In the absence of any more compelling Republican candidates, I am finding myself warming up to Jon Huntsman.
Because he seems to be a rational Republican.
Huntsman’s accomplishments are impressive by any standard.
If only he could get through the Republican primary, Huntsman seems to have a unique resume fine-tuned to the challenges of the twenty-first century. He speaks fluent Mandarin for one, and was an ambassador to China. He also seems to have an intelligent view of climate change in a field of candidates likely dominated by climate change deniers.
He worked for President Reagan as a White House staff assistant. He then went on to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.
He has an impressive track record as Governor of Utah. For one, he presided over the largest tax cut in Utah’s history. Utah voters also re-elected him in 2008 with 78% of the vote.
He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania after earning a G.E.D.
In my view, his resume is more impressive than President Obama’s.
Huntsman single biggest liability is that he worked for President Obama. While this fact will likely hurt his chances in the Republican primary, it could be neutral or moderately positive during the election.
A second liability is that Huntsman is not exactly an everyman. Like Mitt Romney, he is the wealthy scion of a billionnaire-cum-politician.
Huntsman’s last liability is the religious bigotry for his Mormonism that he will likely face from the evangelical strain of Republicans.
Running Primary Gauntlet Huntsman’s Chief Challenge
If only Huntsman can get through the primary, he may have a better shot at the Presidency than many of his Republican competitors.
It seems the Republican Party may have a viable option after all.
sadly, I expect he won’t fare very well in the primaries. Republican primary voters will mostly be looking for the anti-obama, not a former ambassador for the administration.
This is one (of many) problems with all the angry rhetoric coming out of republican circles. Republicans are so fired up that everything Obama is doing is a disaster, that they are now expected by their party faithful to put forward a candidate who must profess to want to undo every single thing obama has done (except the part about killing osama).
I agree. Both parties have been like this in recent years. For better or worse, Obama ran as the anti-Bush. However, when he got into office, he continued some of Bush’s policies (Guantanamo, drone attacks in Pakistan, etc.), as well as some distinctly anti-Bush policies (healthcare).
The only somewhat comforting thing is they tend to move a little bit more to the center once they get in office.
On the subject of obama continuing bush policies, have you read the Jane Mayer piece in the New Yorker about the Obama administration’s prosecution of this guy Drake for leaking? definitely worth a read. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/23/110523fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all
I will say this in obama’s defense. At least w/ Guantanamo he tried to do what he said he would and it was congress that blocked him.
You shoudln’t have told me that! I wanted to give Obama credit for “doing the right thing” on this one. 😉
You’re not alone!
One recent poll found one supporter of Jon Hunstman in Iowa.