David Fitzsimmons: Carmona, who leaps tall buildings in a single bound, storms into politics

2012-06-09T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T10:50:18Z David Fitzsimmons: Carmona, who leaps tall buildings in a single bound, storms into politicsDavid Fitzsimmons Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A bear that was endangering residents in SaddleBrooke was killed this week by Richard Carmona - using only his bare hands. That comes as no surprise to those of us who know the man who hopes to be Arizona's next senator.

Later, that same day, Carmona ended a hostage situation downtown. Eyewitnesses said he dropped from a Black Hawk into the Rio Nuevo Board meeting, tased Jodi Bain and Rick Grinnell, and carried them off to the waiting helicopter, freeing the board "to do its work."

Much has been said about this intriguing Democrat. It is said that "Carmona" is Puerto Rican for "Chuck Norris." It is said that he eats barbed wire for dinner and in a nonpartisan gesture of goodwill chews scorpions into an edible mash for Gov. Brewer.

Clint Eastwood said Carmona told him to have a nice day, punk, and he did. Tom Cruise said Carmona taught him how to rappel down the side of the Dubai Tower, and Vladimir Putin bragged about the time Carmona showed him how to hypnotize a snow leopard.

A lot has been said about this man who has been a Green Beret, the surgeon general of the United States, a member of the Pima County Sheriff's Department, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker and Vin Diesel's life coach.

Here is what I know to be true. The son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Carmona grew up in Harlem, where he battled hunger, poverty and giant sewer rats. He joined the Army at age 12 and earned his GED blindfolded. He joined the Special Forces that afternoon and then walked to Vietnam where he became famous for leading a covert mission to rescue actor Sylvester Stallone. He shaved off Ho Chi Minh's beard while the Communist leader slept and wove the hair into a rope he used to aid his team's escape from Hanoi.

When he returned home, he brought with him 33 scars, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, a fan letter from Steve McQueen, and a combat medical badge for successfully transplanting organs in the field. Carmona became the first person in his family with superpowers to graduate from college. While attending medical school he persuaded Mother Teresa to give up beauty pageants to become a nun and helped the Israelis plan the raid on Entebbe.

Freelance news photographer Peter Parker told the New York Post that it was an intern named Richard Carmona who told him "with great power comes great responsibility" while reattaching his arm to his Spider-Man outfit using spider silk and spit.

Weary of the big city, young Dr. Carmona moved to Arizona at the urging of the Justice League. It is said that every saguaro in Arizona surrendered to him when he arrived. Parents tell their children this is why, to this day, all saguaros appear to be reaching for the sky.

Bored with the humdrum life of a trauma surgeon, Carmona joined the Sheriff's Department, where he once rappelled from a helicopter to rescue a kitten stranded on the side of a fiery volcano - while giving a woman birthing instructions over the phone - and firing at rabid wolverines.

Appointed by President George W. Bush, Carmona was unanimously confirmed as surgeon general in 2002. Congressman wept, obese children fainted and public-health doctors looked to the sky with hope. The new label on cigarette packs would read "Warning: Surgeon General Carmona has you surrounded. Lie on the ground. Put your hands behind your back. Back away from the cigarette."

Today, Carmona's résumé weighs as much as the Statue of Liberty, yet he can lift it unaided.

With such a résumé it was inevitable the world of politics would call on him again. Previously an independent, Carmona has chosen to run as a Democrat only because JFK and FDR traveled through time to join the president in pleading with him to run.

The glowing praise from his opposition in Arizona is so bright, sky watchers have asked the Republicans to tone it down so astronomers can view the night sky without squinting. It is said Carmona's likely opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, is a nice man. It is also said Richard Carmona doesn't run for office. He stares it down until it crawls to him, begging for mercy.

Email Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons: tooner@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Latest Fitz Report video

More

Fitz studio: How to draw the President

In this video tutorial, Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons teaches you how to draw the Preside…

Latest Newsmakers video

More

Sarah interviews Dr. Peter Rhee, part 2 of 3

Dr. Peter Rhee discusses mental health and other issues surrounding gun violence.

Deals, offers & events

View more...