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So in the news today, Barack Obama has approached Sanjay Gupta–host of CNN’s “House Call” and noted neurosurgeon–to become the Surgeon General. For some reason this has pissed people off. Why? It’s viewed as a “celebrity” pick.
Here’s my argument.
This is not like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who swaggered into office with nothing more than being head of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under his belt. This is not like Ronald Reagan, who was an actor by profession before he entered politics. To put Sanjay Gupta in the same category is ridiculous.
Sanjay Gupta’s training is in medicine, and he is a neurosurgeon–a field that is defined by its demand for perfection, since anything less than that could be fatal. The position he was tapped for was the position of Surgeon General. It’s not a terribly unusual situation.
Ok, so he is a CNN health correspondent. So? Chris Matthews is eyeing a run for Senator from Pennsylvania. He is a heavyweight in the world of political media, currently as the host of Hardball on MSNBC, and as a political writer and commentator in other media venues. He had a long political career that spanned several administrations before taking his place before a camera to comment on politics, rather than participate in it. Is Chris Matthews not worthy of a government position because of his celebrity status?
What are your thoughts?