Barely over a month after launching his presidential campaign, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has lost his campaign chairman, his national finance chairman, his deputy campaign manager and his general counsel. The four senior advisers all quit the campaign, which has fallen into disarray due to dysfunctional leadership, a lack of professionalism and frequent in-fighting.
No replacements have been found to fill the four vacated senior positions, and the leadership vacuum in the Carson campaign has been compounded by a conflict between two pro-Carson super PACs. The two super PACs, “Run Ben Run” and “One Vote”, have been fighting to solicit donations from the same pool of donors. Carson supporters have expressed growing concerns that the Super PACs’ political turf war is jeopardizing the campaign’s ability to mobilize supporters.
Carson’s name is a huge draw in right-wing circles so the super PACs understandably are generating a lot of money by being associated with the retired neurosurgeon. However, the competing super PACs have created confusion for Carson supporters. Run Ben Run has been labeled a “rogue outfit” by some in the Carson campaign, and Carson spokesperson Doug Watts told The Washington Post:
We spend a great deal of time explaining to our supporters, ‘They’re them, we’re us’.
The remaining Carson staff has tried to spin the campaign departures as a positive sign, by arguing that Ben Carson is not a typical politician. Carson confidant Armstrong Williams stated:
Dr. Carson doesn’t get involved in the minutia. You have to understand his personality. He’s informed, but this whole process is new to him, and he’s relying on the judgment of others.
The problem for Carson is that he is running out of “others” to rely on.
The bottom line is that while Carson excites a certain segment of the GOP Tea Party base, he apparently lacks the managerial skills to run a competent campaign. This also raises the obvious question: If Ben Carson can’t even run a campaign operation for one month, why would anyone trust him to run an entire country for four years? The good news is, with his campaign in disarray, the odds are Americans won’t have to worry about Ben Carson ever setting foot in the White House.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.