Brown: Honor to be considered for Trump cabinet – The Union Leader
New Hampshire lost its best chance for a voice in the cabinet of President-elect Donald Trump last week when the President announced that David Shulkin, who already oversees health care for veterans, was his pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rye resident Scott Brown had been under consideration for the cabinet-level position.
“The only reason I’m disappointed is people are dying,” said Brown, who said he had what he believed were good ideas to rectify problems at the VA, and he hopes to share them with Shulkin.
Trump announced Shulkin’s nomination at his Wednesday news conference, saying his transition team had interviewed at least 100 people for the spot, one of the last cabinet nominations he will make.
Brown served in the Army National Guard for 35 years before retiring as a colonel in 2014.
Brown said he was in the running as late as five days before the announcement, when the Trump team told him it was down to him and another candidate. He said the campaign eventually notified him we would not be nominated.
“It was an honor to be in the top two,” Brown said, adding he has a lot to keep him busy. The former Massachusetts senator said he’s got enough to do as a Fox News contributor, member of several boards and a coach for two high school teams.
“When I endorsed Donald Trump, the only thing I wanted was to have a Republican President, to keep the Senate (Republican) and to keep the House. That was my only goal.”
While Trump has announced most of his cabinet selections, the eventual President still must appoint thousands to jobs, including undersecretaries, ambassadors and White House staff positions.
“The process isn’t over; he hasn’t even been sworn in yet,” Brown said. “If the President calls and says, ‘Scott, I want you to do ABC, I will take that as an honor.”
He added: “I’m not pining away waiting for a phone call.”
Brown, a lawyer, said he wouldn’t be interested in the biggest nomination of all — Supreme Court justice. Nor would he want to work in the Justice Department.
Brown is not the only New Hampshire resident with close ties to the Trump campaign who could be appointed to a federal position. Others include former Congressman Frank Guinta, political strategist Mike Biundo and Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard. Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently landed a position with the conservative One America News Network.
Nominated to his undersecretary job by President Obama, Shulkin has been president of several hospitals, including Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, according to his VA biography.
He was chief medical officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health system, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital, and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital.
He founded DoctorQuality, one of the first consumer-oriented sources of quality in health care.
He is a board certified internist and recevied his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Modern Healthcare onced named him one of the 50 most influential physican executives in the country.
“He’s fantastic,” Trump said at his news conference. “He will do a truly great job.”