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Marianne Paskowski

CNN’s Gupta Withdraws from Surgeon General Search

March 5, 2009 9:26 PM

Here’s a headline that should make you think hard about how all the body parts are not working in the Beltway.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

The Associated Press reported Thursday night that Dr. Sanjay Gupta, well known as the host of CNN’s “House Call” and President Barack Obama’s first pick for the post of surgeon general took himself out of the selection process. What a ridiculous choice that was, President Obama, I have to say.

Gupta cited personal reasons, like wanting to spend more time with his family. Personally, I think the 39-year-old neurosurgeon, who also practices surgery at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, saw the political clouds of opposition forming.

He apparently didn’t have skeletons in the closet like tax issues, but was he really appropriate, given his age, and given that he is a TV celebrity with an active practice? Was he ready to become the talking head in Obama’s important and radical healthcare reform plan? I doubt it.

The AP said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., circulated a letter saying that Gupta was inexperienced and urging Obama not to name him.

I’m glad Conyers did that. And personally I wish Obama would just slow down. Fix the economy, create jobs, untangle the mortgage/bank problems and then give healthcare more time to rationalize into a real policy.

Obama coulda, shoulda, but apparently hasn’t learned much yet from Hillary Clinton about her first botched efforts to reform health care.


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Comments (20)

I agree with your feelings Marianne.

Our new President is well intentioned, I do believe, however, the animal, (and all it's ills), is way too big to wrestle to the ground and treat all at once.

Dr. Gupta will serve better to remain where he is to gain more experience and knowledge for potential American service at a time further down the line.

I say, with all due respect, "Mr. President, take an hour and romp with your daughters on the new playset. Forget our national issues for that hour and breathe in some Spring Air. Then return to the Oval Office and tell your hard and over working Chief of Staff & Co. to take a Chill Pill".

It has taken dozens of months to get us into the mess we're in. New, well thought out direction is what we need followed by appropriate actions.

Remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Saving our "E Pluribus Unum" asses will take many days.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:

Obama needs to take a dose of "Focus Factor," that drug touted on AM radio. He's tackling too much and not resolving anything...Marianne


Yo, Blondie --

It sure looks like Obama just went ahead and picked his favorite TV doctor without first making sure the guy would sign up for the White House's multi-ring circus. Or maybe the vetting process found some tax no-no's in Gupta's closet--problems, if they exist, that should have been determined before the very public announcement of Gupta's name.

Shopping for a TV doctor should start with those characters on ER, or Marcus Welby, or Cliff Huxtable, or even Ben Casey or James Kildare. Resurrect them. With Gupta, what's he gonna say? "I'm a doctor and I play one on TV. And I'm from the government, here to help you."

Cruisin not bruisin

Jeff Mulligan:


No TV doctor for Surgeon General? I'm bummed, just as I was when Obama picked that guy from Florida instead of Jack Bauer of "24" for Homeland Security chief.


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cruiser,

I voted for Obama and was horrified that he would pick a TV celeb doctor for this post. I like Gupta, but definitely not in this important role.

Although how important is it Figurehead, fig leaf, I don't know.

Marianne Paskowski:

Jack Bauer picked the Florida guy, if I remember, for FEMA, not Homeland Security. Just to correct the record here.

So far watching this administration just out of the gate is like watching "24."

Hope Obama finds his footing....m


Gupta or no Gupta, I'm still waiting for the check he promised during his address to Congress over 10 days again. On national television, he said the checks are "on the way". I know the US Postal Service gets backed up at times, but 10 days? I mean, the President wouldn't say the check was in the mail if it wasn't? Or would he?

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Wendy,
Not quite sure what check you're referring to, the cut on taxes in your paycheck, or a separate stimulus check, honestly it's hard to keep up with Obama.So many ideas have been floated around, it's hard to remember which are trial balloons or the real deal.

He's a master of the airwaves, or was. At least he has more gray hair than I do...mp

Chi-town Mike:

You know in Illinois we're still feeling the aftershock from Blago, and the stains that are surfacing from the previously squeaky clean Roland Burris. Faith in politics especially with the staggering economy is just not sitting well right now. So when you read a "Made (only) for TV" moment like this you just gotta hope that this can be chalked up to as a learning experience. Let's just all hope that Oprah is not next on the speed dial...


I agree that Gupta was a bad choice and I am glad that he took himself out.
And I also agree that he is trying to do a lot at once, but to do all those things first (like "fix the economy") would mean that healthcare wouldn't get addressed for years. Healthcare is a part of the bad economy.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Chi,
Long time no talk, thanks for blowing in from the Windy City, don't worry about Oprah, don't think she's on speed dial with the other O...m

Marianne Paskowski:

Felt very good yesterday and today when the heads of CitiGroup and JPMorgan pre-reported Q1 that they have money and it/them drove the market.

So again, mortgages, banks, jobs, and hopefully soon health are the drivers, but one thing at a time.


Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Chi,
Long time no talk, thanks for blowing in from the Windy City, don't worry about Oprah, don't think she's on speed dial with the other O...m

Marianne....Time for a new article!

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Peter,
You are so right, but I have a little problem here: TV Week informed me last month they they will no longer pay bloggers, so...mostly adios.

However, I intend to drop by occasionally, for free, to vent up here. Money talks, BS walks.

So as they say, I am pursuing more lucrative options and I have found them.

I am truly dismayed at the state of the trade press, especially media outlets like TV Week that should know how to capitalize on online activities.

But sorry to say, that's just not the case.



I love short sightedness...it's part of what has (and is) been ailing the country.

Click on my name here and send me an email address as to where to communicate, if you care to.

Best wishes, kiddo...you're one of the good ones.

Andy S.:

I knew sumpin' had to be up. Do let us know where we can find you in your new venture.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Andy,
Well, I'm all over the place, so here's my email for you and the world: mpcable@verizon.net.

Not ready to announce where I'm toying around, because, for now, that's all it is. Meanwhile, mostly nose to the grindstone managing the extended families' portfolios. Ugh:)

How many reporters do you know who have mastered covered calls? You just can't make this stuff up.


Gupta was a good choice. He was young, handsome, intelligent, lettered and well spoken. He is able to galvanize attention and discuss from a position of knowledge. Saying he is unqualified because of his age is like saying the Robert J Oppenheimer was unqualified to lead the Manhattan Project. In addition, he would have helped by being a new ethnicity within the administration. One thing you have to say about Obama, he is intellegent, thoughtful and plugged into popular culture. Who better to plead the case for the administration's version of national health care as well as many other issues, like childhood obesity, teen pregnancy and preventative medicine, that a noted medical doctor who is also a pop icon. His withdrawal is a loss for Obama and the country.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi mckblueyes,
Remember Gupta dropped out and probably a wise move. Today Obama and team stepped in with GM and Chrysler. Too many moving parts to my taste.
Thanks for your post, I like Gupta, too, can't say I was surprised by his change of heart...mp

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