A little over a year ago, when
Carson had a great number of things going for him: his amazing life story, charm, professional accomplishments, eloquence and courage. I had only one major concern: "While he speaks eloquently and passionately about the importance of doing homework in his own life and for children everywhere, it's not obvious he's taken those lessons to heart when it comes to politics."
It's now obvious that he hasn't.
In the weeks before the terrorist attacks in
But it was smart politics. The rationale for Carson's candidacy is based largely on biography and character. Take those away and what's left?
Not too much, unfortunately. Oh sure, grading on a human level, there's still a great deal to admire in Carson. But we're talking presidential politics, not lifetime achievement awards.
These and other flubs aren't necessarily disqualifying on their own. But after the terrorist attacks in
"I know a lot more than I knew," Carson said when asked on
That kind of answer doesn't cut it when Americans feel threatened. That's why he's been sliding in a number of polls since the
In fairness, Trump's answers shouldn't cut it either. But Carson is admiringly honest about his shortcomings and admits when he gets things wrong, while Trump makes up for his shortcomings and ignorance with bluster, bullying and bombast. Sadly, that continues to work for him.
Also, Carson's problems extend beyond foreign policy. He places an inordinate amount of emphasis on platitudes and cliches, particularly about common sense. I like common sense as much as the next guy, and we need more of it in
Of course, politics isn't brain surgery. But it does require a certain foundation that only experience and homework can provide. If you're waiting until you run for president to get up to speed, it is too late.
Carson's has been an all-too-familiar tale in
The rarest commodity in politics is a genuinely charismatic personality that arouses passion in voters at a propitious political moment. Money can't buy that; just ask
If Carson had consulted common sense, he would have known that.