Video: Latest savior of the GOP not interested in running for office

posted at 10:41 am on March 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

And thus does the Ben Carson for Senate boomlet deflate, at least a little. Last night, Larry Kudlow asked the latest of ascending star of the conservative movement whether his impending retirement from medicine means that he’ll be available to make a run for office under the GOP banner.  Carson makes it clear that he’s not interested in the process.

Carson does express an interest in becoming a television analyst, however (via NRO‘s Andrew Johnson):

With his retirement as a neurosurgeon just 100 days away, Dr. Ben Carson talked about his future plans on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report last night, and said he probably isn’t interested in a political career. “People keep trying to put me into politics, and I really don’t want to do it,” he said. “I don’t believe in political correctness, and I certainly don’t believe in getting into bed with special-interest groups,” he explained, saying “I just don’t think I would fit.”

He told the Washington Post the same thing, saying he wouldn’t mind “a proper venue” for a forum in which he could mediate solutions … by offering moderate compromises while partisans argue with him on a TV panel:

The sudden outpouring of attention, meanwhile, has left Carson pondering his next act. He is set to retire from his medical practice in about 100 days.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if I decided to do more things on television,” he said. Carson was dressed in surgical scrubs and scuffed tennis shoes. His cellphone beeped.

“I got to go,” he said. “They are ready for me in the operating room.”

Before he left, Carson finished his thought. He would like to do a show that focuses on “educating the American populace about things that are essential to our freedom,” he said in his soft, steady voice. Or he would like to try a show that would bring together people who hold opposing views on critical issues that are dividing the nation. Carson would then help them seek a middle ground or resolution.

“If the proper venue was presented, I would probably accept such a thing,” he said.

There is nothing wrong with that idea, of course, and if Dr. Carson gets such an offer, no one would begrudge his seizing it.  However, it does point up a problem that the conservative movement has had for as long as I can remember: a deep-seated need to find a conservative savior delivered by a Deus ex machina apparatus, free from any stain of political compromise and track record in office.  Carson’s trajectory as a star within the conservative movement began in earnest when he rebuked President Obama during a prayer breakfast, much to the President’s chagrin.  That was enough to have people salivating over the prospect of running Carson for office, even before anyone found out what exactly Carson believed, which ended up in the case of gun control to produce a little chagrin in the other direction.

Dr. Carson seems like a fine man and a good speaker. But before we start anointing people as leaders of the conservative movement, maybe we should make sure that they want to lead in that direction, and that they have an interest in rolling up their sleeves and doing the heavy lifting necessary.  It’s not Dr. Carson’s fault that a lot of people seem to have jumped to some erroneous conclusions about his intent and perspective, but that also doesn’t mean that Dr. Carson isn’t worth a serious listen on these issues in the future.


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I am beginning to wonder how we are different from the left when our side engages in hero worship just as much as the left does. It is fairly obvious the man wasn’t ready for any type of political office, yet the masses were ready to force it upon him.

eva3071 on March 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

this or a senate run would be the best thing. It will enable people to get to know Dr. Carson’s ideologies and principles before any time or funds are wasted on a POTUS run.

If he continues pushing the conservative message I’ll be happy to have him on the stage in whatever position he thinks is best for him and his family.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM

To wit, why are we searching for a savior? The problems we face now are because we didn’t have the will to solve them ourselves, but instead left it up to the elites to solve them. Hence, this is why we now find ourselves dictated to by the many wanna-be dictators.

eva3071 on March 26, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I don’t mind him doing his thing on TV if he has the kind of platform that can reach tens of millions of Americans. Believe me, the conservative movement needs to start using the media to expand their base. Talk radio, blogs, and FoxNews is ok, but it’s not enough.

Doughboy on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Well, thank God for small favors. At least he won’t have to start pandering for votes, which is always a good thing.

platypus on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

am beginning to wonder how we are different from the left when our side engages in hero worship just as much as the left does. It is fairly obvious the man wasn’t ready for any type of political office, yet the masses were ready to force it upon him.

eva3071 on March 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

it has nothing to do with hero worship. It has everthing to do with a thirst for a leader. Conservatives have been leaderless for so long they are like the jews in the desert following Moses who tired of the search thought a golden calf was a good idea.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

At least he won’t have to start pandering for votes, which is always a good thing.

platypus on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Bad writing. s/b which is never a good thing.

platypus on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

That’s really too bad. The City of Detroit could use someone like him to make it a two-party city again.

cpaulus on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Talk radio, blogs, and FoxNews is ok, but it’s not enough.

Doughboy on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

the liberals have seen to it that all have been ridiculed so as to stop people from listening, reading or watching.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Let’s say we look for saviors from the currently employed and not those who couldn’t get their old jobs back if they were running against an orange juice can (Mr Levin’s favorite comparison). They’re not going to waltz into the White House.

Got to love this one. The Big Cheese or nothing. But I’ve been around surgeons my entire career and am not surprised.

Marcus on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

thought a golden calf was a good idea.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

LoL. I’d settle for a golden calf instead of the invertebrates we have now.

platypus on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Carson is just fine on the outside.

I blame tools like Sean Hannity who insist on pushing someone like Carson into politics.

How much time in any of his interviews is wasted on this subject when it could be better used to explain his suggestions for improving the healthcare system?

If a Cincinnatus type like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is motivated enough to actually seek out office, fabulous. But not everyone is cut out for the particular task or interested in the that task. Everyone has his or her strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

BuckeyeSam on March 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Doughboy on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Yep, exactly. I’d rather see him on TV or other media venue also — we have a whole lot of catching up to do — and we keep playing defense.

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Marcus on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

It’s always good to look for saviors from the group that caused all the problems. ///

Hey why don’t we hire the capt of the valdez to command the next oil tanker.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:51 AM

If a Cincinnatus type like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is motivated enough to actually seek out office, fabulous. But not everyone is cut out for the particular task or interested in the that task. Everyone has his or her strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

BuckeyeSam on March 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM

agreed somewhat. there is a long tradion within America of people calling on great men to serve their country regardless of their wishes. George Washington comes to mind.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM

LoL. I’d settle for a golden calf instead of the invertebrates we have now.

platypus on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

true. the calf might be a lot better then our present “leaders”

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:56 AM

That’s really too bad. The City of Detroit could use someone like him to make it a two-party city again.

cpaulus on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

at this point I don’t think anything or anyone short of GOd can save Detroit.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Good riddance. There are already too many gun grabbers in elected office.

hatecraft on March 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Dr. Carson reiterated his special Constitutional 2nd amendment Rights application depends on geography theory recently on Beck’s radio program…

So long and thanks for all the fish Dr. Carson.

workingclass artist on March 26, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Frankly I think Dr. Carson is wise in staying out of politics. If anything, it shows he is indeed a man of character; which is more than I can say for the majority of politicians in office these days.

pilamaye on March 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM

If Dr. Carson is about to retire as a neurosurgeon, he is probably in his mid-60′s. If he then ran for the Senate, and served a 6-year term, he would probably be too old to run for President, although he could probably serve a few terms in the Senate, as shown by the longevity of Senators like Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, and Orrin Hatch.

Regarding Dr. Carson’s desire to become a TV commentator, it is unclear whether conservative TV commentators have much influence on the electorate, although they are much better PAID than conservative politicians who serve as Governor, Senator, or Representative. If we consider former Governors like Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee, who gave up politics for a TV career, did they lose their influence on the electorate while they make more money as TV commentators, preaching to the choir of the already convinced?

And what about former Senator Jim DeMint, who gave up 8 years of seniority in the Senate (and a possible assignment as Chairman or Ranking Member of a key committee) to lead the Heritage Foundation, whose influence is limited, but probably pays DeMint better than the Senate ever did? Are promising conservative politicians being lured away from truly serving their country in government by big money in TV and think tanks?

Steve Z on March 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Not prepared to surrender his principles?

Good for him!

OldEnglish on March 26, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Odds on him joining the “no-labels” movement next?

rrpjr on March 26, 2013 at 11:08 AM

The problem is that if you are true conservative the last thing you want to do is go around and tell people how they should be running their lives. You tend to think people should be running their own lives without interference from you or anyone else.

Whereas a liberal’s main goal in life is to tell everyone, everywhere, how to live and to MAKE them live that way whether they want to or not. They tend to be hardwired to run for office. Especially since, as far as they are concerned, the ends justify the means and anything goes if it is for the cause.

Lily on March 26, 2013 at 11:08 AM

playing hard to get.

ctmom on March 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

the liberals have seen to it that all have been ridiculed so as to stop people from listening, reading or watching.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Yep, and this is another problem that needs to be addressed. There needs to be a movement, not centered on a single person, but maybe groups of like-minded conservatives who take this on. Not to “persuade” the LIVs to listen to us rather than the Left, but to actively debunk what the Left is and has been doing and to demonstrate that conservatism works in real life.

Oh, and I would also add a healthy dose of ridicule right back at them, a relentless pounding, just as they do to us. To echo my previous comment, this is where we continually play defense and react to their fallacious characterizations. What is desperately needed is a strategic and targeted war plan to begin to counter and eventually vanquish it, right along with the teaching. IMHO, there is none of this “taking the gloves off and fighting” anywhere, save sometimes Rush, no one that I know of actively planning how to fight this. Yes, it will take time and we have a lot of catching up to do, but what is the alternative? Rolling over and dying? I doubt that is what most, if not all of us, here want.

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2013 at 11:12 AM

The problem with the Cinncinatus Analogy is that for every Cinncinatus, there are no shortage of people who would love to take power.

eva3071 on March 26, 2013 at 11:13 AM

It is fairly obvious the man wasn’t ready for any type of political office, yet the masses were ready to force it upon him.

eva3071 on March 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM

All the more reason for him to serve. After all, we can all see what havoc has been caused by those who are ready for political office. As far as I’m concerned, what is required for public office is the ability to stand by your convictions and make common sense judgements. By that standard, there are very few who hold political office who are ready for it.

kbTexan on March 26, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Good for him clarifying where he is at. People project their stuff all over others & he knew he wasn’t their stuff. I don’t know why the right repeatedly defaults to this tendency, but it does. And it makes the right look desperate and superficial. The left is very mission focused and plans years in advance on how to move people into positions of power. Our side seems a little too eager to rubber stamp people as “great” after the first introduction. We had endless debates last year between “great” candidates & still ended up with a loser. I don’t know what this is about on our side, but we need to take our assessment of candidates a little more seriously and not be so eager to grade them excellent after the first introduction or on one single point. Be more thoughtful & skeptical. The press plays a role in this, but it is our job to be skeptical of the liberal & conservative press & know when we are being played.

Charm on March 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Who can blame him?

Liberals would tear him apart; it would be Palin/Thomas on steroids.

Another way they control the debate.

blue13326 on March 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The problem with politics today is that people like Dr. Carson do not run for office and we are left, far too often, with career politicians who owe their very existence to interest groups and party elites.
Dr. Carson is the type of person the Founders wanted to seek office. Today, sadly, it would be a step down for someone as accomplished and decent as Dr. Carson to become President. We have drifted far from the Founders original intent.

fight like a girl on March 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The left is very mission focused and plans years in advance on how to move people into positions of power.

Be more thoughtful & skeptical. The press plays a role in this, but it is our job to be skeptical of the liberal & conservative press & know when we are being played.

Charm on March 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

This! ^^^^

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

It’s sad that when people say ‘he isn’t ready to run for office’, they mean he doesn’t tell lies effectively.

blue13326 on March 26, 2013 at 11:31 AM

It’s sad that when people say ‘he isn’t ready to run for office’, they mean he doesn’t tell lies effectively.

blue13326 on March 26, 2013 at 11:31 AM

EXACTLY!

fight like a girl on March 26, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Leadership can be thrust upon someone, but if Dr. Carson’s heart isn’t in the battle, he won’t make an effective leader.

This is however the state of government now, where good people of conscious don’t wish to be involved. The uneven cavity search by the media certainly push people away who 50 years ago would have their hat in the ring.

itsspideyman on March 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM

What normal, decent person would aspire to a career in politics?

Hard to fault Carson for being a normal, decent person at heart.

Anyone who thinks they deserve to be our leader isn’t fit for the job.

Tom Servo on March 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM

I can’t believe how many here are giving him a pass on his extremely idiotic view on the second amendment.

hatecraft on March 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM

the liberals have seen to it that all have been ridiculed so as to stop people from listening, reading or watching.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Yep, and this is another problem that needs to be addressed. There needs to be a movement, not centered on a single person, but maybe groups of like-minded conservatives who take this on. Not to “persuade” the LIVs to listen to us rather than the Left, but to actively debunk what the Left is and has been doing and to demonstrate that conservatism works in real life.

Oh, and I would also add a healthy dose of ridicule right back at them, a relentless pounding, just as they do to us. To echo my previous comment, this is where we continually play defense and react to their fallacious characterizations. What is desperately needed is a strategic and targeted war plan to begin to counter and eventually vanquish it, right along with the teaching. IMHO, there is none of this “taking the gloves off and fighting” anywhere, save sometimes Rush, no one that I know of actively planning how to fight this. Yes, it will take time and we have a lot of catching up to do, but what is the alternative? Rolling over and dying? I doubt that is what most, if not all of us, here want.

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Damn. I wrote a GREAT post about how the talk radio format is in trouble and the page refreshed, losing everything in the process. >.<

But suffice it to say, the talk format is in deep, deep trouble. Aging demographics plus terrible station group owners plus a lack of new, invigorating programming (and some talk product like Hannity who have become so stale, they are now utterly unlistenable) are dooming the format. Station group owners like Cumulus’ Lew Dickey have expressed their disdain for the format, and how much of a money-loser they claim it is. It’s been going on well before Rush got Fluked, but the MSM now has him as a scapegoat.

If you want to root for someone, look at how Glenn Beck is slowly assembling a serious information service built around his Blaze concept. His Internet radio programming just got picked up by SiriusXM, who also signed up for a top-of-the-hour headline service he launched this week. He’s being very aggressive and shrewd about it, but because he’s mostly doing it under the radar now, he’s not being subject to as many daily character assassinations by the MSM as he did while he was with Fox. (Heck, Media Matters prolly still thinks that they destroyed his career.)

I can easily see what Beck is doing. He is working to turn The Blaze into a serious, credible information service that is on par with the MSM. And it just might work.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I want him available for HHS Secretary in 2017; to help undo the catastrophic damage Obamacare will have done by then.

michaelo on March 26, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Who can blame him?

Liberals would tear him apart; it would be Palin/Thomas on steroids.

Another way they control the debate.

blue13326 on March 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

With Palin, alleged conservatives were and still are willing to tear her apart right alongside the Socialists deeming her ‘unelectable,’ a ‘quitter’ and the like. At least Thomas had ARLEN SPECTER defending him.

There might have been a unified conservative front defending Carson from attacks, well, had he not revealed his true colors on the second amendment.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Latest savior of the GOP not interested in running for office

This is the reason we’re stuck with the career politicians we have. Good people don’t want to deal with the scum in the media and opposing party. We the people are too stupid to make up our own minds.

cajunpatriot on March 26, 2013 at 12:06 PM

it has nothing to do with hero worship. It has everthing to do with a thirst for a leader. Conservatives have been leaderless for so long they are like the jews in the desert following Moses who tired of the search thought a golden calf was a good idea.

unseen on March 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I have not seen much support for cults of personality or golden calves at this website. (Both are high on image but low on real skill). I think a history of successful management of a large organization would go a long way in engendering support on the right of center political leaners. Romney got the GOP nomination based on his track record as a turn-around manager not because of his conservative views. We do not need magic or a superman, we can do just fine with simple competence.

KW64 on March 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I can easily see what Beck is doing. He is working to turn The Blaze into a serious, credible information service that is on par with the MSM. And it just might work.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I’m praying Beck succeeds because Fox News desperately needs some competition on the right to keep them honest.

slickwillie2001 on March 26, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I have not seen much support for cults of personality or golden calves at this website. (Both are high on image but low on real skill). I think a history of successful management of a large organization would go a long way in engendering support on the right of center political leaners. Romney got the GOP nomination based on his track record as a turn-around manager not because of his conservative views. We do not need magic or a superman, we can do just fine with simple competence.

KW64 on March 26, 2013 at 12:19 PM

As much as Romney was celebrated as this competent business manager, he really sucked when it came to campaigning and message execution. The only reason he did as well as he did was because he got dragged to the finish line by the uninspired rank-and-file.

Just mere competence is not the answer. If anyone bothered to simply explain the fundamentals of conservatism, limited government, and independent thought, that would make him or her a literal rock star in the movement. But no one wants to spread that message, and we wind up with losers like McCant and Romney.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I don’t mind him doing his thing on TV if he has the kind of platform that can reach tens of millions of Americans. Believe me, the conservative movement needs to start using the media to expand their base. Talk radio, blogs, and FoxNews is ok, but it’s not enough.

Doughboy on March 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

lol. Americans already know what the wacko right wing is selling. While they continue to reject it in every presidential election, the out of touch right wing continues to blame this rejection on the messenger and not the message. Continue my friends.

HotAirLib on March 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM

GOOD!

I’m beginning to think that nobody can survive being put under the media microscope anymore, but certainly not someone like Carson who has almost zero political savvy.

JannyMae on March 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I can easily see what Beck is doing. He is working to turn The Blaze into a serious, credible information service that is on par with the MSM. And it just might work.

Myron Falwell on March 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Glenn Beck is an excellent example. What he’s doing with his various media outlets is terrific, and as you say, enough under the radar that he can work to assemble a powerful media presence without interference.

And he’s obviously spent enough time studying how the Left operates to know their tactics and how to deal with them effectively.

I used to listen to Hannity; now the radio goes off immediately the minute the top-of-the-hour news finishes. He is beyond stale and boring and I can’t stand to listen to him any more.

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Well I guess Ed can go back to pining for Pawlenty, then.

Cylor on March 26, 2013 at 2:58 PM