March 4th, 2009
03:26 PM ET
6 years ago

Frist floated as possible special envoy for Darfur

A Republican congressman urged the Obama administration Wednesday to not delay in appointing a special envoy for Sudan and floated the name of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, pictured above, for the job.'
A Republican congressman urged the Obama administration Wednesday to not delay in appointing a special envoy for Sudan and floated the name of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, pictured above, for the job.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Republican congressman urged the Obama administration Wednesday to not delay in appointing a special envoy for Sudan and floated the name of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist for the job.

The comments from Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf come on the same day that the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur.

“The world knows what's happening in Sudan and Darfur and yet the Obama administration has failed to appoint a special envoy,” Wolf said on the House floor. “I have asked them to appoint a former senator, Bill Frist from Tennessee, who could start today.”

It’s not the first time Wolf has lobbied for Frist: the congressman wrote to the president in February asking for a special envoy to work on Darfur issues and recommended Frist for the position. The former Tennessee senator is a heart surgeon who has traveled to Sudan multiple times on medical missions. Wolf has also traveled to Sudan to survey the violence.

The White House has appointed high-level envoys for the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, but none yet to deal with the war-torn region of western Sudan. However, after meeting with administration officials in February, actor and activist George Clooney told reporters he had been assured that Obama would appoint an envoy for Sudan.

Wolf said action is needed now.

“Time is short,” he said. “The killing and the devastation goes on. The administration must act. This cannot wait.”

UPDATE: A White House spokesman tells CNN that no announcement is imminent regarding the envoy post.


Filed under: Bill Frist
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    I prefer George Clooney.

    March 4, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. John

    Darfur must have a lot of untapped oil reserves.

    That's the only reason Republicans would ever be interested in it.

    March 4, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Griff............... on The Truth...

    There is no such thing. Darfur. Sudan. Kartoum. You people disgust me. Do any of you people know anything about Africa. Beside the Idiot Obama///

    March 4, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. big papa

    Oh! HELL NAW!

    March 4, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    A Special Envoy is needed, but not Frist. He could not be trusted to pursue administration policy!

    March 4, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Cato

    Maybe we should send Rush Limbaugh!!! He has ALL the answers to EVERYTHING!!!

    March 4, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Do you know where :Chad" is??? Nobody mentions the "Real Area".

    Sdan???? What a word. Been in the news to Gloryfy another election.
    Words... Crap... Barack Obama will do nothing for Africa.. Nothing. He is to wrapped up in His God, and some sick power of control.
    You Elected a Sick Socialist. But just for his own sick Ego...

    March 4, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. TracyM.

    You're kidding me, right? Tell me this is a joke.

    "'The world knows what's happening in Sudan and Darfur and yet the Obama administration has failed to appoint a special envoy,' Wolf said on the House floor. "

    And the past eight years? Care to address that? No, I didn't think so. Jeez, President Obama, when your nails are dry and your soap operas are over, do you think you could go to work? What have you been doing the past couple of months? It's a joke, right?

    March 4, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. no corporate politics

    article "White House has appointed high-level envoys for the Middle East as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan"

    Well, the commander in chief wants his attention on regions with OIL and places we are going to war in REVENGE. And forget the Third World. Isn't that just like Bush, I mean, Obama?

    Yet another example of how the one party system of DNC-RNC must be challenged.

    It is OK to Question Authority; RNC, DNC or otherwise.

    March 4, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Arkansas Undertaker

    I dont think that President Obama should appoint any other Republican for anything else in his administration after the Gregg fiasco!

    March 4, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. yuri

    Bill, a Harvard cardiologist, was long forgotten. But the Darfur issue seems to soar him to a substantially sublime status of service for so many sick lives. Let's say yes to a sacrosanct soldier (of humanity).

    March 4, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. keeth in california

    Perhaps Frist could just look at video of the situation in Darfur and diagnose the problem from here.

    March 4, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. VAisforLovers

    I completely agree, and applaud any and every politician that stands up and urges action in Darfur. It’s such a horrific situation that desperately needs action.

    March 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Brian Crooks

    Sounds like a good choice to me.

    March 4, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. chuck hope

    I support your view Wolf. Frist should be sent to Darfor without delay. I wonder why Obama and Clinton are dragging there feet over Darfor. Obama must act quickly without hesitation. Frist should be sent since he has travelled there several times.

    March 4, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Do you really what it is like, keeping up on Africa. You have hundreds of staff, and you know nothing. KAR. CHAD. SUDAN. Belgian Gongo.
    Do nothing in Africa, if you are playing God. You are all on an Ego Trip... Barack Obama is on a King-Trip...

    March 4, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Shari, NY

    Pres. Obama has been in office for just a few weeks but hitting the ground running is not good enough – he must hit the air flying. Why didn't the Republican Congressman tag at Bush's coat tail all throughout this long standing crisis in Darfur? I guess that even if he did, he met upon a stone wall so Obama must now take the heat.

    March 4, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Wanda in Montana

    Frist should be sent to Gitmo. Or maybe back to medical school after that Terri Schiavo fiasco.

    March 4, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Mickie

    Wow, all of the republicans act as though Pres. Obama has fritted away his little more than one month in office because he hasn't done what's important to them yet. What about what's important to the American people - oh right - the republicans never did care about that.

    March 4, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. hadelaide

    Frank Wolf is looking for a high-profile job for his former repub leader. When Frist was in a position to help why didn't he? Instead, he was supporting a useless, nonsense war in Iraq; helping to "expand the role of gov't" by being the leading voice in the Terri Schiavo case; being co-sponsor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which ushered in military commission law for US citizens and non-citizens alike. Text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” arbitrarily deemed to be an enemy of the state, regardless of American citizenship.

    Wonder if he has renewed his membership in the Nashville, Tennessee's racially segregated Belle Meade Country Club, which he had joined in the 1980s, following a family tradition. He withdrew membership in Dec. 1993 before he his first run for the senate.

    I say let him continue to work with charity groups as a private citizen. He helped to foster all this anger and hate in the country.

    March 4, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Matthew, Detroit

    Because Now Barack the WEAK is going to bring us into a war in

    DARFUR.

    Because his little George Clooney told him to.

    Good job barack cave into hollywood.

    Every day in every way you prove what a moron you are. Every day you

    deserve less respect than the day before.

    March 4, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Howard Dean

    Will I ever get chosen?
    I'm a doctor for crissakes.

    March 4, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Had It

    Bush/Cheney never cared about Darfur because THERE IS NO OIL.

    March 4, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Little too late????

    OF COURSE he would be floated as an envoy. There is only two ways to get 'floated'. ONE, be a crony of DemacRAT Chicago Politics...hope your tax bill is hidden enough to get through and party as a rock star. Or, TWO...be opposition that could be seen as a threat and follow the "Keep your friends close and your ENEMIES CLOSER" philosophy.

    Frist is a good man...clean slated and a political threat. Why do you think Hillary is where she is?? She was a THREAT to BO's future in 2012. Either a 'RAT crony or threat...neither are on 'the inside' and are definitely a threat to BO's path of destruction of this great nation.

    March 4, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. stag

    Dafor is of no importance to me. Let the Chinese and EU take care of this.

    March 4, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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