Skip to comments.Paging Doctor Carson: The rise of Ben Carson and the GOPís fractured flock of 2016
Posted on 08/09/2014 4:01:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
What do you think about Dr. Ben Carson as the GOP candidate for president in 2016? Republican friends frequently ask me, to which my response is:
Did he win World War II?
In 1952, General Dwight David Eisenhower became the last president of the United States to be elected without first holding a lower elective office.
Carsons path from a very tough childhood to the head of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University is certainly impressive. (In a political field where many Ph.Ds insist on being called doctor and few office holders wow you with their intelligence, Carson stands out by being, literally, a brain surgeon.) But the journey from the doctors office to Oval Office is highly unlikely.
That has not stopped Carson from surging in the popular imagination. He is a rising conservative star, according to a recent Washington Post report detailing how Carson is forming a political action committee, a move that pushes him closer to running for president in 2016.
The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee raised $3.3 million in just the second quarter of 2014. Carsons group of loyalists actually outraised the behemoth super-PAC known as Ready for Hillary, which brought in $2.5 million Hillarys own record-breaking sum for one quarter.
Ready for Hillary, since its formation in January 2013, had raised a total of $8.25 million as of June 30. Compare that to Draft Carson, a group hatched in August 2013 that has hauled in a whopping $7.2 million.
Momentum for Draft Carson continues to grow, and more cash is flowing as the retired doctor extends his media presence beyond Fox News, where he has been a frequent on-air contributor since October 2013.
But Carsons political ascension could actually be interpreted as bad news for the crowded bench of GOP 2016 prospects, signaling a severely fractured presidential field in which none of the current in the news candidates are catching fire, breaking free, and galvanizing Republican primary voters.
Here are the latest Real Clear Politics (RCP) averages from which you can try to answer these questions and draw your own conclusions.
In the battle for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination there are four names that score in the double digits with voters but are clumped very closely together.
Rand Paul barely leads the pack at 11.3 percent, followed by Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee, who are tied at 11 percent, and Jeb Bush at 10 percent.
Carson, even with his rising star status and impressive fundraising, is not yet listed on the RCP polls.
One could argue that having four leaders, topping the heap of seven familiar names who are still stuck in single digits, is the very definition of a fractured party.
Unfortunately, fracturing translates into a long, bitter primary battle which, as we saw in 2012, weakened the over-all Republican presidential brand when the winner, Mitt Romney, finally headed into the general election in May.
Speaking of 2012, nothing illustrates 2016 GOP weakness more than the ever-growing chatter about recycling Mitt Romney and encouraging him to make his third presidential run.
The good news, widely reported from a recent poll conducted for CNN had Romney defeating President Obama by a popular vote margin of 53 to 44 percent if the 2012 presidential election was held today. (The actual 2012 election results were 51.1 percent for Obama and 47.2 percent for Romney.)
The bad news is that Obama wont be on the ballot in 2016, and this same CNN poll showed likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton defeating Romney by a margin of 55 to 42 percent. The GOP should not be going backward to find its future 2016 candidate.
How will the fractured GOP find its next standard-bearer without ripping itself apart in the process? Every Republican I speak with is extremely concerned that the party is again heading toward another brutal primary bloodbath in 2016, yielding disastrous results.
Perhaps the answer is someone like Carson, a well-respected and fresh face who comes to the party from far outside the political arena.
The prospective 2016 presidential field looks like it will more open than any contest in memory, Mark McKinnon, who served as the media strategist for President George W. Bush, tells National Review Online. The absence of a clear front runner makes it possible for anyone to be in play even Ben Carson.
If Carson continues his current surge, widening his national media profile while his draft committee or official PAC rakes in millions, should that negate my concerns raised by the General Eisenhower?
And a more intriguing political question:
In our modern age, is traditional elected-office experience really necessary to perform the job of president if one is a highly successful professional in a respected field?
I do not pretend to know the answer, but I do know that all Americans are craving a strong, decisive leader in 2016. If Dr. Ben Carson is that person, let him lead the way.
I’m hoping all will let candidates campaign this time and see what they have to say. So many in the past made up their minds before a candidate could get their first words out.
That is unless it’s Chris Cristie Rand Paul, or Jeb Bush. They’ve uttered quite enough words for the duration and the media has politely let us hear all of them for the past two years.
When candidates change positions to run, yes we should take that into account
Having a hard time trusting Carson. Call it prejudice if you want but he’s black and in the past two elections blacks voted for Obama 95%. I find it hard to believe he was in the five percent.
Dr. Carson is a great man. He’ll make a great Surgeon General in President Ted Cruz’s cabinet starting in January, 2017. OK, I’m jumping the gun. That’s what I hope happens. Dr. Carson is not presidential timber. I think he’s being pushed on us by the establishment just in case Christie and Jeb don’t make it.
Just a thought.
That's all I need to know. If he's a lib, I don't want him.
please. no more rookies. that’s a big part of the problem now.
No more politicians, that is the biggest problem. Maybe we need a fresh face that is not a politician- the modern version of the gentlemen farmers of long ago...
I don’t like Carson on 2nd Amendment or illegal immigration, but the fact that he is not a politician or is a rookie doesn’t bother me.
anyone that engages in politics is thereby a politician, and president is a political office.
those “gentlemen farmers” were also the propertied aristocracy of their time; which meant they were the smart guys of their era.
I may be wrong but the Democrat Party did not want Hillary before and I do not think they want her now. I expect them to do the same thing they did last time and run someone over the top of her.
All this- can they beat Hillary? is nonsense anyway, whoever runs as the R candidate has to first attract conservative voters otherwise they can’t beat anyone. Many conservative voters stayed home the last two elections so getting them out is a starting point.
Before there was any talk of Carson running, I had many people tell me: “After Barack Obama, I’ll never vote for a black man for President.”
Black conservatives tend to be strong personalities and as hard as dragon’s teeth in their political views and dedication to principle. Ben Carson seems to be like that, so it is easy to imagine him voting against Obama.
Well yes, they were the smart guys and that is what I meant. Carson is a smart guy. I wish he was better on issues important to me.
As to politicians we have too many that have not really accomplished anything else- nor did they shine that much in their other elected positions. Most now don’t want to be on record for much so they can run for higher office without their previous record biting them so they mostly place hold. We need someone tough enough to stand up to the Democrats and fight to take this country back, most politicians want to compromise and we have done too much of that.
It’s a long long time before we vote. I like J. sessions but I don’t even know if he’s going to get in it. But there are others I like, some I don’t. I can only vote in one primary and I’m not sure that’s going to happen the way things are and seem to be speeding up towards something big.
it’s just unrealistic. every great president we have ever had was a politician. blaming everything on politicians is just incredibly simplistic, and, if I may say, missing the point.
Indeed. We generally get the politicians we deserve.
bingo. we picked ‘em. every one of them.
But, we might have asked of Herbert, does he hold fast to the principles of liberty stated so "elegant(ly)" by the Author of our Declaration of Independence and President of the U. S., Thomas Jefferson, in his own 1801 Inaugural Address--wherein Jefferson laid out what might be considered to be "qualifications" for the American presidency:
(Excerpt, "Our Ageless Constitution," p. xiv, reformatted)
"Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation;
- entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them;
- enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man;
- acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter
with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people?
- Still one thing more, fellow-citizensa wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
- This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
"About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you,
- it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations.
- Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political;
- peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none;
- the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies;
- the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;
- a jealous care of the right of election by the peoplea mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided;
- absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism;
- a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them;
- the supremacy of the civil over the military authority;
- economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened;
- the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith;
- encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid;
- the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason;
- freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected.
These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety."
Now, does Herbert's standard of "smart, deft, and elegant" qualify one--anyone-- to lead us to "retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety"?
Here’s ONE... That I chose out of MANY...
That’s an ABSOLUTE deal breaker... I don’t need anything else...
There are politicians and there are politicians...in the past most had accomplishments in military, business, career before running for office. Voters years ago wanted to see accomplishments before they would elect someone. Now many begin as politicians and have never done anything else.
I think that’s manifestly untrue. in fact, the exact opposite is true. other than our limited number of general/presidents, all of our best presidents were “only” politicians.
I’m not defending the profession, mind you. but I am insisting that until you get past this, you will never see the real problem.
Yes, I agree with you. He could run for a high profile office, since he’s got some name recognition, and he’d be a great, great addition to either the republican party or the soon to be “tea party” party.
But, really folks, we need to be a lot more focused in 2016 than we were in 2012, when everybody and their sister (I love Michele Bachmann, but was she really, ever going to be the next president?) ran and we ended up with Romney.
A fine man, and a dreadful L.O.S.E.R. who has left us strangled in the clutches of Obama.
I’ve been thinking that here is the question that determines the voters minds: Does this candidate understand the problems of people like me?
You’ve got to have someone with “the common touch”, this is why we have failed so spectacularly with Romney, McCain, Dole, et al.
If the average person would not answer that question with “YES!” then forget it.
So.....maybe Scott Walker? I don’t even think he graduated college, he might very much appeal to the working class.
Who do you consider our best presidents?
in this particular debate, it doesn’t matter. except for eisenhower, grant, & etc. (all mediocre, by the way), they were ALL politicians.
When I first glanced at that pic, I thought it was Sarah Palin with a “young” Pat Buchanan; for real.
Who do you consider our best presidents?
You didn’t ask me, but, I’ll chime in on this: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
I agree with you on Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson. I have mixed feelings about Abraham Lincoln.
Well, the thing about Lincoln was the fact that he served in the most divisive, distressing time in the history of this nation. What a burden to carry. And then, just as things started “looking up”, he was assassinated. John Wilkes Booth overestimated the “hatred” for Lincoln; even in the South. Booth thought he would be a hero but, this nation, North and South, hated him and rejoiced at his demise. Lincoln, for whatever faults he had, was greatly loved.
That is why I have mixed feelings, he was surely tested. I don't agree with his idea to ignore habeas corpus in order to arrest Southern sympathizers without trial. I also disagree with the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to slave holders in the North. I admire that he set up reconstruction to be a rebuilding/reuniting process as opposed to punishment.
Back at ya!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.