Carson: "Likelihood is strong" that I'll run for President in 2016

“Unless,” the neurosurgeon and conservative activist adds in a caveat during his interview with Hugh Hewitt, “the American people indicate in November that they like big government intervention in every part of their lives.” What are the odds of that happening? Bernie Sanders isn’t running for re-election to the Senate, and neither is Harry Reid, who looks more likely than not to become the Minority Leader in January. So yeah, Ben Carson is running for President, QED: 

Is this to be taken seriously? This interview was significant enough for Politico to pick it up today. Kendall Breitman offered a few quotes from the interview, adding only a mention that Carson finished sixth in the CPAC straw poll this year.

Here is Carson’s response on the 2016 question:

HH: Now I know you like debating. And so the question arises. Will we be seeing you on the presidential debate circuit next year that will begin, that the Republicans are organizing for those who want the nomination of the party?

BC: I think the chances are reasonably good of that happening. I’m waiting, you know, obviously, for a few more months. I want to make sure that it’s clearly something my fellow Americans want me to do. And I’m also waiting to see what the results are in November, because if the people indicate that they truly do want a nation that is for, of and by the people, then I, along with I hope many other people, would be willing to give it everything we possibly have.

HH: Now that’s going to be a crowded stage. It’s going to be 10, 12, maybe even 14 people up there. Do you expect to be able to make any headway against such experienced debaters as Ted Cruz? He’s won nine Supreme Court cases. Or Marco Rubio, or Rand Paul? These are, and you’ve governors like Scott Walker and Rick Perry and Chris Christie. You feel like you’ve got the experience you need to debate political heavyweights that experienced?

BC: I’ve been talking all of my life. And I will continue to talk. You know, I will never be a politician. I will tell you that right off the bat.

This is a conceit that appears on both sides of the aisle, but let’s be clear. One explicitly becomes a politician when one runs for political office. In fact, that’s the definition of “politician,” and it’s a good one. Arguably, even tossing out the possibility of running for office makes one a politician. Carson may be an attractive candidate for some because of a lack of prior political baggage, but once engaged in a campaign, a candidate has to attract funding, form coalitions, produce policy papers, and so on. That’s what candidates do, and that’s what politicians do too.

Frankly, though, I don’t see this going anywhere. What niche would a Carson for President fill? The Republican bench outside of Washington DC is filled with governors who would bring credibility and executive expertise to either or both slots on the ticket, as well as some earlier vetting and campaign credibility. In 2008 and in 2012, the Republicans lacked those options, falling back to politicians of a passing era. Aside from the Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush speculation, we’re likely to see a whole raft of fresh faces, some — like Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal, perhaps — with established records of reform. The search for stunt candidacies might be better focused on the other side of the aisle, where progressives are getting desperate for the not-Hillary alternative.

Update: Dana Loesch isn’t anxious for a Ben Carson candidacy either:

Ben Carson has said that “chances are reasonably good” that he’ll run for president in 2016. Conservatives’s biggest liability right now is the desperate desire for the next Reagan and the willingness to compromise. I can’t support Carson because of his waffling on the Second Amendment, which is a deal breaker for me — and should be as well for any conservative who stands for natural rights …

Perhaps I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen Carson address his statement in the video above. So where does Carson stand on this issue? And why are we seriously considering presidential support for a candidate when we don’t know where he stands on one of our most basic natural rights?

Probably not, no.