Monday, July 13, 2009

Got a Good Story? That Might Get You a Job In the Obama Administration..


Forrest !!! Obama Taps a Dr. From Bubba's Hometown For Surgeon General
I'm starting to get a little concerned here. I do like out of the box thinking, and to get fresh blood and new ideas in DC, but I'm beginning to think that the Obama Adminstration looks more for a good backstory for their choices, rather than actual results....
Politically, I thought that Barack Obama's choice of Sonia (SoSo) Sotomayor was a master stroke. Anytime you can rack up 47 million citizens, you've done a good job from that aspect. But, when you do it twice, it makes me think that you aren't exactly looking for 'the best and the brightest', but for people who make us all warm and fuzzy....
Today, he tapped Regina Benjamin to be the next Surgeon General of the United States. Benjamin, who has a reputation as a country doctor (any surgery experience?) is from Bayou LaBatre, Alabama. Now my first thought was that he picked a lady from Bubba Blue's hometown in Forrest Gump? Interesting. But , Gumpisms aside, let's look at the geography of it briefly... Alabama - the state that has one of the highest obesity, diabetes and cancer rates in America. But it gets worse...
Part of her backstory is also the loss of mant members of her immediate family to preventable diseases. Her father from Diabetes, her brother from HIV, and her mother from Lung Cancer from smoking. This is going to sound extremely harsh, but she apparently hasn't been able to help her own family or her own state. But, she is concerned about it. Most doctors are, but a lot of them have been more successful at beating it. is this what we want at the national level? Find me a doctor in Colorado, where the rate of heart disease, diabetes and obesity is about half of Alabama's.....
Her selection seems to be based on the story, her vocalness about health disparities among minorities, and her ambition. I'm beginning to get the impression that we may start seeing some examples of more bureaucrats that are in over their heads. This isn't as stupid as choosing Brownie for FEMA, but it may prove to be a pretty bad choice....
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7 comments:

pluvlaw said...

I think it's pretty apparent, given her background, that Obama is using this nomination as a chance to argue the need for health care reform. That personal history you list is a major point Obama pushes in arguing for healthcare reform: more focus on prevention.

In addition to her own family story, she's been on the front lines of providing health care to the poor, converting her own practice to a clinic, oftening treating patient who could not afford to pay. She was one of Time's "50 Future Leaders under 40" and won a MacArthur "Genius" grant (I need to get me one of them).

The White House has such high hopes for her as an advocate for health care reform, that as Slate's Chris Beam noted: "if Benjamin did not already exist, Obama would have created her."

west_rhino said...

Genius grant? I suspect I'd not run across most recipients at a Mensa meeting...

Mike Reino said...

Good to have you back, Rhino..

west_rhino said...

Connections from Argentina are sometimes tricky... why my bags are in Darfur, Anchorage and Ulan Bator still mystifies me.

Anonymous said...

Connections from Argentina? Now what were you doing in Argentina with Mark Sanford?...

South America mg said...

I am in South America WR and I believe I seen your bag yesterday at the airport.

west_rhino said...

I wish you wouldn't describe Mama Rhino as a bag... she's prone to open up some backcountry whoopass.