My prediction is that Ben Carson will flame out as soon as the Republican voters start to look for substance and qualifications. The interview that Carson did with George Stephanopoulos on ABC This Week a couple of weeks ago is pretty revealing.
On his best example of negotiating in his professional life that has prepared him to sit down with Russia, China, and Iran, he mentions the Carson Scholars Fund, and the fact that its awardees hail from all fifty states, which “is not done without the ability to negotiate.”
Sure, because asking people to help dole out $1,000 scholarships is similar to sitting down with vicious dictators and deal with the extreme zero-sum game that is international politics.
Carson also reiterated his claim that Saudi Arabia would have turned over Osama bin Laden on a silver platter if only America had declared itself petroleum-independent. When faced with the fact that bin Laden already had been expelled from Saudi Arabia and had seen his Saudi citizenship revoked, Carson merely says, “Well, you may not think that they [the Saudis] had any loyalty to him. But I believe otherwise.”
So the Saudis were in fact still loyal to bin Laden, they actually knew were he was, and if they only had wanted to, they could have easily got him out of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and extradited him to the United States?
When asked to explain how this Saudi Arabia-Afghanistan-bin Laden-process would have worked in practice, Carson simply responds:
My point is: we had other ways that we could have done things. I personally don’t believe invading Iraq was an existential threat to us. I don’t think Saddam Hussein was an existential threat to us.