CLEVELAND — It was the job he wanted: president of the United States. But now, Dr. Ben Carson will take the stage at Quicken Loans Arena Tuesday night in support of his one-time competitor, Donald Trump, as he becomes the Republican nominee for that very job.
Tuesday’s convention festivities tie into the theme “Make America Work Again.” And based on Carson’s biography on the GOP convention schedule, he will likely talk about his humble beginnings, which eventually led to him becoming a world-renowned surgeon at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“Ben Carson grew up in a poor single-parent household in Detroit, Michigan,” according to the convention speaker introductions prepared by the GOP. “Between his degrees, Carson worked as an X-ray technician, a bank teller, a school bus driver, a supervisor for highway cleanup crews, and a crane operator in a steel factory.”
Carson, 64, served as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. His award-winning excellence as a surgeon gave him a voice that catapulted him into the public eye, first as a speaker and an author and later as a presidential candidate.
That same voice grabbed the attention of many people across the country, including Marylanders.
“He’s just a role model, not only for me but for millions of people,” Maryland at-large delegate Kory Boone, from Upper Marlboro, said. “He’s definitely an honorable man that I look up to.”
Boone was excited about Carson’s speech.
“I think he’ll do well, he’ll be very inspirational,” Boone said. “I trust him to do a really great job.”
Boone, who initially supported Ted Cruz, said that, although Marylanders may have supported other candidates throughout the election, he felt that there is a general respect for Carson in the state.
“People in Maryland definitely respect him, even just for his work that he was doing,” Boone said. “I’m not sure about politically, but he definitely has success in Maryland.”
Carson’s campaign advocated for the removal of federal education standards, the promotion of “fiscal responsibility,” the elimination of the Internal Revenue Service, and creation of a guest worker program for undocumented individuals in the United States. Carson has also said he disagreed with same-sex marriage, but accepted it as law.
Despite some early debate successes and promising poll results, Carson suspended his presidential campaign in early March, after his poor Super Tuesday showing proved it would be mathematically impossible for the retired surgeon to secure the nomination.
Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a political analysis website at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said he does not think Carson will be a presidential candidate in the future, “or at least a credible candidate.”
Kondik argued that was because Carson was “a political novice who wasn’t really ready for primetime this year.”
Several days after Carson suspended his campaign, he officially offered his endorsement of Trump. The foe-turned-friend relationship between Carson and the business mogul continued to develop as Carson briefly headed a committee to help Trump create a shortlist of vice presidential picks.
“Trump said some very nasty things about Carson, but they seemingly reconciled,” Kondik said of the interesting relationship between the two. “Notably, it seemed like Carson might play a big role in this campaign, but Trump moved away from him as an adviser.”