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Paging Doctor Carson: The rise of Ben Carson and the GOPís fractured flock of 2016
The National Review ^ | August 8, 2014 | Myra Adams

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.

Carson’s 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.D’s 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 doctor’s 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. Carson’s group of loyalists actually outraised the behemoth super-PAC known as Ready for Hillary, which brought in $2.5 million – Hillary’s 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 Carson’s 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 won’t 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.


TOPICS: Campaign News; Issues; Parties; Polls
KEYWORDS: 2016gopprimary; bencarson; bush; carson2016; hillary; romney
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Myra Adams is a media producer and political writer. She was on the 2004 Bush campaign’s creative team and the 2008 McCain campaign’s ad council. Her writing credits include PJ Media, the Daily Beast, RedState, and The Daily Caller.
1 posted on 08/09/2014 4:01:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


2 posted on 08/09/2014 4:04:33 PM PDT by Kenny (,)
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To: Kenny

When candidates change positions to run, yes we should take that into account


3 posted on 08/09/2014 4:13:01 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


4 posted on 08/09/2014 4:14:40 PM PDT by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


5 posted on 08/09/2014 4:14:51 PM PDT by dowcaet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I realize that Ben is a great surgeon and a self-made man, but maybe he should win a couple of elections and prove he knows how to govern before running for POTUS.

Just a thought.

6 posted on 08/09/2014 4:19:38 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The man who damns money obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it earned it." --Ayn Rand)
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To: GeronL
How is he on abortion, gun control, amnesty, socialized medicine, and big government?

That's all I need to know. If he's a lib, I don't want him.

/johnny

7 posted on 08/09/2014 4:20:24 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Kenny
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.

Let them ALL run, and split the RINO vote. Heck, let's invite Giuliani to pile in. Come back Rudi ... all is forgiven.
8 posted on 08/09/2014 4:20:31 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("If you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong."-Ted Cruz)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

please. no more rookies. that’s a big part of the problem now.


9 posted on 08/09/2014 4:20:40 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: JohnBrowdie

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.


10 posted on 08/09/2014 4:30:10 PM PDT by Tammy8
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To: Tammy8

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.


11 posted on 08/09/2014 4:33:28 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


12 posted on 08/09/2014 4:38:20 PM PDT by Tammy8
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To: raybbr

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.”


13 posted on 08/09/2014 4:39:34 PM PDT by Din Maker (I've always been crazy, but, that's the only thing that has kept) me from going insane.)
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To: Tammy8

14 posted on 08/09/2014 4:40:50 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: raybbr

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.


15 posted on 08/09/2014 4:42:17 PM PDT by Rockingham
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To: JohnBrowdie

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.


16 posted on 08/09/2014 4:45:03 PM PDT by Tammy8
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


17 posted on 08/09/2014 4:53:48 PM PDT by reefdiver (The fool says there is no God. And the bigger fools sees direct evidence and rages against it.)
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To: Tammy8

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.


18 posted on 08/09/2014 4:53:54 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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To: JohnBrowdie

Indeed. We generally get the politicians we deserve.


19 posted on 08/09/2014 5:01:20 PM PDT by untenured
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To: untenured

bingo. we picked ‘em. every one of them.


20 posted on 08/09/2014 5:03:35 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
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