Ben Carson Suddenly Thinks He Can Run a Federal Agency

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Ben Carson, one week ago:

Business manager and close friend Armstrong Williams said Carson won’t join the incoming Trump administration and would only serve as an unofficial adviser….”Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.

Ben Carson today, asked about his qualifications after being offered a position as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development:

“I know that I grew up in the inner city,” Carson said. “And have spent a lot of time there. And have dealt with a lot of patients from that area. And recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities. And we have to get beyond the promises and start really doing something.”

In other words, he has no qualifications at all. I suppose Trump finally found the one thing Carson wouldn’t mind crippling.

The whole thing is kind of weird. My guess is that Trump is pretty desperate to get Carson on his team because he doesn’t want the press to be able to say that his cabinet is all white. And Carson is probably the only black person Trump knows aside from Mike Tyson and Don King. But if that’s the case, why not offer him HHS? That would make at least some borderline sense since Carson is a doctor. Or maybe Surgeon General. Or the Department of Commerce, since Carson has lots of grifting experience.

Still, I guess we have to look at this from Trump’s point of view:

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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