Report: CNN's Gupta Obama's choice for surgeon general

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has reportedly been offered the job already, and is likely to accept.

Published January 6, 2009 8:43PM (EST)

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reports that Barack Obama has made an interesting choice for surgeon general: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who's best known for his work on CNN and CBS.

Kurtz says Obama has offered the job to Gupta, a neurosurgeon, and told him he "could be the highest-profile surgeon general in history and would have an expanded role in providing health policy advice." Gupta reportedly wants the job, but hasn't officially accepted yet -- he's still being vetted, and figuring out the logistics of moving his family, and the pay cut he'd take is reportedly a concern for him.

Also rumored to be on Obama's radar: Willard Scott to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Ron Popeil to take over Bill Richardson's spot at Commerce and of course Gupta's CNN colleague Lou Dobbs in the top spot at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

No, just kidding. And the mandatory jokes aside, this actually does seem like a good pick. Look at C. Everett Koop -- his success as surgeon general came because he built himself a high public profile. Gupta starts off with that, and we know he can look good in front of a television camera. Plus, he's not exactly a slouch as a doc, either.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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