Dr. Ben Carson isn’t a name familiar to most people, but thanks to a controversial speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February — in which he criticized Obamacare while Obama himself was sitting just a few feet away — he’s one of the most popular figures at CPAC. In fact, the celebrated Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon was included in the 2016 presidential straw poll alongside party heavyweights like Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie. And in his speech this morning, on the third and final day of CPAC, Carson did his part to stoke the very early speculation about a potential long-shot White House bid.
After announcing, on stage, his impending retirement from medicine, he replied to a question about his political future with a coy “who knows?” A few minutes later, he was downstairs for a book signing, where the line stretched around corners.
“I’m gonna miss Sarah Palin,” one man, clutching Carson’s book, said as he approached the back of the line. “Oh well.”