Let us preface this story with the adminition that offering someone a deal in return for an endorsement is technically a violation of FEC rules. But (1) we don’t know exactly what spot, if any, Donald Trump has in mind for Dr. Ben Carson, (2) Donald Trump “makes deals” because that’s what he does and (3) at this point, does anyone really feel anything but sorry for Dr. Ben Carson? I mean, seriously. The guy got into the race thinking it would be a great way to build lists and sell books, just like so many before him (*cough* Herman Cain *cough*), only to lose pretty much everything, including his dignity.
But it still remains that, according to an interview conducted yesterday, Dr. Ben Carson says he endorsed Donald Trump because the latter offered him a spot in the inevitable Trump Administration.
I do believe, and certainly in my discussions with Donald Trump, he does love America and he does want to be successful. He will surround himself with very good people,” Carson told “The Steve Malzberg Show.”
Asked whether he will be one of those people, Carson responded:
“I will be doing things as well … Certainly in an advisory capacity [in Trump’s administration].”
Carson said Trump’s decision to bring him into the presidential fold came after he sat down with the billionaire developer to talk about the future.
I’d imagine that Carson isn’t alone in thinking his only shot at a future in politics is to join up on the Trump Train. Chris Christie, who Donald has humiliated in ways some of us could only dream of, might be of the same mind: there’s no way he’s getting in anywhere else, so he may as well settle down and join Trump Enterprises. Even if there’s no spot in the White House for either of them, there’s always a golf club or a hotel that needs a night manager.
The saddest part of the interview, though, isn’t that Carson has sold his soul to the devil in return for a couple of weeks more on the campaign trail, but that it seems Carson tried another avenue and met with resistance.
CARSON: I have to look at what is practical and what is going to save this country and the American dream for the next generation. Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes. But that scenario isn’t available.
MALZBERG: With one of the other candidates you mean?
God, this guy is heartbreaking. Does he mean that he tried to give his endorsement to the Rubio or Cruz campaigns and he got turned away? Does it mean that he wanted to, say, back Ted Cruz but couldn’t bring himself to face the candidate after their Iowa run-in? Did he just not get the same deal from the other options?
If his treatment of other endorsers is any indication, Trump’s run with Carson will be short-lived, and I think Carson knows it, but Trump wins in the end. Carson worked hard to build lists of supporters for an eventual exit, perhaps into a SuperPAC, maybe into the larger world, or an entertainment job, or maybe just to the speaking circuit, and I’m more than sure that access to his list was part of Trump’s stellar deal. Hopefully, its big enough that Carson can rely on it when this is all over.
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