January 7, 2009
GenCorp Elects Charles F. Bolden to its Board of Directors; Robert A. Wolfe to Resign, SpaceRef, December 17, 2004
White House Pulls the Plug on Bolden Nomination to No. 2 Position at NASA, SpaceRef, March 13, 2002
Former Astronaut Charles F. Bolden to Return to NASA, SpaceRef, February 1, 2002
White House, NASA Administrator Move to Fill Key Agency Positions, SpaceRef, January 31, 2002