By Peter Burrows -

I ran into a liberal friend recently who wasn't familiar with the phrase "Run Ben Run." Maybe liberals don't watch or read the same stuff libertarians do, but it's a phrase I hope we all get to know very well: It's the groundswell chant for Dr. Ben Carson to run for president in 2016.

You've never heard of Dr. Ben Carson? Than you've never watched my wife's favorite movie, "Gifted Hands," the story of Dr. Carson's rise from the ghetto to become the world's greatest pediatric neurosurgeon.

She pestered me for a year to watch it, but since I'm a "Dirty Harry" type of male cretin, I didn't think I'd care for it. I suspected it would be a schmaltzy, teary, happy ending sort of movie (which it is), but I'd been hearing "Run Ben, Run" more and more, so I broke down and watched it.

I liked it. (Sorry, Clint.) Furthermore, I'm not alone. At last count, had 646 reviews of "Gifted Hands" and a solid five star rating, the top rating. Of the 12 one and two star ratings, I only found one who didn't like the movie; all the others were about getting the wrong DVD or getting a defective DVD. I don't think I've ever seen such positive Amazon ratings for a movie -- or anything else.

Now, just because Dr. Carson overcame great obstacles to become a world-renowned surgeon and has a popular, warm and inspiring movie about himself does not qualify him to become dogcatcher, let alone president of the United States. So why the "Run Ben, Run?" Why the polling that shows Carson, a relative unknown, in a dead heat with Mitt Romney and Senator Ted Cruz for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination?

For starters, there's quite a bit more to the good doctor than a great resume and a pretty face. (This is a rare case where the movie star, Cuba Gooding, is not as handsome as the real life character.) In the past eight years he has written five nonfiction books, the latest being "One Nation: What we can all do to save America's Future" (Sentinel, 2014.)

Plus, he has been on the speaking circuit, ostensibly to promote his book but, in my opinion, to test the political waters. To see and hear him in action, I recommend three of his speeches on You Tube, each is about 25 minutes. Start with his now famous February 2013 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama sitting just a few feet away, then go to his 2013 address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, and next to his 2014 address to that same group.

You will notice that he's good at getting his message across and that he's getting better at it. You will notice that he tackles controversial issues head on and does so in an affable, good humored manner. You will also notice that he is a very smart, tough cookie.

I've read his latest book, "One Nation," and the Good Doctor has been paying attention to many things besides medicine over the years. Everything else being equal, I'd vote for him just because he wants tort reform, something he is intimately familiar with being a doctor. As a bonus, again all things being equal, I'd also vote for him because of his positions on voter ID, Health Savings Accounts, a flat tax, education reform and the poison of political correctness so prevalent today.

Bottom line: I will support Dr. Ben Carson if he runs for dogcatcher or president. No, he's not perfect, but nobody's perfect except me and I'm not running for anything. (Why bother? I wouldn't win because nobody would vote for somebody who's perfect. I wouldn't.)

However, all of the above reasons to vote for Dr. Ben Carson pale into insignificance compared to the number one reason to support him. In the next Yen for Ben, I'll write about that number one reason.

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