Who Does Ben Carson Have to Impress?

Since Daniel Allott’s hit piece on Ben Carson back in May, the debate has been not over what Dr. Carson is capable of - most things he sets his mind and soul on might be overstating it, but not by much - but rather over what Dr. Carson should study up on and how long it will take him. According to Allott he needs to spend time working his way up through the Washington establishment and learn how to “build consensus” which smells like knowing who is located where on K street. The “humility” he deems lacking in Carson means Ben needs to bone up on his hypocrisy a little. And his need to learn to “read the political landscape” means he should submit to the views of wonks - like Allott - and their reading of the pollster’s tea leaves. Finally, it seems Ben needs to be a little more careful about his faith, and not actually defend his beliefs in an absolute manner, but rather with a little deft relativism.

The latest dig now at Ben Carson involves his supposed lack of depth in foreign policy, and whether he has been busy reading up on the latest articles at the Council on Foreign Relations site. He hasn't, but he has picked experienced experts who are aiding him. One can imagine him being queried on a who's-who list of foreign leaders.

How Ben Carson handles all this is a function of who he is: a brilliant surgeon, an outsider, a man of faith, and a conservative. That's why his supporters love him, and why policy wonks like Daniel Allot, who are buried deep in the bowels of beltway politics, are offended by who Ben is as much as what he says. That does not change the fact, however, that the campaign process is very much shaped by beltway insiders. But voters in 2015/2016 more than ever, especially GOP voters, are ready to respond to outsiders. Yes, Ben Carson needs to develop political skills quickly. He cannot just rest on who he has been. But his moral compass should remain as his guiding light. Will he have to shape his message in one way or another? He already is. Will he have to learn to deal with campaign machinery and media attacks? More and more if he remains near the top of GOP candidates. But he has to do it in a way that negates the accusations of insiders while showing to his supporters that he remains an outsider who sees the challenges in a light far different than K street consultants. Does he have to impress Daniel Allott? No, but he does have to deal with him, and the rest of the media. That's a lesson that Reagan could provide the good doctor.

Posted by Keeley at June 12, 2015 6:27 PM
Comments
Comment #395900

“…the retired neurosurgeon’s campaign chairman, national finance chairman, deputy campaign manager and general counsel have resigned since Carson formally launched his bid last month in Detroit. They have not been replaced, campaign aides said.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ben-carsons-campaign-faces-turmoil-after-staff-exits-and-super-pac-chaos/2015/06/05/ce08f9b2-0ba8-11e5-a7ad-b430fc1d3f5c_story.html

Carson can’t select the right people, build a campaign organization, or run it. He’s a vanity candidate, but let’s face it, he’s worse than that. He might be a good surgeon, but he is an incompetent politician. In today’s political parlance, he is a clown.

Still, given the incredible weakness of the GOP field, that is good enough to put him near the head of the pack.

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