Dr. Ben Carson for Senate in Michigan?

posted at 12:01 pm on March 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

I’m embarrassed that I forgot he was from Detroit when I was gaming out his paths to elected office. He works in Maryland, but Maryland’s a very blue state for a conservative-leaning novice pol who’d presumably run as a Republican. Virginia’s a bit more purple, but the only seat that’s open anytime soon is Mark Warner’s and Warner doesn’t seem especially vulnerable. He could always proceed directly to running for president, but how often does someone start their political career as commander-in-chief? Even O spent some time in federal and state legislatures before taking the plunge.

But wait. What about Michigan? Nolan Finley wonders:

Dr. Ben Carson is a Black History month staple. Each February, schoolchildren hear the story of the impoverished African-American boy from Detroit, a struggling student whose mother made him read two books a week until he bloomed into a scholar…

The state GOP hasn’t won a U.S. Senate race in Michigan since 1994. With the retirement of Democratic incumbent Sen. Carl Levin, Republicans believe they have a shot at the seat in 2016.

Carson, if he could be lured back to his native state, would bring national attention to the race, as well as national dollars. There are few things conservatives love more than a black Republican. And one of Carson’s stature would draw money out of moldy GOP wallets everywhere.

Carson would help a party addicted to white suburban candidates intrigue young and urban voters, black and white, who grew up looking at his picture hanging on their classroom walls.

Not only that, but Avik Roy’s right that he’d be ideally positioned to speak out against ObamaCare as the program creaks into action next year. (Whether that’ll play locally is an open question. Under pressure, the state’s Republican governor just announced last month that he’d accept ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion for Michigan.) Just one thing: Could Carson win a competitive GOP primary in the state? Hard to believe the field would clear for him if he jumped in given how prominent some of the potential candidates are — Mike Rogers, Dave Camp, Justin Amash, maybe the lieutenant governor, Brian Calley. Rogers and Camp have more than 30 years in Congress between them and Amash will have grassroots support from Ron Paul fans and some tea partiers. They won’t all run, but one or maybe two of them will. They’ll have no choice: If you’re a Republican with Senate ambitions in Michigan, your chance at winning an open seat won’t come around often — and the next time it does, it might happen in a presidential election year when Democratic turnout is up.

Don’t forget either that Carson’s not a doctrinaire conservative in all things. For instance, he’s more open to gun control than strict gun-rights advocates are. Other deviations may emerge in the course of a contested primary. But then again, why would that stop him? Given his sudden star power in conservative media, his candidacy is likely to become a grassroots cause celebre the way Ted Cruz’s campaign against David Dewhurst was. The national party may very well prefer him as an opportunity to showcase the GOP’s racial diversity. If you’re one of his primary opponents, how exactly would you attack him? The usual knock on a novice candidate is that he’s too inexperienced to be effective in Congress, but that’s a hard sell when you’re talking about a renowned neurosurgeon. If he can master brain surgery, he can master the filibuster. And plus, if Amash ends up being his rival in the primary, you might well see Karl Rove’s group and other establishment outlets line up behind Carson in the name of blocking a more libertarian candidate who some analysts think is unelectable in a state as blue as Michigan. Stay tuned.


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I’m a little nervous about throwing so much trust in an unknown. We’ve been burned a lot by this in the past few years.

Doomberg on March 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Carson would help a party addicted to white suburban candidates intrigue young and urban voters, black and white, who grew up looking at his picture hanging on their classroom walls.

The liberals will paint him as another Uncle Tom, ala Clarence Thomas or Herman Cain.

Bitter Clinger on March 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

He needs either education or convincing about 2A before I will give more than lukewarm support.

Plus knowing his core convictions on other matters would be nice–but 2A is a potential deal breaker.

irongrampa on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I’m embarrassed that I forgot he was from Detroit

I’m sure he’d like to forget that too.

BigGator5 on March 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The quoted article is wrong about Levin’s seat being up in 2016 – it’s 2014. As far as other Senate opportunities in the future for Republicans, Stabenow has been very lucky in terms of running in good years and having weak opponents. Hopefully her luck will end in 2018.

BuzzCrutcher on March 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

A plantation strayer? I think not. Besides, is Carson clean and articulate and can he speak with a Negr0 dialect?

Bishop on March 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

I really like him, but I think he needs to work on coming across a little less smug. I personally have no problem with how he comes across, but I think others might, so perhaps he could try to employ a little more self-deprecation and humility while campaigning.

bluegill on March 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

love Amash, but Carson would be better for the cause long term

commodore on March 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Screw the Senate. Go for the brass ring, man.

rrpjr on March 22, 2013 at 12:16 PM

If he becomes a serious candidate, the mud against him will be slinging all over the place from the MSM. If the media tried making issues out of Mitt’s dog on the car roof and a high school prank fifty years ago, how much worse would they make it for a ‘race-traitor’ like Dr. Carson?

How many patients did he lose during his career? How did he let that happen? Has he ever been sued for malpractice? What were the circumstances of him changing hospital privileges from one place to another? Surely, libs like Matthews can get ‘in-depth interviews’ with former patients who didn’t like Carson’s bedside manner.

The possibilities are endless!

Liam on March 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Depends on what field we ultimately have. Rogers probably gives us the best chance. Amash really should stay put, though I don’t know if he will. If those two both decline, then yeah why not Carson? He could speak well and give a better fight than a moderate like Terri Lynn Land, and I doubt Calley will jump in.

And if the Dems are crazy enough to run Granholm instead of Peters, then I definitely want the best candidate in the race.

Gingotts on March 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Isn’t this the guy who essentially said that some forms of gun control were okay depending upon where you lived?

Nah man … sorry. Yeah, yeah – I know he’s the flavor of the month but you guys know I don’t jump on bandwagons.

HondaV65 on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

If I remember correctly, and I may very well not, I think there was some controversy surrounding him at Hopkins a few years ago. Whatever it was, I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, so I really don’t know if I’m right. I’ll test out my google-fu and see if I come up with anything.

nukemhill on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

He needs either education or convincing about 2A before I will give more than lukewarm support.

Plus knowing his core convictions on other matters would be nice–but 2A is a potential deal breaker.

irongrampa on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Feinstein lost at least 15 out of the 55 in her caucus on the AWB. No need to worry about anything drastic coming any time soon. Remember, this is the Democratic alternative. We need to win this.

blammm on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Mike Rogers seems to be the strongest second amendment advocate of all those listed in the article. Mike Rogers statement–

“I will continue to strongly support the Second Amendment. In that regard, I oppose any effort to reinstate an assault weapons ban, add restrictions on accessories, restrict ammunition purchases or construct further limitations on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. Additionally, I strongly oppose any Executive Order issued by the President designed to circumvent the legislative process and limit gun rights.”

fourdeucer on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I’d love to see this happen.

The “surgeon to president” track seems too iffy to me, but I could definitely envision him getting into the Senate. It would also give us a chance to watch him for 6 years, learn more about where he actually stands on a range of issues, and give him time to get up to speed on the political process if that’s where his heart is now.

cs89 on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I’m a little nervous about throwing so much trust in an unknown. We’ve been burned a lot by this in the past few years.

Doomberg on March 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

As opposed to all the stellar “knowns”: Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole…

P.S. Yes, George W. Bush.

Bat Chain Puller on March 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

He needs either education or convincing about 2A before I will give more than lukewarm support.

Plus knowing his core convictions on other matters would be nice–but 2A is a potential deal breaker.

irongrampa on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Exactly, as a conservative constitutionalist with libertarian leanings, the 2nd amendment is my litmus test for all potential political candidates. Dr. Carson is a man worthy of great respect in many ways, but if he maintains his current 2nd amendment position then I would just as soon he remain a civilian citizen.

SWalker on March 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Besides, is Carson clean and articulate and can he speak with a Negr0 dialect?

Bishop on March 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Not as good as Hillary Clinton does.

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I’d much rather see him run against Barbara Mikulski in 2016. Yes, Maryland is approaching full blue-tard, but Mikulski’s a classic way-too-old, out-of-touch incumbent who would crumble if challenged by a serious, well-funded contender. Ben Carson is a local icon in Baltimore, and if he can hold down the Baltimore County margins Mikulski gets, and splinters a larger-than-Republican-normal portion of the AA vote in the DC suburbs, he could win.

Robert_Paulson on March 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I must be thinking of someone else. The only thing, other than his recent “controversial” public take-down of Obama, is that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in ’02. You can bet the media-elite will try to make hay with that, though.

nukemhill on March 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Follow the names, as soon as they release them.

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Everyone thought Colin Powell was a great Republican choice until his spots came through when SOS. I think we need to hear a bit more from Dr. Carson. So far I like what I hear.

iamsaved on March 22, 2013 at 12:29 PM

irongrampa on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Feinstein lost at least 15 out of the 55 in her caucus on the AWB. No need to worry about anything drastic coming any time soon. Remember, this is the Democratic alternative. We need to win this.

blammm on March 22, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Sorry, but you don’t seem to understand how the Marxist Democrat do things. Feinsteins AWB was always intended as a fear tactic, it’s purpose was to make the “Universal Firearms Registration” seem like a small issue. It succeeded…

SWalker on March 22, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Yes, Maryland is approaching full blue-tard

Approaching???? Oh, we crossed that rubicon years ago.

This state is pathetic. If we weren’t tied down here with family and school, we’d have moved to friendlier environs many moons ago. I can’t stand MD.

nukemhill on March 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM

I assume he will be labelled an Uncle Tom, assuming he hasn’t been already.

farsighted on March 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Even O spent some time in federal and state legislatures before taking the plunge.

Well put. He ‘spent time’ there without actually doing anything.

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

He needs either education or convincing about 2A before I will give more than lukewarm support.

Plus knowing his core convictions on other matters would be nice–but 2A is a potential deal breaker.

irongrampa on March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Irongrampa – are you a Michigander? We’re talking about a state-wide race, for a formerly Dem seat Perhaps Carson can make an impact with inner-city Detroit blacks. If he runs, and wins, and the R’s take control of the Senate (I can hope for change!) then there won’t be any gun-control bills coming to the floor to worry about. Plus, he would likely vote with the coalition. Let’s have a primary there and see who wins the R nomination, and then support that person over the Dem nominee.

ConservativeinCO on March 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

There aint a liberal bone in Dr Carson’s body. When you have someone who speaks the way he does about taxes (10% tithe), health care (health saving accounts exclusively), the debt (immoral), God (always acknowledges), and affirmative action (against), I dont see what all the gruff is about. No one is going to follow you lockstep. That’s the problem with some people here.

He says something slightly off their key and they crucify him. Forget everything else he says, his position, his books, and his advocacy. Forget all that! The real courageous conservatives are right here on this thread. Please.

And those comparing him to Colin Powell are asinine. You just have not been paying attention. I hope he runs for whatever office he pleases. The GOP should be recruiting this guy day and night to represent it. We can only be so lucky that he chooses to run for office. We need more Dr. Carson’s willing to run, but with holier than thou conservatives, I don’t blame them for not even bothering.

milemarker2020 on March 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

The liberals will paint him as another Uncle Tom, ala Clarence Thomas or Herman Cain.

Quite frankly I don’t think they will be that kind to him…..the Left isn’t that nice and considerate anymore. Just envision in attack ads, Carson as a hoodie wearing Satan from that Bible movie.

To the Left, a prominent outspoken conservative black running for office really is the devil incarnate, and a runaway from the liberal plantation that must be punished in the most extreme.

hawkeye54 on March 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

nukemhill on March 22, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Hehe, I’ve holding out hope for a revival.

Robert_Paulson on March 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

milemarker2020 on March 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Crawl back into your liberal echo chamber hole.

SWalker on March 22, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Teaters wouldn’t vote fer him………

and he won’t run.

PappyD61 on March 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

So far, African American Republicans have been nothing but disappointment. Even the best of them turned out either melanine-first activists or abject failures, sometimes both. The only notable exceptions were Justice Clarence Thomas and Senator Tim Scott, and the latter hasn’t smelled much gunpowder yet. Call me racist if it rocks your boat, but I’d be wary of promotion more blacks without thorough vetting.

Archivarix on March 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Michigan could use some awesomeness.

;)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on March 22, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I’m a little nervous about throwing so much trust in an unknown. We’ve been burned a lot by this in the past few years.

Doomberg on March 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Yeah it is becoming the thing with many people in the conservative base… They are as much emotionally driven as the left…

mnjg on March 22, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Admire Dr Carson..a wonderful messenger

But I don’t see him entering the political arena as a candidate.

Why should he? He can accomplish so much more spreading his conservative, hard work ethic message.

He’s actually too good to be a pol. And he wouldn’t do well.

Redford on March 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I like Carson. He’s been a quiet hero of mine for years. And knowing a smidgeon of corporate politics at Hopkins I’d say he has to be very politically savvy to have risen there as he did.

But I wonder if he, with a grudging God-has-to-pull-me-in-by-the-hair attitude to politics would be willing to fight to the death in a campaign (the way Caddell says conservatives must).

Could he bring himself to fight like Al Franken? Would he stuff the ballot boxes and smear his opponent? Does anybody want an honest man in Detroit? He may actually be just too good for politics.

flicker on March 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Carson would have a much easier time winning in Michigan than in the Peoples Republik of Maryland. Michigan has a RINO governor and the GOP controls both houses of the state legislature and the majority of U.S. House districts.

bw222 on March 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

What’s Carson’s foreign policy and defense doctrine?

crosspatch on March 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

What’s Carson’s foreign policy and defense doctrine?</blockquote

Think of what Obama would do, then do the opposite.

HopeHeFails on March 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Jeez people, stop with the “Carson is bad with 2A” bs. All he said was that states should do their own bidding. Your all taking this to mean he wants more gun control, I took it to mean he doesn’t want the federal government passing blanket laws that would hurt every state. If whackos in MA want to be strict with their guns then cool, but he wouldn’t let them bring it to the federal level.

That is good enough for me. A President who is going to leave things to states is an ideal President. As court precedent stands the President is supposed to let states pass their own gun laws any ways. It isn’t up to the President to call a states laws to strict. It is up to those states, the people in them, and the courts.

eski502 on March 22, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Liberals don’t think a doctor should make money saving lives, that’s how they attack him.

Wagthatdog on March 22, 2013 at 2:22 PM

What’s Carson’s foreign policy and defense doctrine?

crosspatch on March 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

He supports Rand for Prez right now. Not sure if that hints at policy or not.

On the question of what to run for, I say he should just shoot for the top. This man is too good for Congress.

eski502 on March 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM

YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES!

KOOLAID2 on March 22, 2013 at 5:12 PM

A message of lower taxes and smaller government, if it keeps coming from white people, will doom the Republican party, and by extension, the country. The sooner we accept that, the better.

exhelodrvr on March 22, 2013 at 5:35 PM