Dr Benjamin Carson, the Director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland has become a new and rising star in the US after a speech he gave at the National Prayer Breakfast went viral.
In his February 7th speech in the presence of President Obama, he rails against political correctness, extols the importance of education, warns about the threat posed by Amerca's massive fiscal deficit, argues that proportional taxation is unfair and speaks out against government-run healthcare. All the while weaving his own personal story of a rise from hardship and including humorous anecdotes and religious proverbs in his speech. The speech was seen as being critical of Obama's policies, particularly 'Obamacare' which won Carson many fans on the right but he also received some criticism from commentators who described the speech as 'inappropriate' for the venue. The speech in full is embedded below:
The speech has attracted almost 2 million views over the past week and Carson is in demand on the talk-show circuit. A book he released last year, America the Great, has shot from obscurity to the top 5 best sellers on Amazon.
There have been calls for Carson to run for political office, with the Wall Street Journal writing an editorial headlined 'Ben Carson for President'. This appears to be far-fetched and Carson's best bet would be to win a seat in the House of Representatives in 2014 or possibly a Senate seat as an Independent (Maryland is a strong blue state and has not voted for a Republican Senate candidate in over 20 years). Carson, 61, is due to retire from his position at John Hopkins Hospital in June and has hinted that he would be interested in running for political office. For those interested in American politics, Carson is worth keeping an eye on in the future.