Obama loses two more nominees

posted at 9:15 pm on March 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

And this one’s just strange.  Without much explanation, CNN announced that their very own Obama administration nominee, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, would decline his appointment as Surgeon General.  That makes … how many appointments to fail in the Greatest Transition Evah?  And the countin’s not done yet:

CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta has withdrawn his name from consideration as the nation’s next surgeon general, opting to continue to devote time to his reporting and his medical career.

The choice of Gupta raised eyebrows from the beginning.  People wondered why Obama would have selected a media doctor rather than someone with more real experience in managing health systems or research.  However, since the role of Surgeon General more or less parallels that of CNN Health Correspondent — look good on camera and deliver scripted lines — the criticism was mild.  Most assumed that Obama wanted a little star power on his team.

Also, Obama lost Tim Geithner’s choice for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury tonight:

The person Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanted as his chief deputy withdrew from consideration Thursday, dealing a setback to the agency as it struggles to address the worst financial crisis in decades.

Annette Nazareth, a former senior staffer and commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission, made “a personal decision” to withdraw from the process, according to a person familiar with her decision.

As Jazz Shaw noted, John Tyler held the record for Cabinet flops in a transition with four.  Obama has three, but Gupta and Nazareth don’t quite qualify as Cabinet appointments, so Jazz’s count for Obama remains at three.  With Nancy Killefer before and perhaps Chas Freeman on the way out now, this is looking more like the rule than the exception.

Still, maybe at some point, we’ll get the media to recognize that their obsequious hosannas to the Obama transition had no relation to the truth.


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