Dr. Drew talks potential congressional run against Schiff — but only if he has to
The next prescription “Dr. Drew” Pinsky writes might be for his own congressional run in Southern California.
“I wake up every day and drive through this town and I am morally moved where I feel like I have to do something,” the famed addiction medicine specialist and former “Loveline” host tells ITK.
“We have people literally dying in our streets,” he says, contending the Los Angeles County and statewide government is “not functioning.”
“People have sort of been swirling around me, going, ‘Oh, you should run for mayor.’ Well I didn’t really want that job. ‘Well, you should run for governor.’ Well, that’s not really possible. So I was sort of thinking about these things,” says Pinsky, who spoke last month about homelessness and drug abuse at a mental health summit at the White House.
With a political run on the brain, he says the televised impeachment hearings may have jolted him even more into the idea of trading medicine for a House bid.
“I was watching all the impeachment proceedings and I was going, ‘oh my God, our Congress is tied up and we’re dying out here in California. What are these people doing?’ ”
Pinsky, 61, says he soon realized he’s lived for 20 years in Pasadena, in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) district.
“I thought, ‘oh my God, I have to run for that office at least just to get him to start participating in the governance of this region.’ ”
The celebrity doctor says right now he’s only “ruminating” about a potential run, and he might end up taking the plunge in a few years.
Pinsky says he’s “very moderate” and constantly changes his political party affiliation online, but if he were to wade into politics, he’d likely run as a Democrat in California’s “jungle primary” against Schiff. The 10-term lawmaker won his 2018 reelection bid in California’s 28th District with 78 percent of the vote.
While his core issues would be infrastructure, tackling homelessness and aiding the chronically mentally ill, Pinsky makes clear he would be a reluctant candidate.
“Believe me, I don’t want to,” he says of a possible run for Congress.
“I’d have to change my whole life, and I’m not really prepared to do that just yet,” the father of three adds.
Asked what he’d tell critics who might roll their eyes at another famous name thinking they can make it in politics, Pinsky replies, “I would say my eyes are rolling, too. I’d rather not be here. Point me in another direction where we can help the citizens of California, please. I’m all ears.”
“But the fact that I keep thinking about it tells me how profound the problems are,” he says, “that I feel obliged to maybe turn my life upside down just to get things governed out here.
“I am constantly morally mobilized because of the condition of what’s going on here in California.”