CPAC's newest speaker: Dr. Ben Carson

Will any speaker there receive a warmer reception from the audience than him? Besides Mitt Romney, I mean.

Ace thinks this is proof positive that he’s at least considering a run for office. I don’t know. I’ve hashed that out before; realistically, there just aren’t many opportunities. The time for an upstart outsider bid for the White House was two years ago, against an exceedingly weak GOP field. The next Republican field will be formidable. Plus, he strikes me as someone who’s sincerely invested in his message and wants to spread it irrespective of whether it opens any new doors for him professionally. CPAC’s an opportunity to do that, even if nothing bigger comes of it.

The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced that Dr. Ben Carson will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013 — the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists will be held Thursday, March 14 – Saturday, March 16, 2013.

“Dr. Ben Carson represents the optimism and hope of the future of the conservative movement, while at the same time he articulates the deep fiscal and social challenges that our Nation faces,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “We look forward to welcoming Dr. Carson to the CPAC stage in March.”

Free advice: If he wants to win over the crowd, start off with the following anecdote.

The White House repeatedly asked Ben Carson for his speech before the rising Republican star criticized President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month.

Carson, a prominent neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, declined to do so, noting that he doesn’t put his speeches down on paper beforehand.

“I told them that I don’t have an advance copy because I don’t write out my speeches and I don’t use teleprompters…”

Exit question: How overtly political will this speech get? He was reined in a bit at the National Prayer Breakfast because of the circumstances (and ended up taking heat anyway for getting even a little bit political there), but there are no such constraints at CPAC. Will it be a speech in broad themes about religious belief and personal responsibility or is he going to get into policy? Follow the link to the Hill article above and read down a bit for a preview, maybe. Note the bit about “poisoned candy.”

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023