According to a national poll released yesterday, Ben Carson now leads (albeit narrowly) among Republican presidential hopefuls at 26 percent. News coverage of the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon turned paleoconservative soundbite machine has duly exploded.
NPR ran an article that answers “all your questions” about Carson’s Seventh-Day Adventist faith. The New York Times ran its own piece on Seventh-Day Adventism, and took a cold, hard look at the candidate’s health care reform plan. CNN has compiled his “17 most memorable lines” — memorable indeed! Politico tracked the flow of Carson’s campaign funds. (Spoiler: it leads largely to companies associated with his operatives, though it’s not always clear what services are being rendered.)
Then of course there’s the steady stream of articles simply attempting to explain how this all came to be — how a political novice can gaffe his way to the front of a crowded Republican field.
This sudden increase in media attention suggests that Carson is entering the “scrutiny” phase of his campaign, and the strength of his support will be tested. If he follows the pattern of political outsiders before him, the intense scrutiny will lead eventually to a “decline” phase. But who knows? I, for one, have ceased all predictions regarding this bizarre election cycle.
(But if you want to talk 2020, it’s Kanye West all the way.)
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