Tomorrow morning the President will visit Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. He will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces. It was the turning point in World War II as the American military fully joined in the battle to defeat Hitler's Nazi Germany.
As soon as the President wraps up a day of remembrances at Sword Beach in Normandy he will board Air Force one for the return flight home. Awaiting him across the Atlantic will be the resolution of the leadership vacuum at the head of the Veteran Affairs Administration. In one day the President goes from honoring our war dead to returning respect to our war survivors.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the President is considering the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs. People inside the Cleveland Clinic say Dr. Cosgrove is 'honored and flattered' by the offer, but he has not yet made a decision.
At the age of 73, Dr. Cosgrove no longer is discovering new innovations in cardiac surgery techniques. He has overseen an explosive growth of the Cleveland Clinic local campus, national and global reach during his 10 years leading the healthcare institution. As CEO his most recent reported annual salary was $3.1 million dollars. His executive compensation is in addition to earnings from his 30 plus patents he has for various surgical implements and devices including the Cosgrove annuloplasty ring.
A healthcare industry blog has detailed that set of skills Dr. Cosgrove would bring to the Obama Administration Cabinet. They point to his intolerance of wait times for patients and his insistence on transparency as key attributes.
Ask anyone who works at the Cleveland Clinic about what happened to McDonald's at the cafeteria and smoking on campus and you will gain insight into changes that come when Dr. Cosgrove is intent on making them happen.
As this CEO decides on his future the President awaits a decision. Will it be the right match to restore confidence and respect to the system in place to benefit the men and women who serve our nation?