Dr. Ben Carson is having a moment right now.
The respected neurosurgeon is surging to the head of the pack especially in one poll where it really counts, Iowa.
In a Monmouth University poll out on Monday, Carson tied with Donald Trump at 23%.
According to CNN.com, it is the first time since July 26 that a poll in the first four states to select a Republican nominee did not find Trump substantially ahead of all other candidates.
Jeb Bush is way behind with 5%.
Even though Carson and Trump are polar opposites they’re both leading in the polls.
One is outspoken and animated.
The other is mild-mannered and soft-spoken.
The conventional wisdom is that both men are not career politicians and are appealing the the populist slipstream in the country. right now.
Carson’s supporters like Robert Taylor who runs his Iowa operation chalk it up to his bedside manner and told me as much last night on CNN Tonight.
“He’s real, he’s genuine, he’s smart and articulate. And when you ask him a question, he’s not a politician, he’ll answer the questions directly. I mean I think most importantly I think what Dr. Carson brings to the table is the power of nice. He’s nice, he’s genuine and that’s not necessarily what people have experienced in the past.”
Dr. Carson’s favorability rating in Iowa is at 81%.
Only Carly Fiorina comes close with 67%.
Dr. Carson is one of the most liked Republican in the country right now.
But not so much when it comes to African Americans, says former Bush-Cheney Senior Advisor, Robert Traynham.
“Dr. Ben Carson is my brother. He’s your uncle. He’s your grandfather. He is one of us in the black community, someone who’s literally brilliant who pulled himself up from his bootstraps. So let’s just acknowledge that he’s a black man that has pulled himself up that is very, very smart. The difference is guess what, he’s a black Republican so therefore we start whispering it so the new car smell, the veneer kind of goes off a little bit so then he sees in the eyes of the African American community. I’m very proud of him. This brother does a very good job but he’s a Republican so therefore he’s not one of us.”
Does Traynham have a point?
Remember before Dr. Carson told us he was a conservative?
Remember when he separated conjoined twins?
Remember when his best selling book and his made for TV movie?
“A heartwarming true story of a mother’s love and determination to inspire one ordinary boy to reach extraordinary heights.”
Not so long ago African Americans held up Dr. Carson as the example of black achievement and then he came out as Conservative and all hell broke loose.
Why is it that someone like Dr. Ben Carson is deemed as racially inauthentic just because he happens not to be a Progressive or a Liberal?
Does his conservatism negate all of his accomplishments and all of those qualities for which people of color once applauded him?