• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Ben Carson Apparently Running For President. Because Why The Hell Not?

2013 Conservative Political Action Conference

Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins University pediatric neurosurgeon who has become something of a hero among the conservative base of the Republican Party for tough, quite often bizarre, comments about President Obama over the past several years, has become the first person to begin what is quite obviously the process of entering the 2016 Presidential race:

Yes, the 2016 race for the White House has already gotten started — and it looks like Dr. Ben Carson is first in the ring.

Carson, a famous pediatric neurosurgeon and conservative political star, will air a nearly 40 minute-long ad introducing himself to the American people this weekend, an aide to Carson confirms to ABC News.

The documentary titled “A Breath of Fresh Air: A New Prescription for America” will air in 22 states and Washington, DC. The paid video will detail some of his biography and family life, including his rise from being born to a single mother with a poor childhood in Detroit to director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins for almost 40 years, known for his work separating conjoined twins, to potential 2016 presidential candidate.

Carson first became a conservative star when last year he created a buzz at the National Prayer Breakfast when in front of an audience that included President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spoke out about political correctness, health care and taxes.

He also called for a private health care savings plan and a flat tax in a speech that went viral and led to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled Ben Carson for President. He is known as a fierce opponent of the president’s health care law known as Obamacare.

In an ABC News/Washington Post poll from last month of the potential 2016 presidential candidates showed Carson in seventh place garnering seven percent of the vote after other notables including Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio.

Carson has a grassroots effort to draft him for a 2016 presidential run that has raised millions for the effort. In an interview last month with Jorge Ramos on our sister network, Fusion he said he’s considering a White House run.

“No, I don’t want to be president. Why would any sane person want to do that?” Carson said, acknowledging he has noticed the support. “I think I have to consider that, with so many clamoring for me to do it.”

This isn’t an official announcement, of course, but it seems quite obvious where Carson is headed here and, indeed, he is to some extent following the same path as other gadfly Republican candidates in the recent past such as Herman Cain, who have used Internet videos and other methods to “introduce” themselves to the conservative activists that he obviously hopes will be the core of his supporters going forward. It won’t be hard to find that support either. While Carson has not fared well in traditional polling, in no small part because very few people outside of activist conservatism seems to know who he is, he has done quite well in straw polls at various conservative gatherings and frequently gets a lot of positive attention in the conservative blogosphere. That’s not surprising considering that the good doctor has given conservatives plenty of red meat to chew on. At various times, he has equated the Affordable Care Act to the September 11th attacks, made frequent use of Nazi analogies to criticize the President, and said that “progressives” want to turn the United States into Nazi Germany, compared abortion to human sacrifices by civilizations of the past.

In other words, while there seems to be no question that Carson is a skilled neurosurgeon who has helped many people, he has chosen for whatever reason to assume in his apparent retirement from medicine the role of political gadfly by pandering to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. There’s obviously good money in it, as Herman Cain, who is now a radio talk show host, can attest, and the pay day will likely be enhanced by a Presidential campaign. Like Cain, though, Carson is not a serious candidate, and despite that he is likely to receive an inordinate amount of press attention precisely because he will be one of the guys on the stage at Republican debates and rallies saying the stuff that makes for good television. Like Cain, he may even have a brief period of time where polls show him beating the serious candidates in the race. He’s not going come anywhere close to winning, though, and he’s not going to be the nominee. So, except for the entertainment value he may bring to the race — although I have to wonder how he can top Herman Cain’s ode to pizza and one of the most bizarre Presidential campaign commercials of all time — Ben Carson will not be a person worth taking seriously. Too bad the media won’t realize that fact.

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Todd says:

    Ben Carson will not be a person worth taking seriously.

    Let’s save our resident wing-nuts the time …

    Doug, you racist!!!! 😀

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  2. Gustopher says:

    Like Cain, he may even have a brief period of time where polls show him beating the serious candidates in the race.

    Why do you single out poor Herman Cain? What about all the other non-serious candidates — Bachmann, Santorum, Newt, Paul and Romney come to mind. I feel like I am missing someone though (Perry was just terrible, not ridiculous).

    Herman Cain just wanted to go out, see the world a little, sell some books, and cash in a little on the right wing welfare circuit — he couldn’t have predicted that he would be front runner for a bit, and that he would get called on his complete lack of preparation.

    Now, if Ben Carson gets put in that situation where he is revealed to be pretty much nothing but a few ill considered talking points, he has no one to blame but himself. He saw the 2012 crowd, he should recognize the danger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  3. Tyrell says:

    His views are more like mainstream Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  4. jewelbomb says:

    @Tyrell: ???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  5. HarvardLaw92 says:

    And thus begins the clown car. 😀

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  6. KM says:

    Ben Carson will not be a person worth taking seriously.

    Like someone who interviews for a job only to be found out as more interested in all the goodies in the break room rather then the actual position. Oh, if they get it, great – yay them! But they’re there for the doughnuts and (almost) everyone knows it. Don’t blame the interviewers when you show up with a crueler stuffed in your face if they aren’t going to consider you a serious candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. ElizaJane says:

    @Gustopher:

    The difference, of course, is that the other candidates you mention had all been elected to major office, either as state governor or in the US Congress; this is true of neither Cain nor Carson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That’s number 20 on the list I keep of people who’ve been touted as GOP prez candidates.

    I think Bertrand Russel said that a prudent man will learn to enjoy those things that are in plentiful supply, herefore he should cultivate an appreciation of intellectual nonsense. We’re in for a rich feast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  9. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “(Perry was just terrible, not ridiculous).”

    Some are born ridiculous, some achieve ridiculousness, and others have ridiculousness thrust upon them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  10. Rita Shifflett says:

    Ben Carson has my vote judging from what I have heard him say plus what I have read about him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  11. Franklin says:

    Sometimes very smart people unfortunately start to mentally deteriorate in their older years. You have to feel sorry for Ben Carson and his family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  12. al-Ameda says:

    Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins University pediatric neurosurgeon who has become something of a hero among the conservative base of the Republican Party for tough, quite often bizarre, comments about President Obama over the past several years

    Speaking as a Democrat, I hope that Dr. Carson really is running for president in 2016. I feel the same way about Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Allen West, Ted Cruz and Rick Perry. There is a lot of entertainment value in those people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ben Carson,… has become something of a hero among the conservative base of the Republican Party for tough, quite often bizarre, comments about President Obama

    Really? Tough? In what way? Or as Molly Ivins once said about Rush Limbaugh,

    “I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  14. walt moffett says:

    At least he’s willing to run rather than fume and grumble at the TV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. john says:

    @KM:
    Like someone who interviews for a job only to be found out as more interested in all the goodies in the break room rather then the actual position.

    Hey! You just described President Obama!

    I see what you did there!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  16. CSK says:

    Well, Fox has dropped Carson as a contributor, just as they did Santorum and Gingrich, so apparently Ailes thinks Carson means it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. M. Bouffant says:

    he has chosen for whatever reason to assume in his apparent retirement from medicine the role of political gadfly by pandering to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party

    If you haven’t noticed, he is a religious lunatic/would-be theocrat, which is why he takes the extreme right-wing positions he does.

    Check this substanceless (therefore perfect for Republicans.) advert for the upcoming 22-min. “documentary”. Note that the name of Armstrong WIlliams is almost as prominently displayed as Ben Carson’s. Then look into Mr. Williams record of taking money from the Bush admin. (And who knows what else.) All a scam to enrich these two parasites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  18. giantslor says:

    This guy is a neurosurgeon? Seems like he must have practiced on himself a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  19. Mikey says:

    What’s he going to do on Saturdays? Adventists aren’t supposed to do any work on Saturdays, with a few exceptions (for example, his actual job, because it’s OK with God to do medical stuff on Sabbath).

    I suppose he’ll rationalize Saturday campaigning by saying God “called” him to run for the Presidency…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  20. Barry says:

    @Gustopher: “Now, if Ben Carson gets put in that situation where he is revealed to be pretty much nothing but a few ill considered talking points, he has no one to blame but himself. He saw the 2012 crowd, he should recognize the danger.”

    There’s an excellent chance that he’ll have his week in the spotlight, as the ‘not Jeb’ of the week, or whatever. And given the insanity of his ideas so far, more publicity will just make him look like an idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Barry says:

    @giantslor: Note: “Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins University pediatric neurosurgeon ”

    There’s a noted pulmonologist in Johns Hopkins who has spent a long time missing every single black lung case presented too him, except when it’s time to be re-certified. IIRC, the current confirmed count is that he’s missed 200 out of 200 cases confirmed by autopsy.

    He’s paid by the insurance companies, who want cases listed as not being due to black lung.

    He’s been exposed a couple of times, and is still in his position[1], still not seeing anything which his paymasters don’t want seen.

    Johns Hopkins is a very, very corrupt cases.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1