Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is seeking to take control of his struggling presidential campaign, saying in an interview that his drop in the polls is the fault of his advisers and that he plans to shake up his staff in the coming days.
Carson, sitting alone Wednesday in the basement of his Maryland house, said that no one’s job is safe. He complained about budgetary management in a campaign that has spent millions and called some of his top staffers overpaid and ineffective in broadcasting his message.
“I’m looking at every aspect of the campaign right now. Everything is on the table, every job is on the table. And we’re going to analyze it very carefully,” Carson said. “It’s not perfect and we’re going to work on it.”
“I want to see more efficiency in terms of the way money is utilized,” he added, saying he is frustrated with his campaign being seen as a “rat hole” for small-dollar donors.
It would seem that Dr. Carson is just getting around to realizing a truth about his campaign that others noticed awhile ago.
Carson’s actual expenditure list reads like a wealthy Republican getting played by consultants. It is, to be clear, something Carson can overcome. He has perhaps the most loyal grassroots of any campaign. His voters love him with real intensity and would bleed for him — I mean that literally. His supporters are some of the most dedicated I’ve seen and also really nice.
That post was written when Carson was still atop the Iowa polls and near the top nationally. Since then, it has become apparent that the loyalty of many Carson supporters was easily transferable to Ted Cruz. It is now far less clear that this problem can be overcome.
Carson’s plight is not atypical of first-time politicos thrust into a presidential race. They don’t enter into these things with a trusted group of political advisers already in place like senators, governors, or congressmen do, so they have to cast about for some consultant help.
Sadly, the GOP consultant class in not unlike the ranks of NFL head coaches: mediocrity can be rewarded for a long time. The newly minted politician may be getting a team of veteran operatives, but it doesn’t mean they’re good operatives.
They just get paid the same.