Still enjoying the afterglow from his speech at a prayer breakfast with President Obama wherein he chastised the political ideals that the president holds dear and, according to the New York Times , “lofted him into the conservative firmament as its newest star,” Dr. Benjamin Carson (shown center) sat down with Times writer Trip Gabriel last week to expand on his beliefs and his political future. When asked directly about that future, Carson said, “I would like to have a voice.” He added: “Certainly if a year and a half went by and there was no one on the scene and people are still clamoring, I would have to take that into consideration. I would never turn my back on my fellow citizens.”
This was an echo from a more recent speech given just 10 days ago at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) when he announced his intention to retire: “I’d much rather quit when I’m at the top of my game. And there are so many more things that can be done.” He told Gabriel that he noticed that a lot of neurosurgeons died young due to stress and overwork, and that he had a wife and family with whom he wanted to spend more time. He also wanted to do some more public speaking to promote his educational foundation, the Carson Scholars Fund.
His political platform is beginning to take shape. He has a compelling personal story, coming from a poor neighborhood in Detroit where he had a dismal academic record and a string of difficulties with the school authorities. His mother, divorced when Carson was just eight, worked three jobs just to keep the family together. In learning about his poor performance in school, she turned off the television and turned Carson and his brother on to books, requiring that they borrow two books from the local library every week, read them, and prepare a book review of them for her. Carson said this was a turning point, about which he wrote in his autobiography, Gifted Hands. He began to like to read and discovered a world of opportunity outside Detroit.
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Photo of Dr. Benjamin Carson: AP Images