Howard Kurtz says it’s all but a done deal:
President-elect Barack Obama has offered the job of surgeon general to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the neurosurgeon and correspondent for CNN and CBS, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way. He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer.
Gupta has always been drawn to health policy. He was a White House fellow in the late 1990s, writing speeches and crafting policy for Hillary Clinton. His appointment would give the administration a prominent official of Southwest Asian descent and a skilled television spokesman.
The role of the Surgeon General has been neglected in recent years; in fact, the position has officially been vacant since July, 2006.
With the Obama administration gearing up for massive health care reforms (and with the help of Gupta’s star power) I hope there will be a positive change in the role of the Surgeon General of the United States.