Monday, March 05, 2018
"Mr. Carson, people close to him said, has been whipsawed by a job he has found puzzling and frustrating — so much so that he considered quitting during recent wrangling over the department’s budget.
“There are more complexities here than in brain surgery,” Mr. Carson said in an interview last week. “Doing this job is going to be a very intricate process.”
Mr. Carson’s efforts to steer the agency toward programs that foster self-sufficiency, one of his stated goals, have been undermined by staffing mistakes, his indecisiveness and a president indifferent, at best, to the department’s mission of helping the poor, according to two dozen current and former HUD and administration officials.
All of this has been exacerbated by Mr. Carson’s tin ear for politics — such as the damaging disclosure that he had looked the other way when subordinates spent, at a time of savage budget cuts, $31,000 to buy him a new mahogany dining room suite for his office that included a pair of $1,000 side chairs.
“I think you have to come to the job with a sense of what the duties and responsibilities are,” said Representative Al Green, a Texas Democrat and frequent Carson critic. “If you don’t come with that sense, and the doctor didn’t, it doesn’t matter what your intentions are, you aren’t going to succeed. We are seeing that now.”
Ben Carson on His Vexing Reign at HUD: Brain Surgery Was Easier Than This - The New York Times