Ben Carson said something similar about his own calling to run for office. Maybe a crowded field is divinely ordained.

Dave Weigel has the quote:

The first question to West, after a long ovation, was whether he’d run for another office. He’d actually speculated about running for president one day earlier, on Ben Shapiro’s radio show, and the topic had come up in a VIP reception before the dinner.

“I know there are ministers here, so I want to get this right. It says in Proverbs Ch. 3, verses 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. I could sit around here saying what I think I want to do, but my mommy and daddy taught me that you write those plans in pencil and dear God will erase them. I never thought I’d be standing here in Floyd County talking to you, but I am. I will always be a servant to this great nation, and any way that God believes I can serve America, I will. We will see what he has in store for me, because I think he maybe is getting me ready for something else.”

That earned West another ovation.

After listening to the key bit from the Shapiro interview yesterday (embedded below), it sounded to me like West isn’t seriously thinking of running. He admitted that he was considering it but then stressed that that doesn’t mean he’s going to do it. My takeaway was that he’s telling his supporters that he’s open to it in the interest of not disappointing them before he has to, but when push comes to shove, he’s not going to run. Now, after hearing how the crowd reacted to his “ready for something else” comment in Weigel’s piece, I’m not sure. Or have we misinterpreted what he meant? (I.e. “something else” besides the presidential campaign?)

If West does jump in, though, who’s the main beneficiary? The more crowded the conservative side of the field gets, the easier it’ll be for a strong centrist candidate in the Romney mold to compete and maybe even win in Iowa. The establishment dream scenario is for every big tea-party name in America to run while the center consolidates around a single champion, ensuring that righties split every which way while the centrist soars to 35-40 percent right off the bat. Here’s a tidbit from Myra Adams about consolidation efforts already afoot:

So things don’t look so encouraging for Rubio. But he may not be seriously eyeing a White House run anyway: A high-ranking GOP party official who asked that his name be withheld told me on Monday that Jeb Bush’s people have just met with Rubio’s people and a 2016 deal was struck. If Jeb runs for president then Rubio would drop out—and “Jeb is running,” according to my well-placed source. (Alert the media!)

The pressure from the donor class on Rubio and Christie not to run if Jeb does will be tremendous, precisely because they don’t want their base splitting. If righties seriously want to thwart Bush 3.0 (or Christie/Rubio 1.0), they should do something similar and coalesce around a conservative champion like Ted Cruz as early as possible. As it is, having a rock-ribbed righty like West jump in will siphon off votes from Cruz and the social-con candidates, which means that the early primaries will be more interesting and the rest of the race will be … less so. Oh well. We’re probably all going to settle on Scott Walker in the end anyway.