Paging Dr. Gupta

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THE TREATMENT JANUARY 6, 2009

Paging Dr. Gupta

I was about to decry the news of Obama's reported desire
to make Sanjay Gupta his Surgeon General as the triumph of style over
substance, but then I read further into Howie Kurtz's piece and saw:

The Michigan-born son of Indian and Pakistani parents, Gupta has always
been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the late
1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for Hillary Clinton. His
appointment would give the administration a prominent official of
Southwest Asian descent and a skilled television spokesman.

I'm less interested in his ethnicity (see why below).
But his policy chops--of which I'd previously been unaware--and his TV
skills--of which I'm all too aware--make for a fairly compelling
argument that he'd be a decent Surgeon General, especially if, as seems
likely, Obama expects him to play a role in pursuing health care
reform. He's definitely more compelling on Larry King than Tom Daschle.
Now, just so long as Obama doesn't ask King himself to join his
administration . . . .

--Jason Zengerle

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