The boss responds by nominating Judge Judy for the Supreme Court. I say, count your blessings: After appointing a beancounter to run CIA, The One’s at least given us an honest-to-goodness doctor for this job.
Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way. He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer…
The offer followed a two-hour Chicago meeting in November with Obama, who said that Gupta could be the highest-profile surgeon general in history and would have an expanded role in providing health policy advice, the sources said. Gupta later spoke with Tom Daschle, Obama’s White House health czar and nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, and other advisers to the president-elect.
As I understand it, the Surgeon General essentially serves as White House press secretary on health matters. Who better to name as your medical media mouthpiece than … a medical media mouthpiece? Besides, he assisted in battlefield surgeries in Iraq while embedded with troops for CNN; he famously fact-checked Michael Moore’s propaganda about Cuban health care; and, for the ladies, he earned a spot on People Magazine’s 2003 list of the world’s sexiest men (with Clay Aiken!). He’s the M.D. version of Obama — a celebrity prodigy who lacks the resume of his predecessors but compensates with media savvy. Get that man a white coat and a podium.
Update: Yuval Levin’s on the money:
The tone of surgeon-general reports makes for a telling case study in the way health has usurped the place of virtue in America’s public vocabulary. Public health is the only remaining language in which to speak of vice — an old-fashioned word that once would have been the obvious way to refer to, say, smoking and drinking. The self-righteousness that colors the crusade against obesity, smoking, and other modern sins is as near as the Left gets to religion, and the surgeon general fills the role of oracle or prophet.