Dr. Ben Carson Is In: Get That Dough
Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant neurosurgeon who has never run for office and knows little when it comes to policy outside of health care. He is running for president, but according to Jim Geraghty, his campaign team has few staffers focused on a detailed policy agenda for the campaign. That’s right. One of the two GOP presidential candidates with no political experience doesn’t yet have a policy team. This should tell anyone all they need to know about how serious this campaign is. The official and unofficial campaigns of more experienced GOP political figures have been gathering policy experts for years now, and we know the majority of them are not serious. Carson isn’t even trying.
It’s Already Cost Him
He was forced to apologize for saying homosexuality was a choice, and he’s contended that presidents don’t necessarily need to enforce Supreme Court decisions, rejecting the well-established doctrine of judicial review under the Constitution. As far as implementable policy is concerned, he has discussed lowering or perhaps even temporarily eliminating taxes on money U.S. companies make overseas, and selling off federal lands and buildings to reduce the deficit. What we know of Dr. Carson thus far is that he says what’s on his mind, apologizes for it later, and has not said what he would specifically do as President of The United States.
Cash Rules Everything Around Me
Ben Carson’s schedule includes paid speaking engagements, run through the Washington Speakers Bureau which previously listed him as a “level 6” speaker charging over $40,000 per speech, well into this fall breaking with long-standing practice discouraging presidential candidates from collecting cash at the podium. Candidates in both parties almost always clear their paid speaking schedules in advance of a presidential announcement to avoid both the appearance of a conflict of interest and to safeguard the tax-exempt status of some of their hosts.
Within a year and a half of the White House Prayer Breakfast in February 2013, when he criticized President Obama and instantly became a conservative folk hero, Dr. Carson has written two books on U.S. politics, one a nationwide bestseller, but seems hesitant to give up his proceeds as a public speaker. He spoke at Michigan’s Alma College on April 1, with the university charging $20 per person to fill out its 1,300-seat auditorium. On April 7, Carson spoke at the Right to Life of Southwest Indiana’s annual fundraiser in Evansville, Indiana. This event was flanked by two political appearances — an April 6 talk at a New Hampshire diversity forum on affordable health care, and an April 8 speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention in New York City.
Again, Carson’s “presidential campaign” is primarily an attempt to raise his profile to attract more highly paid speaking gigs in the future. Dr. Carson is heeding Beans’ motto, “Get That Dough”.