""The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician," "
And yet James Webb (who ran NASA during Apollo) was probably one of the most effective Administrators the Agency ever had.
Former lawyer and Senators staffer, with a lot of friends on the Hill and (IIRC) able to give the old Masonic high five as well.
However Webb also had a clear, simple mandate from Kennedy (get us to the Moon before New Years Eve 1969) and a formidable Programme Manager in Von Braun, keeping track of all the day to day issues.
So I think politicians fear a well connected Administrator, but such a person can be very good for the Agency, provided they have a clear direction from the President of where to go, and the support team to do it.
And that's where it all gets verrry tricky.