It’s not looking like much of a Happy New for republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.
Carson, who has been nosediving in the polls since November, woke up on New Year’s Eve to a resignation phone call from his campaign’s top adviser, Barry Bennett. But that was just the beginning of the candidate’s troubles.
Shortly after Bennett resigned, Carson’s Communications Director, Doug Watts, also handed in his resignation.
That was followed by the resignation of his Deputy Campaign Manager, Lisa Coen.
Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get much worse, 20 additional staffers followed Carson’s former top advisers out the door.
The walk-out follows accusations that Carson’s campaign is little more than a “money-making scheme” spearheaded by an unethical conservative commentator named Armstrong Williams. Williams biggest claim to fame is that he was secretly paid more than $240,000 by the George Bush administration to unethically promote the President’s signature No Child Left Behind policy.
Interestingly, Williams is not only Carson’s campaign manager, but also his business manager.
As Raw Story reported back in November, Carson began facing allegations about the sincerity of his campaign after he bypassed opportunities to engage voters in early primary states, in favor of a tour to promote his most recent book.
In an article published in New York Magazine, staff writer Jonathan Chait asked whether Ben Carson is really running for president, or simply running a money-making con scheme.
Chait pointed out that,
“Conservative politics are so closely intermingled with a lucrative entertainment complex that it is frequently impossible to distinguish between a political project (that is, something designed to result in policy change) and a money-making venture.”
He then went on to discuss the potential benefits of announcing that you’re running for president, even if you don’t actually want to be president.
‘Declaring yourself a presidential candidate gives you access to millions of dollars’ worth of free media attention that can build a valuable brand. So the mere fact that Carson calls himself a presidential candidate does not prove he is actually running for president rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to build his brand. Indeed, it is possible to be actually leading the polls without seriously trying to win the presidency.”
What Chait discovered about Carson’s campaign was that it has all the tell-tale signs of a scam.
“Carson is doing a lot of things that seem puzzling for a presidential campaign, but quite logical for a brand-building exercise. He is taking weeks off the campaign trail to go on a book tour. His campaign itself is structured much more like a scamming venture than a political one. An astronomical 69 percent of his fund-raising totals are spent on more fund-raising. (Bernie Sanders, by contrast, spends just 4 percent of his intake on fund-raising.) In addition to direct mail, Carson seems to have undertaken a massive phone-spamming operation. Spending most of your money to raise more money is not a good way to get elected president, but it is a good way to build a massive list of supporters that can later be monetized. Perhaps it is a giveaway that the official title for Armstrong Williams, the figure running the Carson “campaign,” is “business manager,” as opposed to “campaign manager.” It does suggests that Carson is engaged in a for-profit venture.”
Today as Carson’s staffers began abandoning ship in droves, they left no doubt about their reasons.
Bennett placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Armstrong. He noted that the Carson campaign has raised more money this quarter than any other Republican candidate.
And yet according to the most recent polling data, Carson lags some 27 points behind Republican front runner Donald Trump.
It doesn’t add up, and it seems that a lot of his staffers know it.
In a final stab, seemingly aimed at the lack of sincerity and professionalism within the Carson campaign, Bennett said during an interview with Reuters,
“I can play amateur politics at home with my 9-year-old. I don’t need to do it at the professional level.”
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flckr