If Only Hillary Could Do
For the Country What She Did For Herself and Ron Could Do For MD Anderson…

By

Leonard Zwelling

         Now we know that in the past 16 months, the Clintons have
managed to extract $25-30 million from various check-writing sources to “pay
the bills.” The last time speech was that moving, a dictator was using it. You
can pick your favorite despot du jour.

         As one of the talking heads on MSNBC said Saturday morning,
Mrs. Clinton has her campaign slogan. “I’ll do for the country what I did for
Bill and me.”  Were that only the case.

         It is becoming very common for leaders, even those with few
resources when entering high office (e.g., Mrs. Clinton’s husband), to accrue
wealth during or shortly after leaving office. Undoubtedly, the Obamas will
follow suit. Of course, some leaders don’t wait until they are gone. John
Mendelsohn gained over $6M in one day in October of 2001 selling ImClone stock.
We learned a few months later that 195 Anderson patients received the ImClone
drug without having knowledge of the President’s vested interest in their
response to it. Hmmm…why wait to make the money if you don’t have to?

         There have been ample examples of people parlaying their
fame into dollars. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton did it without even having
any talent at all. They were famous (and rich) for being famous (and rich).

         So what happened with Dr. DePinho? Why isn’t all of MD
Anderson wading through wads of cash? After all, he showed up wealthy given his
large house in Massachusetts, his many interests in corporate shenanigans, and
his wife’s equally pronounced proclivity for money and designer clothes. Who
can blame them? Surely, not I. But why didn’t their wealth translate into
wealth for those they led? (EVPs excluded as they clearly did benefit,
especially lately thanks to the Board of Regents suspending disbelief and
whatever good judgment and credibility it had left.)

         Therein lies the problem. Even Reagan couldn’t make that
trickle down malarkey work and neither can the Clintons, Mendelsohns or DePinhos.
Enriching yourself does not necessarily metastasize to others.

         Dr. DePinho cannot even maintain his own wealth as the stock
value of Aveo dropped precipitously once the worthlessness of the drug DePinho
developed at Aveo became clear to the FDA and then to the rest of the world,
even if not to Maria Bartiromo and her CNBC viewers.

So
let’s sum this up. DePinho is clearly not very good at drug development. It may
be early, but his Moon Shots have cured no cancers yet. The faculty is more
discontented than ever before under his watch. There is a constant din to raise
the clinical productivity bar implying that seeing all these patients is still
not enough. There is really no way to know because the “transparency” of the
Obama administration (none) is also the transparency of the DePinho/MD Anderson
income statement.

         I don’t know how or why the faculty puts up with this
nonsense, but apparently it does, for the patients are still being seen, the
budget is expanding and I was told recently that the head count at Anderson now
exceeds 21,000.

         If chutzpah could translate into prosperity for all, the US
would be in for high times if the people elected Hillary. Fortunately, the
people are smart enough to know that is not the case and the largesse of foreign
leaders that she, Bill, Chelsea and the Clinton Foundation have enjoyed is
unlikely to trickle down to the American people.

         Likewise, the DePinho’s increasing wealth has not been
echoed in better times for those who worked for them. And it probably won’t
beyond those they imported from Boston and those who they bought off in Houston.
Maybe the Clinton’s will buy the DePinhos out. But why would they? MD Anderson
has become a bad investment.

Either
way, as I have said before, the easiest way to deal with despotism is to
prevent it from attaining high office rather than have to displace it from high
office once attained. Oh, were it possible to have done or to do with
Ron!

But
let’s end on a high note. At least Lynda is gone.

            

Leonard Zwelling