Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that neurosurgeon and motivational speaker Ben Carson is Donald Trump’s pick for Housing and Urban Development secretary. According to Bloomberg:
Trump said earlier this week he was “seriously considering” Carson for the job. “He’s a greatly talented person who loves people!” Trump tweeted. The people who confirmed Trump’s offer did so on condition of anonymity because the move hadn’t been formally announced.
Carson said Tuesday on Fox News the job was “one of the offers that’s on the table,” and that “our inner cities are in terrible shape and they definitely need some real attention.” He said he’d think and pray about the matter over Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager and friend, told the Hill earlier this month that Carson, who, as readers may recall, ran for the presidency of the United States, felt too inexperienced to run a federal agency. “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency,” Williams said. “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”
HUD, which administers affordable housing programs and enforces housing regulations, impacts the lives of millions of the worst-off people in American society. Its Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is among the first lines of defense against those who wish to deny housing to minorities as Donald Trump and his father did for years. If Carson truly has qualms about taking a position where his inexperience could do real damage, he shouldn’t accept Trump’s offer. By contrast, Obama’s first HUD Secretary, Shaun Donovan had been a HUD official in the Clinton administration and the head of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Julián Castro, the current secretary, was the mayor of San Antonio.
Of course, Carson isn’t totally without qualifications for the job. For starters, he’s lived in a city. Additionally … well, that’s about it, actually.