Should Ben Carson Run for Michigan’s Open Senate Seat?
A lot of people seem to want Ben Carson, the pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins, to run for president. Dr. Carson himself fed such speculation last week at CPAC. But it might be a good idea for Carson to get some legislative and policy experience first.
As the Detroit News observes, such an opportunity presents itself to Carson in the form of Democrat Carl Levin’s retirement from the U.S. Senate. Indeed, Carson is celebrated in Detroit as a shining example of a local boy who made it:
Dr. Ben Carson is a Black History month staple. Each February, schoolchildren hear the story of the impoverished African-American boy from Detroit, a struggling student whose mother made him read two books a week until he bloomed into a scholar.
Leaving Detroit for Yale, Carson eventually found his way to John Hopkins, where he became one of the world’s most preeminent neurosurgeons, gaining international acclaim in 1987 for performing the first separation of twins conjoined at the head. He is held as an African-American hero.
His entry into the race to replace Levin could galvanize conservatives across the country:
About [the prospect of running for President], Carson, who officially calls himself an independent, said: “If the Lord grabbed me by the collar and made me do it, I would.”
Before the Lord gets a hold of him, Michigan Republicans should consider locking him up.
The state GOP hasn’t won a U.S. Senate race in Michigan since 1994. With the retirement of Democratic incumbent Sen. Carl Levin, Republicans believe they have a shot at the seat in 2016.
Carson, if he could be lured back to his native state, would bring national attention to the race, as well as national dollars. There are few things conservatives love more than a black Republican. And one of Carson’s stature would draw money out of moldy GOP wallets everywhere.
Carson would help a party addicted to white suburban candidates intrigue young and urban voters, black and white, who grew up looking at his picture hanging on their classroom walls.
Carson has a charisma not often found in GOP politicians. Imagine this guy working the stump with the message he’s been testing of self-reliance and personal responsibility, coming from someone who’s proven anything is still possible in America.
This idea is simply too good. At a time when the chaotic implementation of Obamacare will be front and center, Carson will be able to speak intelligently about Obamacare’s flaws. The RNC says it wants to recruit more minority candidates. Here is a chance for them to do so.
By Avik Roy