Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will not be running for President in 2008.
No one is asking me, but as an observer, I see a great opportunity here. As a Nashvillian and somewhat close observer of Bill Frist’s entire career, not just his time in the Senate, I think he is perfectly suited to take a leadership role in solving some of the world’s great medical challenges — be they in the U.S. (access to affordable care and coverage) or globally (he regularly travels to Africa on medical mission trips). Frist is brilliant surgeon — graduate of Princeton, Harvard Medical School, residencies at Mass General and Stanford and founder of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. Despite spending only 12 years in the Senate, he was Senate Majority Leader for four of those years.
From an extremely wealthy and philanthropic family, Frist needs no corporate-board gigs, speaking or consulting fees to fund his lifestyle. He needs no powerful ego title. Heck, he even has access to private jets.
In other words, Frist has the ability to play one of those roles ex-Presidents play — when they are no longer a political threat to anyone. It’s the greatest power of all: The power of being able to tackle global problems without having every decision and action judged in terms of their impact on your future political asperations.
From my vantage point as a by-standing observer, I think Bill Frist has a unique power and portfolio to solve some big problems. I hope that he can somehow use the timing of all of this to join up with another force that also has a unique power and portfolio and wants to solve the same big problems: Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Massive money, power, brains, unlimited access to the world’s leaders — all without the baggage of working inside the constraints of politics or governmental red-tape. All those folks should be working together somehow to fulfill their shared visions of curing diseases and healing the sick.
(first saw via: NashvillePost.com)