So as with last year, the Clinton Foundation's "Health Matters" conference at La Quinta Resort was filled with lots of interesting and inspirational messages about health and fitness. This year's edition seemed a bit wonkier and probably played that way on the live stream if you were so bold as to watch. The crowd seemed less eclectic and a tad more corporate. Several panels seemed aimed a bit more at the corporate and community sector just as Clinton had suggested he was hoping would happen after everyone took their marching orders in 2012.
Golf was well represented again even though Annika Sorenstam and Notah Begay were quite inspirational last year. However, with one Humana Challenge (aka the Bob Hope Classic) under their belts, Clinton and Commissioner Tim Finchem seemed more at ease in discussing the tournament's role in elevation discussion of health matters. Gary Player was a tremendous natural fit for the Clinton message of preventative behavior to help improve American health and reduce health care costs. Still, it would be nice to see one or two active players make the effort to appear.
However, the stunning takeaway of the day came during the panel session including Commissioner Finchem. After his introductory remarks spiced up with all the usual jargon (activate definitely word du jour), the Commish had nothing to say until the topic of taxing certain bad behavior-related products was mentioned by panel moderator Chelsea Clinton.
As I Tweeted once I'd gotten up from my seat and cleaned up the mess of papers that went flying after I fell over, Commissioner Controversy not only said he would support "heavy taxation" on tobacco products, but that he'd support an "all out ban."
Yes, the same man who resisted drug testing on the PGA Tour, would ban smoking in the United States if he had his druthers! Of course, he'll be tickled pink to know I wholeheartedly support his stance. Call any time Tim. Don't be a stranger. I'm here for you, brother.