Skip to content

Carmona Swats Administration

Dr. Richard CarmonaBack when Richard Carmona’s name was first announced as Surgeon General, I had conversations with two people who had worked with him: one was a county official, the other a former sheriff’s deputy. One liked him, one didn’t, but they both agreed: the guy could be a major pain in the ass. And they meant that in the best way.

The guy was appointed largely on the strength of his biography: a high school dropout who is a decorated Viet-Nam veteran. In addition to being a physician, he was a member of a SWAT team whose exploits would be worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. For some reason, the administration thought that a guy with this background would be perfectly happy as a partisan functionary whose only job was to stump for second tier congressional candidates.

Carmona was quietly shown the door last year. It was a weird way for him to go, especially given some of the hype that came with his appointment. He was still playing good soldier, until yesterday when he testified in front of the House Government Reform Commitee.

The politicization of every thought, deed and external organ of this administration fails to shock me, or anyone else anymore for that matter. But I am taken aback by their blocking his doing an event for the Special Olympics. Why could be wrong with the Special Olympics? Apparently, this was because it is a favorite charity of the Kennedys. I suppose Carmona could have argued that the Special Olympics are actually run by Kennedy inlaws, who are also Schwartzenegger inlaws…

I could argue that since the American Red Cross has been run by Republican aparatchiks for years, that Democrats should refuse to volunteer with them. That would be enormously petty and just darned silly though, wouldn’t it?

NB - One of the people on the board of the Special Olympics is Dr. Antonia Novello, Surgeon General for George Bush’s father.

One Comment

  1. Steve Emerine wrote:

    Rich Carmona is a real hero in an administration that sorely lacks them. He accepted the job, so he did what he was told to do, despite the fact that the people who told him what to do were idiots. He kept quiet when he was forced out and remained quiet until asked about his tenure by members of Congress. Then he told the truth. What a concept! I wonder whether Colin Powell will ever break his silence.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 5:55 am | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. [...] to his appointment, Carmona had built a reputation, among both supporters and detractors, as a world-class pain in the posterior.  His supporters meant that in a good way; if Carmona thought something wasn’t right, he just [...]