Crumble: Ben Carson’s campaign manager, communications director quit over “internal [expletive]”

posted at 7:01 pm on December 31, 2015 by Allahpundit

Does anyone care at this point? This is juicy inside-baseball fun for political junkies, but for the other 99.5 percent of the GOP electorate it’s a footnote to a campaign that began sinking weeks ago. Ted Cruz passed Carson for the first time in an Iowa poll the week before Thanksgiving, a few days after the massacre in Paris; his lead widened earlier this month after the jihadi slaughter in San Bernardino. A guy who, by the admission of one of his own advisors, was struggling with foreign policy was a bad fit for a country newly frightened by terrorism. As it is, I think there’s a fair chance that Carson ends up in mid-single-digits in Iowa on caucus night, possibly as far back as sixth or seventh place. He’s already as low as six percent in one recent poll there; Christie is making a late play for respectability in the state and Mike Huckabee’s allies are vowing an all-out attack on Cruz to win back some social-con votes. Carson’s remaining supporters will have to decide whether to stick with him and lose, defect to Cruz and help an evangelical win, or defect to Huckabee in order to register their opposition to Cruz more noisily. What’s left of Carson at that point?

Anyway. Here’s David Graham with quickie background on what led to today’s news:

The resignation comes after a tumultuous couple of weeks. First, The Wall Street Journal reported that Carson’s burn rate—the amount of cash his campaign is spending, compared to what it’s bringing in—remains high, even as it takes in huge sums. Carson, under pressure, said he’d shake up his campaign team. Then he changed his mind, telling the Times, “I have 100 percent confidence in my campaign team.” Then he promised to get more aggressive. Then he again hinted at a shakeup.

“The entire team was left wondering if they had a job,” campaign manager Barry Bennett told The Hill of the shake-up talk. “It made for a great Christmas.” How’d it get into Carson’s head that his campaign team, rather than his own performance on the stump, needed an overhaul? Bennett blames Armstrong Williams, who describes himself as Carson’s business manager and whom others describe as Carson’s svengali. Although Williams isn’t officially a part of the campaign, he seems to have more influence over the candidate than Carson’s campaign staff does, which included arranging the media interviews where Carson first suggested a campaign shake-up. For Bennett, that was the final straw:

On Williams urging Carson to talk to reporters about campaign unrest, Bennett called it a “stupid move.” He said it was “absolutely correct” to describe his frustrations with Williams and the comments Carson made to The Post especially about disagreeing with Bennett’s advice as having driven his decision.

“I expect lots of other people will resign today as well,” Bennett added. “The divide between the outside and inside is too deep. There is nothing we could change structurally at this point to make it better. It is what it is, Dr. Carson is who he is. I have so much respect for him but he wants to do things in a way that I don’t, so it’s best that I step down. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”…

Bennett said he hasn’t ruled out jumping onto another campaign but he first wants to rest. “Sleep. Sleep. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m very tired. “The internal [expletive] became what the campaign was about. It was sad. Petty. It became mind numbing to me. Having worked so hard on building up the fundraising operation and getting millions behind Dr. Carson so he’d be ready for 2016, I got pulled into this [expletive]. It’s not why I got in this business.

Supposedly Carson called Bennett this morning to tell him that he was going to let communications director Doug Watts go. Bennett, suspecting that Carson was once again following Williams’s advice instead of his, quit on the spot.

“[Carson] tried to blame some of the problems in the campaign on silly things and I said Ben we all know the root of our problems, let’s not pretend it’s not Armstrong Williams,” Bennett told ABC News on the phone. “Ben said I’ll talk to him, I’ll talk to him. But I’ve heard that for nine months now.”…

“I don’t know who all will still be here, it’s not my problem” Bennett said. “I can play amateur politics at home with my 9-year-old I don’t need to do it at the professional level.”

“No one wants Armstrong Williams anywhere near the Oval Office,” said Bennett to the AP. A question dogging Team Carson for months is this: Are they actually trying to win or are they simply building a brand they can monetize later? Carson raised another ton of money this quarter, leading all Republican candidates with $23 million taken in. If you’re trying to win, that money should be plowed into ads and GOTV operations in Iowa to ensure turnout on caucus night. If you’re trying instead to make bank, that money should be plowed into more fundraising, especially direct mail, telemarketing, and other means of identifying passionate Carson supporters. Once you have their names, addresses, and other data, you can use the info to target them later with more advertising (like, say, for a lucrative Super PAC) or sell the list to others for their own ad purposes. Carson’s team has done a bang-up job not only of finding small donors — they’ve received contributions from 600,000 individual entities since March — but of finding ones who typically don’t make political donations. More than 18,000 people who hadn’t otherwise given money to any candidates for federal office since 2007 gave $200 or more to Ben Carson this year. That was tops among all Republicans, with only Ted Cruz among the rest of the field anywhere close to Carson. Who’s getting all of that money if it’s not going for actual campaign operations? Why, consultants:

And of course Carson benefits financially too by increased exposure for his books, higher demand for paid speeches, and so forth. The guys at Red State have been on his back about this for months, with streiff noting most recently that mailing out lithographs of yourself to your fans doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re trying to win an election but does make sense if you’re trying to build “brand” loyalty. “[T]he fundraising operation [seems to] exist,” said streiff back in October, “solely to perpetuate the fundraising operation.” I bet we’ll be hearing something about that from Bennett and Watts now that they’ve parted ways with Carson and Williams. The big question going forward, once Carson inevitably finishes out of the money in Iowa and shuts things down, is how strongly he endorsed this idea of a money-machine campaign. Was he sincerely trying to win and ended up being exploited by consultants who took advantage of an amateur with lots of goodwill they could cash in on? Or was his own personal goal all along to build that donor list and let the chips fall where they may in Iowa?


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Comments

Go away, Ben, Just go away…

OmahaConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Huh. I was right, YET AGAIN. Carson is doing this whole thing to get increased book sales and give money to himself and his associates.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:07 PM

People sending money to Carson remind me of something my Dad always says, a fool and his money will part.

cimbri on December 31, 2015 at 7:10 PM

Trump by a mile!!!!!

they lie on December 31, 2015 at 7:10 PM

I can see him as the Lobotomy Czar in a Trump administration …

ShainS on December 31, 2015 at 7:10 PM

End of the line I think..

Nice guy and I hope he goes on to be HHS or something similar under a Trump or Cruz administration.

celt on December 31, 2015 at 7:10 PM

I eagerly await his December numbers. I think he missed his quota which is part of the stress in his campaign.

Meanwhile… I am a political junkie… pass the popcorn!

OregonPolitician on December 31, 2015 at 7:13 PM

Huh. I was right, YET AGAIN. Carson is doing this whole thing to get increased book sales and give money to himself and his associates.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Nailed it:

Ben Carson, just here for the Book Tours and your money. Rubes.

NWConservative on October 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM

ShainS on December 31, 2015 at 7:13 PM

Is there a fouler viper’s nest outside of the Obama administration than the GOPe consultant class?

Gator Country on December 31, 2015 at 7:15 PM

Bennett, suspecting that Carson was once again following Williams’s advice instead of his, quit on the spot.

There is not really any such thing as “quitting on the spot.” Bennett had been ready to quit for some time and was looking for the reason.

Happy Nomad on December 31, 2015 at 7:16 PM

carsons a nice enough guy, but has been in over his head.

the only regret with his early demise (if this is it) is now the only non-establishment candidate left is Trump.

Garyinaz66 on December 31, 2015 at 7:17 PM

Carson’s media was handled by a PR Firm in Virginia for almost a year and then he hired some “political professionals” to help him. See, his most important goal from the onset was book sales not this campaign.

Then he hired Armstrong Williams to be his main surrogate and he’s a lose cannon and it all went to bleep.

Anyone that deals with campaign, in the media, has been watching the slow motion train wreck for the past 3 months.

Half of us don’t even know who to email anymore, since so many are jumping ship.

AYNBLAND on December 31, 2015 at 7:17 PM

Should have ran as a Dim. The Bigs are too tough for a lightweight

rik on December 31, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Huh. I was right, YET AGAIN. Carson is doing this whole thing to get increased book sales and give money to himself and his associates.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:07 PM

I’ve noticed that you are never wrong.

Walter L. Newton on December 31, 2015 at 7:21 PM

Alas, poor Yorick…

Newtie and the Beauty on December 31, 2015 at 7:22 PM

…never a serious candidate for me…not sure what it was, just didn’t stoke any political fires I could wrap my arms around…

Are they actually trying to win or are they simply building a brand they can monetize later

…have met thousands of doctors in my life…very few are good at marketing themselves…but reimbursements are down so…//

Pelosi Schmelosi on December 31, 2015 at 7:23 PM

who?

dmacleo on December 31, 2015 at 7:25 PM

Nice guys finish last in a pool of sharks.

they lie on December 31, 2015 at 7:27 PM

For those who supported Ben Carson, believed in him and wanted someone with his supposed integrity, this will be a very big blow, a very sad event. IF this turns out as a fundraising/branding scam, I don’t think the books and opportunity to speak will result. People counted on him for values, honesty, etc.

It’s very hard to balance the ego needed to run for public office and a candidate finding people he/she can trust. Was Ben out of his league? Possibly. He still would make a very good Surgeon General.

Insiders become trusted when they should have to really deliver. Blind loyalty to anyone is a downfall.

Carson doesn’t need the money, doesn’t need the fame – and if a scam of any sort is true, he will have let down so many people. What a sad way to go.

MN J on December 31, 2015 at 7:29 PM

Herman Cain 2.0.

JannyMae on December 31, 2015 at 7:30 PM

I still am hesitant to totally write him off because to me his campaign never made any sense at any point, so why would it change too much now?

Carson made a political career out of a) bashing Obama at a prayer breakfast b) being nice and c) being the flavor of the month “anti-Trump” several months ago.

I’m sure some of the GOPe types bashing him today had only positive words for him a few months ago when every story was “OMG WE HAVE A NEW #1 IN IOWA ZOMG THIS IS AMAZING TRUMP IS DOOMED!!!!”

There was even that silly poll that started out with “regardless of who your candidate is, do you find Ben Carson’s faith inspirational?” or something like that.

I believe Rubio thought he would get Carson’s supporters but they went to Trump and Cruz.

Redstone on December 31, 2015 at 7:40 PM

This situation is exactly what you might expect to get with someone who has little to no executive experience and apparently hasn’t given the matter much thought.

You can’t run a successful organization if someone close to the candidate personally has the authority to do things like arrange interviews and statements without consulting designated leadership and letting them do their work. If this guy Williams is calling the shots he should be running the campaign. If he’s not going to run the campaign or serve in some other clearly-defined role, he should be out of the campaign completely.

Carson is relying on bad advice from a questionable source, raising questions about his judgment and ability to pick advisers, and he will surely need good ones. Furthermore, letting this guy interfere and damage his campaign is a strong indication he has no idea how to lead his own campaign organization. How will he lead the country?

novaculus on December 31, 2015 at 7:41 PM

Huh. I was right, YET AGAIN. Carson is doing this whole thing to get increased book sales and give money to himself and his associates.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Nailed it:

Ben Carson, just here for the Book Tours and your money. Rubes.

NWConservative on October 15, 2015 at 10:34 AM

ShainS on December 31, 2015 at 7:13 PM

Haha. Thanks for searching so I didn’t have to. :)

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:43 PM

I’ve noticed that you are never wrong.

Walter L. Newton on December 31, 2015 at 7:21 PM

Thanks for noticing.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 7:44 PM

Carson should take the millions he has raised (under false pretenses), and drop out – before he does any more damage.

Carson is a charlatan.

Pork-Chop on December 31, 2015 at 7:51 PM

Now 22 people have quit as of today

I had openly predicted he was going to have a bad December in fundraising. I think he still did miss his December numbers. He was spending so much to get more money it was incredible. His numbers will be in during Early January. Let us see if I was correct.

If I was, then the funds drying up are probably another stressor at the campaign and the implosion will be terminal.

OregonPolitician on December 31, 2015 at 7:53 PM

More votes for Trump/Cruz– love it. I always thought Carson was, well, slightly retarded.

Mr. Arrogant on December 31, 2015 at 7:56 PM

I had openly predicted he was going to have a bad December in fundraising. I think he still did miss his December numbers. He was spending so much to get more money it was incredible. His numbers will be in during Early January. Let us see if I was correct.

If I was, then the funds drying up are probably another stressor at the campaign and the implosion will be terminal.

OregonPolitician on December 31, 2015 at 7:53 PM

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is outstripping rival Ted Cruz in fourth quarter fundraising totals, bringing in at least $23 million in the last weeks of 2015.

More money for the ones who are still there.

kcewa on December 31, 2015 at 8:03 PM

Why, of all HA contributors, is it always AP that feels the need to jump on the back of a downed Christian conservative? Any excuse to launch an attack will do, it seems. Am I the only one who’s noticed this?

Look, it is not unusual for a departing team member in such instances to have very little good to say about the ex-boss. Conjecture piled upon conjecture does not a series of facts make. I’m going to go out on a limb and just wait and see.

I also find it bemusing that some call Carson a lightweight and then have nothing to say about Trump. Really?

Liam1304 on December 31, 2015 at 8:05 PM

Ben Carson: Inexperience surrounded by egos is not a good combination.

WestVirginiaRebel on December 31, 2015 at 8:13 PM

Why, of all HA contributors, is it always AP that feels the need to jump on the back of a downed Christian conservative?

Liam1304 on December 31, 2015 at 8:05 PM

As a 7th Day Adventist, Carson is not actually a Christian – and, judging by his positions, there is little to indicate that he is a conservative. Carson is a charlatan, who has misled his supporters.

Pork-Chop on December 31, 2015 at 8:19 PM

As a 7th Day Adventist, Carson is not actually a Christian – and, judging by his positions, there is little to indicate that he is a conservative. Carson is a charlatan, who has misled his supporters.

Pork-Chop on December 31, 2015 at 8:19 PM

I think God will decide who is and isn’t Christian. And it won’t be based on church or denomination.

kcewa on December 31, 2015 at 8:25 PM

Ben Carlson needs more name recognition.

SpongePuppy on December 31, 2015 at 8:25 PM

Dr. Ben Carson is an honorable man. Obviously a very talented medical icon who is an outstanding role model for all. No one could find anything in his background to Herman Cain him. He just did not have the temperament for the dirty game of politics. If one wants to know why more successful people do not enter the corrupt game of politics, Carson is a prime example. We ask,”surely out of over 300 million people in America, there has to be someone more qualified than these jackasses”?n Well, there are probably 100 million more qualified people in America than the jackasses in DC. However, they also are more honest and have integrity. We will always be ruled by scoundrels and scumbags. It’s what politics has become. Decent people want no part of it.

they lie on December 31, 2015 at 8:28 PM

Ben Carlson needs more name recognition.

SpongePuppy on December 31, 2015 at 8:25 PM

^ genius

Axe on December 31, 2015 at 8:32 PM

He ate shit and died?

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:32 PM

Let’s be honest here. He’s not the first nor the last. Speaking Fees, Book Deals and contributor salary to Fox or CNN. These guys/gals have huge egos but there’s a calculation that it’s often a no lose situation.

It was a no brainer for him to run. He’ll make millions. His main goal is to leave this process without a lot of baggage.

AYNBLAND on December 31, 2015 at 8:34 PM

If Carson had also announced replacements as the departures were announced, this wouldn’t look so bad.

It looks bad.

Given Carson’s supporters, that’s good news for Cruz and Trump.

Meremortal on December 31, 2015 at 8:35 PM

As a 7th Day Adventist, Carson is not actually a Christian – and, judging by his positions, there is little to indicate that he is a conservative. Carson is a charlatan, who has misled his supporters.

Pork-Chop on December 31, 2015 at 8:19 PM

Big whoop… my grandparents weren’t Christians either and they were 7th Day Adventists.

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:37 PM

Must disagree on your definition of Christian. SDAs are not like followers of Deviant Christianity such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. They have issues with diet and the Sabbath – lots of the younger ones coming through are more focussed on things like Justification by faith. They are at least as Christian as Roman Catholics.

And as long as we’re into making assertions: Carson is a genuine man of God who would make a great President if only he could deny his code and bluster like Trump.

Liam1304 on December 31, 2015 at 8:38 PM

Why, of all HA contributors, is it always AP that feels the need to jump on the back of a downed Christian conservative? Any excuse to launch an attack will do, it seems. Am I the only one who’s noticed this?

Look, it is not unusual for a departing team member in such instances to have very little good to say about the ex-boss. Conjecture piled upon conjecture does not a series of facts make. I’m going to go out on a limb and just wait and see.

I also find it bemusing that some call Carson a lightweight and then have nothing to say about Trump. Really?

Liam1304 on December 31, 2015 at 8:05 PM

A political campaign is a bit more than just employees working for a “boss.” It’s about dedication and belief in the value of the candidate. That’s a rather weak argument.

As far as Carson being a lightweight, anybody who’s been following along in this primary season can see that Carson has proven that quite clearly, and can see that Trump is proving over and over that he’s anything but a lightweight.

Go cry in your champagne now.

JannyMae on December 31, 2015 at 8:38 PM

Ben Carlson needs more name recognition.

SpongePuppy on December 31, 2015 at 8:25 PM

^ genius

Axe on December 31, 2015 at 8:32 PM

He also needs a lobotomy… But hey… nobody’s perfect…

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:40 PM

Darwin effect works on the high end of the curve too.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 31, 2015 at 8:40 PM

Axe on December 31, 2015 at 8:32 PM

He also needs a lobotomy… But hey… nobody’s perfect…

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:40 PM

Oh… and Axe has a earing that looks suspiciously like a dog bowl.. Just saying…

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:42 PM

I’ve been out in my garden, tending my pickles today… Looks like more than a few people have invaded my pickle garden and stolen the fruits of my pickling efforts… <—- looking around suspiciously….

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:45 PM

who?

dmacleo on December 31, 2015 at 7:25 PM

Pay attention.

HiJack on December 31, 2015 at 8:47 PM

I’ve been out in my garden, tending my pickles today… Looks like more than a few people have invaded my pickle garden and stolen the fruits of my pickling efforts… <—- looking around suspiciously….

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:45 PM

LOL.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 8:47 PM

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:45 PM

LOL.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 8:47 PM

Yea yea yea…. Its all fun and games until its your pickle jar that gent’s emptied and knocked over….

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:50 PM

Yea yea yea…. Its all fun and games until its your pickle jar that gent’s emptied and knocked over….

oscarwilde on December 31, 2015 at 8:50 PM

Well you could always send them a nice and pretty holiday bag that has its contents set on fire on their patio.

NWConservative on December 31, 2015 at 9:11 PM

Although I would never vote for him, I rather like Ben Carson, and find him to be an interesting, unique, honorable man.

He brought something unusual to this campaign, character, and, with Trump, was the only candidate in a pool of hacks and dopes to have demonstrated extraordinary competence in his career.

People responded to it.

If anything, I think Carson was surprised at the enduring intensity of his popularity. Of course, this run was designed to get him some exposure and help the book sales (right, Newt?), but then the thing caught fire and ran away with him. The guy has been in a strong second for most of the season, and was the front runner for a while in Iowa.

Carson was bound to fall back to earth. It seems to me that the fault is with the GOP Inc. looters who glommed onto his campaign and milked it for all it was worth while they had the chance. They never took his campaign seriously, so the goal was to vacuum up and distribute as much lucre as possible while the going was good.

It’s also obvious that Carson manipulated these barnacles into quitting.

Carson is a decent man, and I hope Trump finds a place for him in his administration.

Joseph K on December 31, 2015 at 9:12 PM

Some things in this life are just not your bag.

Decent enough man. Totally out of his depth. Never heard a substantive answer from him where it looked like he really had a grasp on what he was talking about. Not a knock on his intelligence, his resume proves he’s a smart guy, but there are different affinities and I was not convinced he had what it takes to do this.

RSNTR on December 31, 2015 at 9:14 PM

An exceptionally talented and accomplished man.
But perhaps not Presidential material.
VP? Surgeon General? Head of HHS?
We shall see.

orangemtl on December 31, 2015 at 9:26 PM

“[T]he fundraising operation [seems to] exist,” said streiff back in October, “solely to perpetuate the fundraising operation.”

This not only accurately describes Carson’s campaign, it’s also an accurate definition of the majority of “mainstream” charitable organizations of the type that constantly call you up to harangue guilt you into giving them money, while saying that being charitable organizations, the National Do Not Call Registry doesn’t apply to them.

This may in fact have been the “business model” for the Carson campaign itself.

/Just saying

clear ether

eon

eon on December 31, 2015 at 9:29 PM

At this point, the candidate that shakes hands with Carson will profit from his remaining support.

virgo on December 31, 2015 at 9:45 PM

Was he sincerely trying to win and ended up being exploited by consultants who took advantage of an amateur with lots of goodwill they could cash in on?

Yes. Assuming the lowest possible motive isn’t a reliable way to determine anyone’s “real” motive. Libs do that all the time and they’re always wrong. Carson has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Or was his own personal goal all along to build that donor list and let the chips fall where they may in Iowa?

I always thought that after medicine, education was high on Carson’s list of passions. Perhaps Carson’s fall back plan is to be able to keep raising awareness and support for his pet cause.

lynncgb on December 31, 2015 at 10:05 PM

Maybe he’ll buy himself a radio show for a few months…

everybody else does, it seems…

golfmann on December 31, 2015 at 11:50 PM

But Ben Casey was an awesome TV show!

Galtian on January 1, 2016 at 12:53 AM

…Too bad.

JugEarsButtHurt on January 1, 2016 at 1:06 AM

Creative Differences.

Another Drew on January 1, 2016 at 2:28 AM

Was he sincerely trying to win and ended up being exploited by consultants who took advantage of an amateur with lots of goodwill they could cash in on?

Yes.

Or was his own personal goal all along to build that donor list and let the chips fall where they may in Iowa?

No. He clearly wanted to win and thought, based on the hype after the Prayer Breakfast, he could do it. He was in over his head. In all of his considerations, how he didn’t designate one afternoon to flesh out his positions on every issue is beyond me. I think it was ego. Dr. Carson was never asked any gotcha questions. He was just unprepared for the onslaught of scrutiny by the press and the public once his poll numbers rose.

The Bringer on January 1, 2016 at 4:38 AM

Carson’s team has done a bang-up job not only of finding small donors — they’ve received contributions from 600,000 individual entities since March — but of finding ones who typically don’t make political donations. More than 18,000 people who hadn’t otherwise given money to any candidates for federal office since 2007 gave $200 or more to Ben Carson this year.

I’m doing my bit to end the influence of money on politics. I NEVER donate to ANYONE.

jbspry on January 1, 2016 at 8:39 AM

But Ben Casey was an awesome TV show!

Galtian on January 1, 2016 at 12:53 AM

MAN.
WOMAN.
BIRTH.
DEATH.
INFINITY.

Those Greek symbols at the end of the show scared the poop out of me when I was a tyke.

jbspry on January 1, 2016 at 8:41 AM

Ben Carson crumbles over a book he wrote eons ago.

Hillary, who is full-on corrupt, and should be disqualified for her creation and use of a private server while she headed State, and all the bribes that occurred during her time at State, is leading the D-nom. *media breathlessly reports*

Unreal.

AprilApple on January 1, 2016 at 11:12 AM

If you look at the average of polls, Carson has actually closed 3 or 4 percent with Cruz and is basically tied with him. I wouldn’t say he’s done yet. Voters don’t care about inside baseball stuff.

cimbri on January 1, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Politics is not brain surgery.

steveracer on January 1, 2016 at 1:17 PM

I also find it bemusing that some call Carson a lightweight and then have nothing to say about Trump. Really?”
——-
Or Obama, who has proven to be nothing but a ideologue who has mucked up foreign policy and created divisiveness. I know a guy in my family who thinks that he is the best president ever (his words). Obama and the truth are strangers. Carson could surround himself with experts Obama surrounds himself with himself.

Rich D on January 1, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Ain’t over ’till it’s over…

DamnYankee on January 1, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Honestly? It’s always been over. Carson is a fairly common early election campaign spectacle. The charming outsider. Both his selling point and his ultimate downfall is he is not a career politician. The selling point is people do not trust career politicians. They are fed up with the lies, the abuse, the corruption. But the downside is he has no effective managerial experience in running a campaign, thus is completely at the mercy of others. Or battered by the whims of his own inexperience in these areas. Doing what seems like a good idea while others are building solid functional back ends to their campaigns. This is why Cruz so suddenly surpassed Carson. Cruz had been quietly doing the needed building. Putting the pieces in place. Growing his campaign infrastructure to actually function as a national campaign. This is the real high bar to entry into politics. National Politics is not an amateurs game. Just like any other industry. Nobody would look at Dr. Carson’s distinguished record and think he would be a superb choice for the next CEO of McDonalds. While brilliant he has no actual experience in the food delivery business nor a clear understanding of the details involved. (To be fair neither does the current CEO of McDonalds… which is why they are in freefall.) Politics and the Presidency is no different.

Trump sort of sidesteps this problem. While not a politician he is a PT Barnum level self promoter and has operated in a business world where understanding politicians is sadly a key concern. Trump is and always has been very good at selling himself. Even selling himself into a down and disinterested market. the lack of a real political infrastructure may start to weigh on Trump after South Carolina. But he can likely blast through the early states in his usual manner.

patches on January 1, 2016 at 5:04 PM

At least Carson is trying to learn foreign policy. The current guy and his team couldn’t be bothered, to the ultimate harm of the United States.

unclesmrgol on January 1, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Carson does have some explaining to do. Not sure he needed book sales, exactly. Maybe he wanted people to listen and to be able to shape the process. He can still do that, but he should bring a good story to what his campaign is/ was about.

virgo on January 2, 2016 at 2:36 AM

Given his past with Mannatech, selling his life story, etc, he is good at selling himself.

BocaJuniors on January 8, 2016 at 7:21 PM