Hmmm. At first glance, the rumored selection of a TV star for Surgeon General seems a bit in conflict with a president-elect who proudly (and successfully) claimed the mantra of "no drama." But if President-elect Obama does indeed select CNN's star health guru Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General, it does bring a bit of a Hollywood element to the team. Critics will certainly have an opening to contrast this pick with his more 'traditional Washington' picks for other Cabinet and high-profile positions.
If one takes a closer look, however, Dr. Gupta has quite strong medical credentials. Several of the folks here at the American Beverage Association worked with Sanjay when they served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And we've worked with him here at ABA on issues as well. On balance, we've found him fair-minded in that he seeks the views and facts on both sides of an issue. He seems to be a proponent of moderation - which we believe is the key to a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
He's a good guy. A smart guy. A caring guy. And clearly he can convey complicated medical issues in terms the common guy or gal can comprehend. But perhaps the telling, and yet unanswered, question may be how the public will view him: as their nation's doctor or a TV doctor.