Jon Huntsman seems like a solid, reasonable guy with outstanding leadership credentials and a great head on his shoulders. He speaks like an adult. He has accomplished great things in both corporate life and public service, building an impressive resume that anyone would envy.
So why in all hell is he running for the GOP nomination for President?
Don’t misunderstand me. I firmly believe that the American public, especially right now, is absolutely dying for the chance to elect a full-grown Republican to the White House. A reasonable candidate who has held a real job, occasionally reads a book, and questions the voices in his head, would go down like a cool drink of water on an August day. But if you think you’re that guy, you have to be prepared to fight like a wet raccoon for the GOP nomination.
Do not imagine that you’re going to stroll into the Republican nominating race, saying things like, “no one wants to be around a bunch of cranks” and cruise to victory. Uncle Barry warned us all many years ago that those cranks were taking over the Party infrastructure. He was right and they did.
Guess what? As a rational candidate you’re only going to get to the voters by outfighting and outmaneuvering those very powerful cranks.
McCain’s 2000 run was a blueprint of what a GOP candidate who’s committed to sanity will face from the insiders that run this joint. Any reasonable candidate who wants to run and win as a reasonable candidate will have to fight harder, better, and longer than he did, and be prepared to do it more than once. Your chances of winning the first time around are nearly zero. You’re gonna have to be prepared to stitch up your wounds, pay off your debts, and come back smarter and meaner a second time.
That candidate will have to be one tough, ugly, SOB. Huntsman not only isn’t that guy, he seems oblivious to what he’s walked into. Perhaps the best he can hope for is to go unnoticed. If the constantly rotating “front-runner” status in this race ever turns in his direction, the people who took McCain down in South Carolina in 2000 will absolutely ruin this guy. He may need to reserve some time in a nice, quiet institution instead of entertaining hypotheticals about a VP slot.
Dear Governor, Doctor, Ambassador, Secretary, Rocker (that’s right), Eagle Scout, CEO Huntsman: If you’re serious about this, you better start landing punches soon, and don’t stop swinging even when your arms go numb and your eyes swell shut. Find a safe place to hide your children immediately. Especially any brown ones.
Please understand that in our Party right now rational is radical. You are on the lonely fringe. If you launched this campaign hoping for a stint at the Naval Observatory, by all means flee right now. Don’t pause to pack a bag or send a tweet, just go. Run fast and hard and don’t look back no matter what you hear coming behind you. And don’t ever tell anyone you did this.
Most importantly, quit teasing us. Those of us who long for a return to solid Republican leadership are getting cranky.