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Other TV Stars for The Cabinet?

By Ed O'Keefe

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a medical journalist for CNN and CBS News, has been offered the job of surgeon general, according to The Post's Howard Kurtz. The Atlanta-based neurosurgeon, who has inspired a fan blog and has been known to eat fire, will trade air time with Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric for the job as the nation's top doctor.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

This got The Eye wondering what other television stars Obama has passed over for cabinet positions? Perhaps Alex Trebeck for Education secretary? Major Dad for secretary of Defense? Alan Alda of M*A*S*H fame for Veterans Affairs?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and we'll post the best responses soon.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 6, 2009; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  Revolving Door, What Would You Do?  
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I'd be interested to see the Post's coverage of the time that the first President Bush named Arnold Schwarzenegger as the head of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. What a silly appointment! As though a movie star married to Maria Shriver had any future in politics! Oh wait...

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | January 6, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Shut up Ed !

Just because you saw him on TV does not mean you know his qualifications and background. Do your research and then open your bleeping mouth. He may have inspired people via TV, but he is one of the best neurosurgeon out there, but he is not racking money like others.

Posted by: rakeshpol | January 6, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Of course the president's council on physical fitness is primarily promoting physical fitness not actually setting any policy, so picking a high profile person for that makes a bit more sense.

Posted by: ah___ | January 6, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank God that Pres.-Elect Obama vetted out his first three choices and determined that both Drs. Huxtable, Doogie Hoswer and House were fictional characters.

That would have been embarrassing.

But since they're going after CNN (or ex-CNN) folk, can Miles O'Brien be the new head of NASA?

Posted by: kolbkl | January 6, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

cool! I think the fact that this guy is young, articulate and is more in tune with the fact that we can save GAZillions of health care dollars if people would lose weight and move thier butts off of the couch. Personally i'd like to see a "house" character but this is politics...

Posted by: jayp1 | January 6, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this appointment appears to fall into the "affirmative action" category. Dr. Gupta is a TV personality, not a notable in the public health field. He has a nice smile, but nothing that would qualify him as the Commander of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Does he even have a Masters in Public Health?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 6, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

According to this very newspaper, Dr. Gupta has a longstanding interest in health policy and, as a White House fellow, helped Hillary Clinton draft health policy. He's more than just pretty face.

Posted by: VirginiaMom | January 6, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

rakeshpol: Really? "Shut Up Ed"? Geez!

I find this whole thing interesting. Although rakeshpol might have a good point, in the recent past, I doubt Sanjay is as experienced in Neurosurgery as some of his counterparts.

And frankly, based on Obama's platform, I think he should be looking to someone in stem cell research since we're now 8 years behind in that area.

I don't think I'm the only one who isn't getting the appointments thus far.

Posted by: PScaz | January 6, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Every morning, I look forward to Dr. Sanjay Gupta's clear and plain discussion of relevant health issues on CNN. I find him to be informative, pleasant and on-point. These are the same bedside manner traits I seek in a personal physician, and certainly in a specialist.

I'm appalled at the critics who obviously don't take advantage of the valuable information Dr. Gupta provides via the CNN medium. He speaks about individual health concerns and community health issues, epidemics and matters alike. In my eyes, that's the sign of a well-rounded healthcare professional.

Concerning one comment above that questions whether Dr. Gupta "even has an MPH [Masters of Public Health]," what a ridiculous assertion.

First, if the poster had bothered to review Dr. Gupta's bio, credentials, experience and expertise, s/he would know that an MPH doesn't qualify one to perform neurosurgery. Second, head of neurosurgery service at Atlanta's Grady Hospital is reserved for someone who is fully capable of leading one of the country's most challenging healthcare facilities. Grady is a trauma center, located in central Atlanta where many of the most complex medical cases are addressed. Third, the suggestion that President-elect Obama's interest in appointing Dr. Gupta is a mere affirmative action appointment is ludacris, but (sadly) not unexpected. It seems this country will never overcome its fascination with race, ethnicity and color. Equally puzzling about the affirmative action remark is that white women, above all, are the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action. Please check your facts (and, attitude) before making such sweeping generalizations.

Dr. Gupta, I sincerely hope you have every opportunity possible to demonstrate to our country what a superb Surgeon General you will be for the U.S.

Posted by: DeborahKempSPHR | January 7, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

One can only hope that Dr. Gupta will decline the nomination. If not he will disappear in the bureaucracy and politics of the position in government. We have learned infinately more about health care and issues presented by Dr. Gupta through his appearance on CNN and other media outlets. Notwithstanding his credentials and experience don't let this gifted, professional be swallowed up by the FEDS!

Posted by: irishlass7 | January 7, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

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