The Washington Times - February 27, 2013, 02:51PM

ANALYSIS/OPINION

It was almost inevitable.

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The American Conservative Union has announced that Dr. Ben Carson will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013 - the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in mid-March.

“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,” says chairman Al Cardenas.

Dr. Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been on conservative radar plenty since his straightforward speech about the state of America at the recent National Prayer Breakfast, before an audience that included President Obama.

The Wall Street Journal ran an immediate op-ed titled “Ben Carson for President,” in the aftermath, declaring that Dr. Carson “may not be politically correct, but he’s closer to correct than we’ve heard in years.”

Many agree, and have acted on the sentiment. Already Internet domains have been filed with Register.com, the official depository of new websites, including “BenCarson2016.com” and “Bencarsonforpresident.com,” among others.

“Dr. Ben Carson for President” and other fan sites on Facebook now cater to some 57,000 admirers, who wonder if their hero would be known as “Dr. President” or “Mr. President” in proper protocols.

Meanwhile, another cultural indicator suggests that indeed, there’s some Carsonmania stirring in the citizenry: merchandise. As in “Ben Carson for President” merchandise, emerging at such online purveyors as CafePress.com.