Why the Heck Is Ben Carson Campaigning in Staten Island?

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/22697784487/in/photolist-AzJ5xR-BtAuBT-uJH9Ac-uJxwrC-vp73Yn-vDfwWJ-vDfphL-vDfsvQ-vDfqLC-vDfsmm-vFxRce-uJxxoY-uJH9tD-uJxNXJ-zifWn3-xBUaGm-C7jUoh-qtuZpJ-qb2X8D-qCCmya-oaPSZz-o71jPh-paCfbP-o8Vgbm-ob6Tfb-oaSYmt-uJxNj9-vFxYCM-vEZAcW-vFWjFp-voYTUW-voYQ2y-vp7b5r-uJHkSk-voYJH9-voYCw9-uJxzgA-uJxzR3-pGkHLa-o5WLxt-o5WGoN-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-orFCmu-otHw66-orFBjQ-owK4Tv-pf6ShJ-q1RTzP">Phil Roeder</a>/Flickr

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The New York Republican presidential primary is in 106 days, on April 19. It is the 37th nominating contest, coming more than three months after the first votes are cast in Iowa on February 1. So naturally Ben Carson is campaigning there on Monday night.

This is kind of strange. Carson’s campaign is a mess right now. When three of his top aides quit before the New Year, Armstrong Williams, Carson’s top advisor, found out about it on Twitter. Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, once was at the top of the polls, but his numbers have plummeted in Iowa and elsewhere. Still, he insists he’s plowing ahead and remains a contender. If so, what’s he doing in Staten Island, while the other candidates rightly focus on Iowa and New Hampshire in the pre-voting homestretch? Some possibilities:

  • The ferry offers a great view of the harbor at a low price.
  • Carson wants to run for mayor of New York and is learning from Harold Ford’s mistake.
  • Fresh Kills is a cool name for one of the world’s largest garbage dumps.
  • Great pizza.
  • ???

There’s no real explanation for this stop. (Has Carson sold every book he can possibly sell in Iowa?) It’s the latest sign his campaign—though it collected $23 million in the most recent quarter—cannot be considered a serious effort.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

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