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Inside the effort to draft Ben Carson for 2016

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Carson, 62, has never run for office before. But conservatives rallied around him last year after he famously criticized Obamacare during the National Prayer Breakfast. He made his comments as President Obama sat just a few feet away.

In an interview this week with The Daily Caller, Robinson — a 58-year-old black conservative who lives in Winston Salem, N.C. and serves as the full-time campaign director for the PAC — recalled first learning about Carson from his mother.

“Remember, a whole generation of African-Americans,” Robinson said, “every black parent wanted their sons to be Dr. Carson and their daughters to marry him.”

Carson has written a handful of books, including “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” TNT later based a TV movie off that book, with Cuba Gooding Jr. playing the role of Carson.

Robinson said the idea for the pro-Carson super PAC came from Sousa and a few friends. After discussing the roster of potential Republicans who might run in 2016, the group agreed that they thought someone like Carson was capable of defeating Clinton in a general election.

As for why the organizers think Carson is a strong candidate: He could motivate the conservative base, they believe, but is also capable of winning a larger share of the black vote than previous GOP candidates. He can also “calmly and cogently” deliver a conservative message in a way that “every American can understand them,” Robinson argued.

“The current administration has worked very hard in dividing the American people in almost every way possible in the last five-and-a-half years,” Robinson said. “And Dr. Carson may be uniquely qualified in either party to bond with the American people and unify the country.”