The Trump transition team has had its hands full filling the President-elect’s future Cabinet with the most qualified individuals they can find. Several of the picks they have already announced have brought along tremendous controversy, such as that surrounding Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, given his racist history. The administration has been making a valiant attempt to fill the Cabinet with those who have been loyal to Trump from the start, which has also brought with it a great degree of skepticism and controversy. Trump’s latest pick is more of the same, as he has tapped Ben Carson to be his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
The former Republican presidential candidate exchanged his fair share of jabs with Trump along the campaign trail, as his polling numbers had surpassed those of Trump in crucial states early on in the primary race. Trump even went so far as to criticize Carson’s intelligence, tweeting out, “with Ben Carson wanting to hit his mother on head with a hammer, stab a friend and Pyramids built for grain storage - don't people get it?” However, Carson picked up a different tone when he decided to endorse Trump’s candidacy, becoming the second former Republican presidential candidate to do so after Chris Christie.
It appears that his reversal was a politically motivated one that has paid off greatly. "I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development," said Trump in a statement today. "Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities."
This decision to appoint Carson is a surprise to many, seeing that Carson and his team have repeatedly said that he would be a more effective resource for the Trump administration from the outside, rather than from within the administration itself. “He's never run an agency and it's a lot to ask. He's a neophyte and that's not his strength," said one of his closest aides.
Carson has admitted that he lacks the executive and governing experience required of a Cabinet secretary, and critics have capitalized on that weakness. "[Trump] has no selected someone woefully unqualififed to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. During his time in Baltimore, Dr. Ben Carson was a phenomenal neurosurgeon, but he has no experience developing housing policy affecting tens of millions of households or running a complex federal agency, as his own spokesman admitted just last month," said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings this afternoon.
It is unclear as to why Trump believes Carson is fit for the position, given the fact that the doctor has absolutely zero experience in managing urban housing and development for millions of Americans. Additionally, Trump has made countless statements about his commitment to address many of the issues plaguing America’s inner cities, which might suggest to some that he would appoint the most qualified, experienced individual available for the position to fulfill that promise. "The violence. The death. The lack of education. No jobs. We're going to work with the African-American community and we're going to solve the problem of the inner city," Trump said at a campaign event two months ago. "We're going to bring safety back. You can't walk out the street, you buy a loaf of bread and you end up getting shot. So we're going to work very strongly with the African American community."
What do you think about Trump’s decision to appoint Carson to this position?