Ben Carson ads disappoint

Ben Carson is starting to spend money on ads.  He shouldn't, at least not on these ads.  They're awful.

Ben Carson's surging campaign will begin airing two television ads in key early voting states on Friday, NBC News has learned.

The $500,000 ad buy will air in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, and includes themes centered on Carson's history as a doctor and status as an outsider in the 2016 race. Both ads end with the tagline: "Heal, Inspire, Revive."

In his first ad, labeled "Carson shares his vision for America's future," we never learn what that vision is.  The audio is so poor that the first half of it sounds like it was recorded in a wind tunnel with a Radio Shack microphone until the irritating piano music picks up.  Carson says, "We need a government that understands that it is by and for the people.  Crowds are hungry for some honesty and real solutions to the problems that ail us."  What does that mean?  It doesn't tell us anything.  It's not compelling.  The only plus is that the ad closes with Carson, sitting forward with his hands on his chin, imitating the thinker pose in the logo.  Do you think he is an avid reader?

In his second ad, he says that Washington is built on massive debt, stifling regulation, special interest politics, and other bad things.  The problem is not so much what he is saying, but how he is saying it.  He is squinting throughout, and he speaks with awkward pauses and unusual inflections like when he says, "Special...interest...politics?" as if he is having trouble reading the teleprompter.  He sounds very forced and artificial, kind of like a black version of Marco Rubio.  Ironically, he sounds nothing like this in real life, when he is unscripted.

These amateurish ads shows that Carson doesn't have good advisors and/or his own good sense of what will appeal to voters.  Ironically, without spending any money on ads, he has been doing well talking about issues that matter to voters, such as protecting gun rights, opposing more "refugees" from the Middle East, and replacing Medicaid with vouchers.

I still have a hard time imagining such a soft-spoken person beating Hillary in a debate or being a forceful president.  Even as he leads in Iowa, I tend to think others will think the same.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.