NEW ORLEANS -- Herman Cain for president?

While other prospective 2012 candidates speaking to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference hem and haw over whether they will run, the Atlanta area radio host concluded his speech Saturday afternoon with a very suggestive nod toward his own political aspirations.

"There may also be a dark-horse candidate you don’t know," Cain said at the end of his speech, before immediately walking off the stage. The crowd cheered.

Cain got a choice speaking spot and is one of three black Republicans given speaking slots at the conference. He gave a rousing speech in which he talked about being diagnosed with stage-four cancer, and said he would have died under the healthcare bill that was recently signed into law.

He would certainly be a dark horse. Few in the room had probably heard of Cain, but his speech, which was well-received, should begin the process of changing that.