Carson may make run for presidency

by W. Winston Skinner


Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the noted physician who rose from poverty to become one of the world’s best known doctors, is now being considered as presidential timber.

Carson, who spoke at a Coweta County church in 2010, has not ruled out a run for the nation’s highest office. In an interview with Newsmax reporter Bill Hoffmann, earlier this month, Carson said, “If the circumstances presented themselves in such a way that there were a lot of people clamoring for me to do that and there was no other candidate that was really receiving a lot of traction, I would certainly have to give it consideration."

FOX News' Greta Van Susteren also asked him about the possibility. Referring to the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, Carson said he would not "interfere one way or another" with the petition to draft him. He added, "I believe God will make it clear to me if that's something I'm supposed to do."

John Philip Sousa IV is chairman of the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. "With this re-affirmation by Dr. Carson that he will run only if the American people are clamoring for him to do so, I am determined to re-double our efforts to draft this humble, dedicated American as the Republican nominee for President in 2016," he said.

Sousa, great-grandson of the famous march king, is an author and financial investment professional. Sousa and and Vernon Robinson, a former city council member in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, created the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee in August.

Robinson also is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, and the son of a Tuskegee Airman.

On Dec. 4, Sousa IV announced the presidential draft committee had raised more than $1 million. “Even though the 2016 presidential election is nearly three years away, Americans from every state in the nation are generously donating,” Sousa said.

“Tens of thousands of Americans ... have already donated to this draft effort,” Sousa said. “This is a bottom up, grassroots effort that has clearly touched a chord with Americans from coast-to-coast and border-to-border." In mid-January, electronic billboards promoting Carson’s candidacy went up in Des Moines, Iowa and in the Baltimore area. The billboards were timed to encourage support for Carson among people attending Jan. 21 mid-term caucuses.

Carson, director of pediatric meurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, spoke at Peachtree City Seventh-Day Adventist Church in May 2010. He is a devout Seventh-Day Adventist.

This past summer, a number of Cowetans heard Carson speak at the Southwest Christian Care Benefit Dinner and Auction Gala at the Georgia International Convention Center.

Carson told the story of his rise from poverty, growing up an angry boy in a single-parent home, in his 1996 autobiography, "Gifted Hands." He has since written two other books — "Think Big" and "The Big Picture."

Cuba Gooding Jr. portrayed Carson in the 2009 TNT movie, "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story."

Carson gained world-wide recognition for his pioneering work in the separation of twins joined at the head. His humanitarian efforts have taken him all over the globe to participate in such surgeries.

Carson is also noted for his use of hemispherectomy — removal of half of the brain — to control intractable seizures, as well as for his work in craniofacial reconstructive surgery.

Carson's mother was only 13 years old when she married his father. She had only a third grade education, and the father abandoned the family when Carson was 8 years old.

Sonja Carson took on two or more jobs at a time to care for her sons. She began observing the lifestyles of the families for whom she worked as a domestic employee. As a result, she began requiring her sons to read two books each week and to write book reports on them.

After Carson attacked another boy with a knife — the blade was deflected by the other boy's belt buckle — he realized he had to get his temper under control. The future doctor shut himself in the bathroom with a Bible and did not come out until he was sure God had taken control of his life — and his temper.

Ben Carson majored in psychology at Yale and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine. He was the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP and in 2007 was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers.

In 2008, Pres. George W. Bush presented Carson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. The White House honored him for working throughout his career "to improve the lives of those suffering from neurological disorders. His groundbreaking contributions to medicine and his inspiring efforts to help America's youth fulfill their potential have strengthened our nation."

“Our intent is to make absolutely certain that Dr. Carson will be able to compete with any other Republican candidate and with Hillary Clinton,” Sousa said. He said the people pushing for Carson to aim for the White House ‘want a man of principle and character as their nominee who can get this nation back on track to prosperity and who will restore respect around the globe.”

Carson’s “ability to appeal across racial, ethnic, gender, age, and economic lines makes him the one Republican nominee sure to win in 2016,” Sousa said.

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