Leaders are seen for their true mettle when they’re dealing with difficult situations. It’s what marks the stark difference between the Donald Trump types and the Ted Cruz or Carly Fiorina types. I assumed Ben Carson fell into the latter category. I was wrong.
Ben Carson was handed an opportunity to get back into the Presidential race when a staffer for the Cruz campaign posted that he was leaving the campaign trail. It was the truth, but it was stated in a way that made it seem like Carson was dropping out. This has been attacked by the second place finisher, Donald Trump, who is whining about it being the reason that he lost.
Carson did the same thing. He even invoked faith into it, accusing Cruz of being a false Christian.
— Hunter Greene (@huntergreene) February 4, 2016
What he should have done is risen above both of the other candidates. This was his opportunity. If he came out with a statement like the following, he would have received more press coverage and would have pulled more from Donald Trump AND Ted Cruz than by acting like a baby with an ouchy.
Hypothetical Winner Ben Carson: “What Ted’s campaign staff is part of everyday politics. What Donald Trump is saying about it is also part of everyday politics. A good politician wouldn’t have chosen to go home for a quick break after three straight weeks on the campaign leading up the Iowa caucus. A good politician would have made an excuse to leave the trail for a day. I’m not a good politician. I’m just an American and that’s why I deserve your vote. Ted’s staff chose politics. I wouldn’t have. Donald chose politics over civility. I wouldn’t have. I’m going to push forward and prove to America that I’m exactly what we need to fix the situation we’re in. We don’t need politicians like Ted and Donald. We need real people think about what’s best for America, not how we can spin news on a campaign app or complain to the world on Twitter. I forgive Ted. I do not think what his staff did was out of malice. I don’t blame Donald. He does anything he can to make himself a winner. As for me, I’m going to grab a fresh set of clothes and hit the trail again with my message.”
It would have played. It would have played beautifully. Instead of being petty and whiny, he could have proven that he has the temperament to be a statesman. Instead, we got this from him:
— JD Rucker (@0boy) February 3, 2016
It’s a real shame that Carson chose the Trump-approach rather than the statesman-approach. Perhaps it’s better that we find this out now rather than at a time when he was positioned to have an impact on the election.