I'm really very sorry, Carsonites, but this primary/caucus day "running home" business has now officially become a pattern that no amount of scapegoating Ted Cruz can paper over:
Ben Carson will be notably absent from his New Hampshire primary party on Tuesday.
The retired neurosurgeon will instead fly to South Carolina in the afternoon, his campaign said. Following Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, South Carolina Republicans will vote next, on February 20th.
The decision to leave New Hampshire early comes after Carson’s campaign last week said he would be going home to Florida instead of campaigning in New Hampshire or South Carolina following the Iowa caucuses.
The suspicion and undercurrent of the Carson campaign from day one has been whether the Doc really had the "fire in the belly" for a full-bore presidential bid. Did he truly want to be president, or did friends and hangers-on and fans talk him into it for their own purposes? Was running his idea or did others impose it upon him? I think we're getting our conclusive answer.
And that's too bad, because Gentle Ben is a good man, and this lack of commitment is not doing his personal reputation any favors. Consider how this comes across to voters in each State where he pulls this walk-out stunt:
It’s true that Carson isn’t exactly burning up the polls in the Granite State, but even with his various rhetorical stumbles along the trail, one has to wonder how much the voters of New Hampshire who might have been giving him a second look took note of his enthusiasm level. Instead of dashing to Nashua, Carson first headed to Florida. (Granted, those fresh shirts he picked up looked fabulous.) And now, after less than a week, he announces in advance that he won’t even be joining his own supporters this evening. If you’re somebody who is leaving work to head for the polls and you see that headline, are you going to bother voting for him or just head home and get out of the snow?
Or vote for somebody else. It's kind of like an extended middle finger to the electorate, frankly.
One might even call it Cam Newtonesque....
....and I know that Ben Carson is a better man than Cam Newton. Especially considering that Newton is thirty-eight years younger and hasn't fully grown up emotionally yet. What's Dr. C's excuse?
The Carson campaign is clearly going nowhere. If this is how little heart he's got left in it, better to end it now and put the ill-considered endeavor out of its misery. And the longer he doesn't, the more obvious it will become that he's just the figurehead for the real "powers that be".