"Candor helps Ben Carson connect" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff July 11, 2015
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — There’s just something about Dr. Ben Carson, some Republican voters here say.
They line up to buy copies of his books. They chase him down streets for photos. Sometimes, they just continue to stare with awe after he speaks.
“I’m just kind of overwhelmed,” said Peter Rice, a retired volunteer firefighter, his newly acquired “I’m with Ben” button in hand. “This guy is a breath of fresh air.”
There’s liking a candidate — and then there’s the particular passion that Carson seems to incite, despite the sometimes unusual statements that make him stand out among 2016’s Republican White House hopefuls.
So what is it about the 63-year-old political neophyte, who often refers to himself in the third person as “Carson” during stump speeches.
Hey, look, Jimmy is running for President!
Supporters gush over what they call his “compelling personal story” and “common sense.” He is the only African-American candidate – Democrat or Republican – and his resume is unlike the others. It includes his tenure as director of neurosurgery at John Hopkins University but no elected offices or previous flirtations with running for president.
There are pundits who say Carson’s brand of religious conservatism will not win in New Hampshire, which polls show is one of the least religious states in the country.
A recent poll by the University of New Hampshire showed Carson barely registered when voters were asked who had the best chance of winning, which candidate best represented Republicans like themselves, and who would be the strongest leader.
Still, the university poll did show Carson had a high net favorability ranking, coming in second after US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. And according to national polls, he would make the 10-candidate cut to be onstage if the first televised national debate were held today.
Then those polls are bogus.
So the retired doctor and his supporters aren’t worried about the naysayers.
“I’m in love with him,” said Dianne Durkin, president and founder of an employment loyalty company....
In a speech Tuesday morning to about 50 business leaders at Pease International Tradeport, Carson called for “stopping all this silly divisiveness” and class, race, gender, and age “warfare” — all distractions, he said, from the “radical Islamic jihadists” targeting America.
“We are falling for garbage. We are allowing ourselves to be colluded. You can’t just go through life worried about who’s on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ” Carson said. “What are you willing to fight for? What are you willing to die for?”
Great, Ben! Here's your rifle, here's your parachute....
Last month, Carson grabbed national attention by calling out some of the other candidates who, he said, were slow to criticize the massacre at the Charleston, S.C., church as rooted in racism.
“But there are people who are claiming that they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate,” he wrote in an op-ed piece.
Go fly a rainbow flag.
It was just two years ago that Carson burst into the political arena at the National Prayer Breakfast. He used humor and his personal story of growing up in an impoverished Detroit home to give a conservative critique on the country’s state of affairs as President Obama sat nearby.
Some of his most scathing remarks focused on the Affordable Care Act, which he wants to replace with a health care system that gives people transferable health savings accounts.
Yeah, the Wall Street banks will watch over the health of your savings.
Carson’s single mother was determined her two sons would rise above their station in life, he said. She refused to accept public assistance and required regular book reports when he began doing poorly in school, even though she couldn’t read them.
He would earn a scholarship to Yale University, where he met his wife, Candy, and continue to the University of Michigan’s medical school.
Echoes of that speech come through when Carson addresses a crowd from the campaign trail — but not when he engages in retail politics. As he shook hands and greeted voters one-on-one along the streets of downtown Portsmouth with his wife of 40 years, she was talkative and personable while he was awkward and reserved.
Related: Ben Carson celebrates 40th wedding anniversary
Onstage, though, he seems to capture voters....
What is this about a “paternity suit?”
Looks like an also-ran to me.
Related: Cosby’s accusers say his ’05 admission bolsters their case
Bill liked the white women, 'eh?
Also see: Cosby’s Quaaludes
Some are saying he's being framed, and he has offended a certain powerful segment of black hierarchy. Can't kill him like Malcolm.
Better drop him from the ticket, just to be safe.