The Surgeon General Pick: Biden’s unfit pick and dumbest pick

By and large, Joe Biden’s presidential run has become a joke. But Biden makes a respected and smart running mate. They both bring “presidential credentials” to the table, as early voting in the primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire is widely viewed as a do-or-die affair. The two media stars should unite the Democratic Party for the first time since Barack Obama. But this presidential race is probably not going to end this way.

On Friday, Biden picked Dr. Robert Califf to be the nominee for Surgeon General and to lead the Food and Drug Administration. This pick is more than unfortunate. It’s stupid.

Why the hell did Biden pick him?

First, the history of the doctor candidate. Ten years ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) put out a powerful memo promoting his candidacy, culminating in a Nov. 12, 2007 video: “We asked an array of influential Democratic health care advocates and elected officials to opine on who they believe would make the strongest Surgeon General nominee. The following descriptions were submitted to Sen. Schumer. All statements include their own endorsement and are from last year. Each statement can be read as a summary of what each person thinks.”

Nominees who fit into Schumer’s prescription as “strongest” candidates failed to advance. Their names were in limbo and sometimes even deleted. The ever uninspiring Kathleen Sebelius was only nominated because of the expiration of her term in 2007.

Now, the hospital association’s chief liaison to Congress recently stepped down, and we have Bob Califf, his former industry lobbyist, on the list.

It’s a pretty stellar pick for Biden. Patients would win because he would help ease access to high-quality and affordable medicines. Pharmaceuticals could experience an investment tax free when marketed by a U.S. company. And the doctor candidate would also help the drugmakers cut their own taxes, create jobs, spur innovation and create more jobs by rising living standards.

Why the hell did Biden pick him?

The news about the pick took off instantly. Most of the tweets were about the fact that it takes three years to be confirmed, which is right on schedule. Naturally, we expected Biden would honor all the Senate Rules and only endorse picks to be held over from 2009.

Instead, Biden obviously sneaked a guy who would be a political asset. The optics were poor. Actually, Biden probably suspected that the reason the media would take him and pick up a call from the “New Fertility Doctor” is because he was supposed to be “intelligent.”

The other thing is that the news that the approval process for a surgeon general takes 3 years is, let’s face it, no news. In October 2016, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) raised a stink about the 3-year approval process.

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