Keith's note: Charlie Bolden held his SES summit the other day. This time it was done virtually so as to save travel funds. 400-500 people were on the telecon from across the agency. According to participants, at one point Bolden was asked a question about the election and what he thought as a political appointee. Bolden replied "I do not see myself as a Democratic political appointee." He then went on to talk about how he often did not agree with what the White House wanted him to do at NASA and how he had brokered some political deals with republicans. He added "if I had done what the President had wanted then NASA would just be a technology program".
Keith's update: According to NASA PAO this is a transcript of what Charlie Bolden said (in contrast to what multiple sources who listened in on the telecon have told NASA Watch):
"Let me make a subtle correction to something you said. I'm appointed by the president. I work for the president. I have the utmost respect for the president. My job, however, is to add advise the president on what force the agency should be. I like our priorities because I think we help develop those and they may not be -- they may not be exactly where somebody else sitting in this seat would have been. We helped to develop those priorities and so that's where I'm trying to keep the agency aligned. I don't view them as democratic or Republican priorities. I emphasize that these -- they represent significant compromises. If the president had gotten his way, the number 1 priority for the agency probably would have been something like technology development. That is something about which he is passionate and if you notice, it is not one of the three major priorities. But it is -- it is the underpinning of everything we do."
I asked NASA PAO for a full transcript of Bolden's remarks but NASA PAO has declined to provide one. Note that the question that Bolden is responding to was not transcribed by NASA - only his response. i.e. "Let me make a subtle correction to something you said." OK, what was it that the questioner said? My sources say that Bolden was asked about the political implications of the election as a political appointee aligned with a Democrat affiliation.