DuBois: A Shoo-In; Clinton: A Shoo-In—Not So Fast

DuBois: A Shoo-In; Clinton: A Shoo-In—Not So Fast


Leonard Zwelling

When Dr. Kripke retired in 2007, it was generally acknowledged that her replacement, now no longer just the Chief Academic Officer, but officially a Mendelsohn-named Provost, would follow in Dr. Mendelsohn’s footsteps to the presidential suite.

Sooner than anyone imagined, the Mendelsohn Presidency was ending and a search for a replacement was on. Many thought that it was perfunctory only as Ray DuBois had the inside track. Many potential candidates sat this one out and one was rumored to have been endowed with millions where he was to stay put. This left the door wide open for Dr. Disaster and his wife and here we are. Nothing is a certainty. Retrospectively, as my recent analysis showed, the choice of DePinho was written in invisible ink on Ken Shine’s wall, but none of us saw it. At least I didn’t.

I was not a great Ray DuBois fan at the time given that he fired me on his first day in the Provost’s office, but I came to like him and considered him a thoughtful if tepid leader. Next to Dr. Mendelsohn, especially after Enron and ImClone, everyone seemed tepid. If you got on John’s bad side, as I had a unique penchant for doing as the chief research cop, he barked at you unpleasantly. He barked at me a lot.

So given the need for more money and an assertive leader for MD Anderson, the Ronald won the lottery despite the predictions of many that it would be DuBois. The circumstances dictated the result and the result dictated a catastrophe.

Flash forward to 2016.

At the national level, everyone was convinced that not only would Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination, she would be the first woman president.

Well, Bernie gave her a run for her money showing that the seemingly inevitable was nothing of the sort, then The Donald, with or without the help of the Russians, won the lottery himself. I doubt even the Russians could believe Hillary lost. They were just trying to weaken her as Putin doesn’t like her and really resented her husband. Oops! She lost just like DuBois. Nothing is certain.

In both of these cases, outside influences got more than what they bargained for.

The Regents and Dr. Shine got Dr. Personality and his wife the master of disaster when it comes to couches and software.

The Russians got an incompetent leader who cannot even allow a good speech to go untarnished by an administration full of people who talked to the Russians about goodness knows what and then failed to tell anyone even when questioned by a congressional committee. And then there is the wire tapping by Mr. Obama—NOT!

Wow! These guys all really can’t shoot straight or if they can, they tend to shoot themselves in the foot.

I have no suggestions with regard to The Donald. A special prosecutor is just a matter of weeks away as the Republicans begin to call for one so they can get back to work. If there’s a John Dean around, he needs to speak up soon and if Mr. Trump directed anyone to appease the Russians after the Obama Administration imposed sanctions, the president should be impeached, convicted and sent back to Trump Tower where he wants to be anyway.

As for The Ronald, our long institutional nightmare is almost over:

Like Nixon, Dr. DePinho will be gone now that all of the nefarious behavior (or enough anyway) is known and there’s a buffer (Steve Hahn, MD Anderson’s answer to Gerald Ford) actually running the place.

The lessons are two. First, you just never know. Predicting what will happen before it does is very hard and maybe I should learn. We may have DePInho for five more years, but I doubt it. Second, once an error is made and it is clear to all that the error will be severely damaging to the well-being of the entity the error leads, MD Anderson or the federal government, those in charge need to make a change.

The Chancellor can do this tonight.

So can the Congress. And they might, because the next choice is the generals if we have any further military snafus like the one in Yemen. Mr. Trump may know more than his generals about ISIS like Dr. DePinho knows more about curing cancer than his clinicians. Not exactly.

In Houston, send in the SEALs. In Yemen let’s stick with drones.

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