Carson Strikes the Reluctant Candidate Pose

One of the most ridiculous rituals in American politics is when political candidates pretend that they don’t really want the jobs they’re running for, but they just could not say no to all those millions of voters who, in their imagination, pleaded with them to run because they were the only ones who could save the country. I’m talking to you, Ben Carson.

Ben Carson is running for president, but he said last week that it’s a taxing endeavor he doesn’t want to do. Rather, he said, he’d been hoping to retire after decades of working long hours as a neurosurgeon.

“I really don’t want to do this, to be honest with you,” Carson, one of a dozen or so conservatives who hopes to capture the GOP presidential nomination, said to a town hall crowd of more than 100 Iowa voters on Friday. “I was looking forward to a relaxing retirement, you know, with a beautiful home in Florida by a golf course.”

When asked about how his Christian faith could influence his decisions as president, Carson explained the role his religion has played in declaring his candidacy.

“I finally said, ‘Lord, I don’t want to do this, but if you’re going to open the doors, I will go through with it,’” he said…

Carson has been emphasizing his reluctance to run for president for a while now — actually, since before he even formally jumped into the race. Asked in March how he’d feel if his campaign flopped, Carson told the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “I would say ‘Whew!’ because it’s not something I ever really wanted to do, and the only reason I’d consider it is because there’s so many people across the nation clamoring for me to do it.”

The benefits of making this ludicrous claim are obvious. They think it makes them sound humble and selfless and so concerned for America and Americans that they will generously give up their own desires to make your lives better because deep down they know that they’re the only ones that can do it. But they can only do it with God’s help, of course, since He is the one who told them to run. So much empty posturing, so little time.

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  • grumpyoldfart

    Or maybe their accountants have forecast the amount of cash that will likely be donated to the campaign fund along with an estimate of the percentage of those donations that can be skimmed straight into the candidate’s pocket.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    I really don’t want to do this, to be honest with you, …

    Then there’s no reason to feel bad for not voting for him. You’d be doing the guy a favor.

  • ‘smee

    grumpyoldfart @ 1: only maybe?

  • ZugTheMegasaurus

    After Romney lost the last presidential election, his son was quoted as saying something like, “Nobody wants to be president less than my dad.” Yeah, I’m gonna have to disagree and point to the almost-everybody-in-America who didn’t spend a couple years running for president.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Zug, so that’s why Romney ran such a shitty campaign. Now it all makes sense.

  • Trebuchet

    Ooh, Carson/Egnor ticket! Brain surgeons all the way down. They can’t lose!

  • scienceavenger

    Hey, this is a tradition as old as America. George Washington was the master, showing up at meetings in full uniform while protesting all the while that he was humbled at the thought of command.

  • Al Dente

    Is Carson one of the Republican candidates who’s running because gawd told him to run?

  • thebookofdave

    @Al Dente

    Most people have their Gawd Detectors set at a harmless level of sensitivity. Occasional users will ignore the manual’s caution not to turn the gain all the way to eleven, at which point some of the noise will certainly be interpreted as commandments. This phenomenon is responsible for most conservative presidential candidates and all of the prophets in recent history.

    Whether anyone has yet tuned in to an actual signal is a hotly disputed topic of discussion.

  • caseloweraz

    Ed: One of the most ridiculous rituals in American politics is when political candidates pretend that they don’t really want the jobs they’re running for, but they just could not say no to all those millions of voters who, in their imagination, pleaded with them to run because they were the only ones who could save the country.

    That sometimes happens. But in Carson’s case the story was somewhat different. See, he found this odd-looking little robot, and while he was messing around inside it with his surgeon’s skills, trying to free a restriction relay or something, he made this holographic projection appear: “Help me, Obi Ben Carson; you’re my only hope…”

    True story. Of course he can’t say so, or people would think he was, you know, “light in the loafers.”

    How do I know about it? I found this secret memo…