Obligatory: The Ben Carson rap ad

Some commenters in Headlines are grumbling that he’s playing identity politics with this, others counter that it’s perfectly fine to change the style of the message so long as the substance remains the same for all audiences. Which it does in this case: “Heal. Inspire. Revive.” is Carson’s campaign slogan, borrowing from his medical career, and most of the ad is just snippets from his stump speech. He hasn’t changed his pitch.

Besides, the little flute beat is killer.

The question is why he’s targeting black voters in major cities in the early stages of a Republican primary.

Yes, Dr. Carson is launching a new 60-second urban radio advertisement scheduled to air Friday in eight markets.

His new $150,000 radio ad buy, called “Freedom,” will air for two weeks in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Alabama, Jackson, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee and Little Rock, Arkansas.

The ad, specifically targeting young black voters, uses rapper Aspiring Mogul and is interspersed with portions of Carson’s stump speech throughout the 60-second ad…

The Carson campaign is convinced that if he gets 20 percent of the black vote, Hillary Clinton would not win if they are head to head in the general election.

Is there any reason to think Carson could take 20 percent of the black vote versus Hillary? Hmmmmmm:

Okay, but … we’re many months away from choosing a nominee. Why spend money to prepare for the general election now when he’s still behind Trump in most primary polls? According to a Gallup survey conducted two years ago, just two percent of Republicans are black. Given how young adults skew Democratic, young black voters are probably well shy of one percent of the GOP. The states Carson is targeting make sense — Michigan, Florida, and various southern states all come early on the GOP primary schedule — but he’s anticipating some very close races to think young black Republicans might make the difference for him at this stage. Hard to believe that that $150,000 wouldn’t have been more wisely spent on a gospel-themed ad running in Des Moines, but whatever. It’s his dime.

Here’s the Carson ad followed by Trump’s two new radio ads, which are more traditional and scrupulously upbeat. I’m not sure why one of the most famous people in America, who’s been on cable news nonstop since June, needs to reintroduce himself to voters, but again — it’s his dime. Solid ads regardless. Exit question: Do we need to talk about Carson’s theory that the Egyptian pyramids were actually designed to store grain, not as mausoleums for the pharaohs? If so, a Twitter buddy wonders, do we also need to talk about the fact that nearly half of Democrats believe that astrology is scientific? Feel free to use the thread below for all of your “In Search Of…” pyramid theories.