Ben Carson: Running For President Is Haaaaard


Ben Carson sat down with the Washington Post a couple days before Christmas to let them know running for president isn't the nonstop party train of fun the average American might assume it is. But even though he's been slipping in the polls toward "which one was he again? Oh yeah, Pyramids!" land, he's determined to make a comeback, starting immediately. And he's got a terrific comeback strategy: keep blaming the media.

Not that Carson's in over his head; just never you mind his indecision about trifles like where in his big house he even wanted to do the interview:

At first, Carson seemed unsure what to do. He suggested talking in a guest bedroom. But that wasn’t right. He then considered a living room next to the video crew, but that, too, seemed off. At last, he settled on the basement — a man cave befitting a world-renowned neurosurgeon.

Yeah, guest bedroom might not be a great choice. How about a dildo boat instead? Once the interview got underway, Carson griped he'd been ill-served by his campaign staff, which was spending too much money, trying to turn him into someone he wasn't, and just generally not letting his 40-watt light shine on the world like it should. Definitely time for a staff shakeup, get some fresh blood in the organization. Shortly after the Post ran with that story, Carson walked it all back and said his campaign staffers were the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings he'd ever known in his life, and he had 100 percent confidence in them. And then, no doubt, he complained the media keeps depicting him as indecisive.

Reporters Steven Ginsberg and Robert Costa came away with the impression Carson isn't a happy camper, or at least wasn't wearing his Happy Face that day:

There was a backbeat of bitterness to much of what Carson said — especially about perceptions in the Republican Party and in the media of Trump as strong and he as weak, and that someone of his stature could somehow be unqualified for the nation’s highest office.

It may have escaped Carson's notice that Americans have never elected a surgeon with no governing experience president, not even a really famous one; or maybe he's well aware of it and is outraged by the injustice of it all. He told the reporters, "going through a process like this is pretty brutal. Everybody told me that it would be, so that doesn’t particularly surprise me."

What was so brutal? The fact that people kept picking on stuff he said, trying to make him seem like maybe a neurosurgeon isn't really an expert on public policy? Or just everything, really:

Well, the fact that people try to find a scandal. Of course there are no scandals, which is pretty frustrating for them, I’m sure. When they couldn’t find a scandal, they try to impugn your integrity and say, “You’re a liar.” Just stuff. Then they would put it out there. When it’s refuted, they never come back and say, “Oh, I guess that actually did not happen.” They just go on to the next thing as long as they’ve figured out a way to hurt you.

[contextly_sidebar id="Nog24a4xIa6m7ddFuInOs5H7ixk2C1kU"]As examples, he cited the "West Point story," as if he hadn't actually claimed he was offered a full scholarship to the school but turned it down to pursue his medical studies.

When they said, “You never tried to stab anyone, you’re kidding.” Then they find a Parade magazine article from 1997 where my mother was talking about it. They go, “Eh, move on.”

[contextly_sidebar id="YPWdnvOvdEorDYcSDyWILWxNn4fdYmVZ"]Again, Carson has done his own revisions to the story -- it wasn't a friend he tried to stab, it was a family member, and he changed the details in his books to protect the victim, and why are people so hung up on the book not mentioning he'd switched a few details around? Darn old media, they keep trying to depict a man with a loose relationship to the facts as if he were not always truthful. Strangely, Carson didn't mention his courageous mugger-redirection in a Popeyes Organization that one time, possibly because the story's too ludicrous even for him to defend anymore. He told Costa and Ginsberg they wanted that other example, over there.

Also, Carson is pretty upset Americans are so shallow and easily distracted, although mostly he seems upset no one's distracted by him anymore:

But it’s discouraging to know that we’re at that stage in our country where people don’t care so much about the truth. It’s just what’s sensational, what’s the shiny object. It’s all “Who’s in the football game? Who’s on ‘Dancing With the Stars’? Who’s yelling the loudest?” And I’m not sure that’s what we need right now because we’ve got some real big problems in our country.

[contextly_sidebar id="QBXenDBjOLT2clJoPALYXIeesxACPc22"]Yes indeed, we should definitely take the political process more seriously, and not be distracted by some flavor-of-the-moment candidate who says nutty stuff and then yells at the media for reporting he said nutty stuff.

Carson also complained just when he was starting to get serious national attention (except for the kind he didn't like), along came the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, which once again distracted from Ben Carson and what a terrific foreign policy expert he might someday become:

We want to be comforted, we want to be comforted quickly, and we go for the bright, shiny object as the solution rather than being a little more cerebral. You know, if you think back to Abraham Lincoln, he was not a loud, bombastic person by any measure. Ungainly, lanky, uncouth, but very courageous and very strong. What I’ve been emphasizing on the road lately is that strength is not defined by the decibels of which you say something or by the gesticulations associated with it, but by the accomplishments of one’s life. What have you faced, and how have you faced those things?

Yes, that's Ben Carson, the man who simply can't learn anything about foreign policy or even why Israel hasn't just adopted our political system, complaining people don't appreciate how cerebral he is. And he's unhappy that in a time of international tensions, we're not seeking out people who know a thing or two about foreign policy. True enough, but mostly he seems upset that people are attracted to the wrong neophyte, Donald Trump; if foreign policy licks counted for anything, Lindsey Graham would still be running. He may be completely wrong about what to do, but at least he can find Syria on a map. But if people just give Serious Ben Carson a chance, he's ready to wow them with how his experience as a surgeon has prepared him to bomb children. Or maybe to just tell ISIS to knock it off. One of those, for sure.

[Washington Post]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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