Keep Your Eyes on Dr. Ben Carson

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 15 2013 7:44 PM

Keep Your Eyes on Dr. Ben Carson

On Feb. 7, at the usually-sleepy National Prayer Breakfast, pediatric neuosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson talked for a surprising 23 minutes about the national debt and the threat of political correctness. It was surprising because Carson has been a famed physician for at least 26 years, ever since he participated in the first separation of Siamese twins conjoined at the head. Not many people realized that Carson had just written a book of political musings, and that he would take this live-on-C-SPAN opportunity to summarize it.

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Carson immediately became a star, as compelling black conservatives seem to do. How could they resist a black physician who criticized the president while the president sat there, bearing it? The next day, Carson appeared on Sean Hannity's TV show. He critiqued the State of the Union address on Fox News. He joined Twitter today and rapidly crossed the 7,000-follower mark. (For comparison, black Republican Sen. Tim Scott has 19,000-odd followers after a month in the Senate.) His book, America the Beautiful, surged to the top five on Amazon.

And now I see that he's joining Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan on This Week.

(Side note: According to that list, This Week will feature four conservatives and one liberal Democrat. A bit of a slant, right?)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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