Two things - First, unlike some of the folks on this site, I claim no crystal ball. Second, as a result of point #1, I claim no special skill regarding looking into the future and telling you who can or can’t win the presidency. Those two points made, I can tell you in plain English that I have opinions regarding my personal take on who might have the best chance and my personal preferences.
So, my personal preference at this point in the race is a Rubio § /Fiorina (VP) ticket. As for my opinion, I think it would be a formidable ticket. Both are very bright, both are conservative enough, both (especially Rubio) are well grounded in national security and both can express themselves without the use of a halting, hesitant cadence and both project “command presence” without the continual use of or reliance on loud bluster. Again, it is my OPINION they could beat Hillary and whatever appeasement Democrat running mate she might select. Notice I said COULD beat, not WOULD beat. Recall, I am not armed with a crystal ball like some.
My biases and admissions out of the way, let me address the candidacy of Ben Carson. In my opinion, Dr. Carson is perhaps one of the most truly admirable and likeable and smart and well-meaning individuals we have ever had run for the office of POTUS. That said, and in spite of my opinion of him as a human being and as a world-class physician, it is my opinion that at this point in time - considering the “conditions on the ground” - he is NOT suited to be POTUS - not right now.
Again, in my opinion, he does not possess the necessary skill-set required to fully understand and deal with the complex dynamic that is the Middle East and foreign policy/national security in general. Yes, as POTUS he could appoint the right people to advisory positions, but to do so and to make sound use of their input in the context of his required decision making he would himself have to possess more than a passing acquaintance with the pitfalls/history/issues/problems of the mess to be dumped in his lap Day #1. Dr. Carson simply does not have the requisite depth in these areas - in my opinion. And the more he speaks about the ME and national security issues the more obvious it becomes he is over his head.
Perhaps without the transcendental threats posed to this nation and the West in general Dr. Carson would be a good, even great, fit. How I wish we could bring what I truly believe would be his healing powers to bear on the internal social turmoil we are currently experiencing within our borders. However - again, in my opinion - this election cycle is not his time.
What role would I like to see Ben Carson play - how about the head of the Veteran’s Administration - charged with reorganizing (read, privatizing) the care given veterans. The government can’t run a toy train on a circular track - and that’s not opinion, that’s fact. In his spare time he could help the next POTUS sh*t-can the Affordable Care Act.