Looks like Obama’s going the empathy route with his Surgeon General nominee, too, but we doubt the Senate will give him a hard time about today’s nomination of Dr. Regina Benjamin. Benjamin, who lost her brother to HIV and her mother to smoking-related lung cancer, has been running the Bayou La Batre health clinic in rural Alabama since 1987, in which capacity she’s had to deal with hurricane victims and with the hurricanes themselves, as well as a devastating fire in 2006. The clinic seems always to be suffering from money problems, and she has had to mortgage her house to sustain it, yet the doctor has soldiered on. Come to think of it, maybe Republicans will argue that she isn’t much of a manager, and suggest she stay in Alabama and open a plastic surgery practice to pay Bayou La Batre’s bills.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2009