Who’s Number Two?

Who’s Number Two?


Leonard Zwelling


This piece on The New York Times web site on June 17 discusses the process by which Donald Trump may identify his running mate.

The author, Ramin Setoodeh, who wrote a book about Trump’s days on The Apprentice entitled “Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass,” theorizes that what Trump is looking for in a vice-presidential running mate is a co-star who will not upstage him, but rather fawn over his royal orangeness.

Mr. Setoodeh looks back to Trump’s days on The Apprentice to be replicated in this search process. Someone has to look good, but not better than Trump. Be entertaining, but no more so than Trump. And certainly, be obsequious when it comes to Trump. For instance, wear a red tie—does a woman have a chance at the veep slot?

And there has been no shortage of clowns to compete for second banana from J.D. Vance to Tim Scott. What strikes me about the process is that it is so open and public when vice presidential searches are usually rather secretive and that the current GOP pretenders to the house on the grounds of the Naval Observatory are so fawning. I hate seeing grown men act like sycophantic children, don’t you?

But, is it any different at MD Anderson where a series of second bananas grovel to do the will of the Governing Body and some secretly entertain the notion that he or she is the designated next president of MD Anderson?

It appears to me that the current situations at Anderson and the one around Trump are identical. There is a preening leader who sounds clueless when it comes to matters in which he would be expected to show some expertise (e.g., foreign policy, research), and a group of underlings who have barely accomplished much on their own. Sounds like the eventual Trump White House to me.

As a society, we have to step back and examine our leaders and find ways to change them to “servant leaders” who actually consider their constituencies when making decisions. There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s tax and tariff plans will be disastrous for middle class America just as the plans of Dr. Pisters have been burning out his constituency at MD Anderson.

The most important traits in a leader are the ability to listen, contemplate, and act with vision and purpose. Neither Peter Pisters nor Donald Trump fits the bill which is bad for the country and for the MD Anderson faculty.

It’s only entertaining if it doesn’t affect you. Trump’s decisions should he be re-elected will affect everyone and Pisters’ decisions affect the entire 26,000 MD Anderson employees. I don’t know about you but I expect more from a President of the United States and a president of MD Anderson.

I have no idea why I should.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *