Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Thinking About Jon Huntsman

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 9, 2011

Flip flopper Mitt Romney, polling around 25%, seems unable to break from the pack. He briefly fell behind newcomer Rick Perry who himself quickly ran out of steam and now trails Herman Cain. Cain is making a play to be the conservative answer to Mitt but five and counting women have accused Herman of sexual harassment, not good especially for a Republican. Newt Gingrich is creeping up into double digits despite his own less than stellar reputation with women, three marriages and rumored affairs. So in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, who could claim the conservative label without the baggage of the main challengers? Who could beat Obama? Who has the experience and the record of performance to lead the nation out of its current financial morass? Who is most likely to restore America’s status in the world without apologies? In answering these questions, former Utah governor and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman deserves a serious look.

Huntsman is following Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 Florida only strategy and putting all his chips on New Hampshire. If he scores an upset win or even comes in a close second or third, his below the radar campaign will become a force to be reckoned with in follow-on primaries. Such an upset is unlikely but none of the Republican field yet inspires anything close to majority support so a surprise could happen,

Elected twice Governor of Utah, Huntsman produced a conservative record, is consistently pro life and pro second amendment rights, earned his foreign policy stripes as ambassador both to Singapore and China and projects a scandal free aura of competence. Criticism is mild at best and comes mainly from those demanding 100% ideological purity. Among the charges: 1) He’s a Mormon. Hopefully we are beyond that. Remember Jimmy Carter? He was a born again Christian and look at how he turned out. 2) He graduated from an Ivy League school. At least it was Penn, where his father also attended, and not Harvard or Yale. 3) He worked for Obama as Ambassador to China. He was also Ambassador to Singapore in the George H. W. Bush administration. After all, if the President of the United States asks the Mandarin speaking Governor of Utah to serve the nation by taking on one of the most challenging diplomatic posts in the world, one can hardly expect him to say “No, I won’t work for a Democrat.” 4) He believes in global warming. All he really said was we need to respect science. But unlike Obama, he is not willing to wreck our economy by over regulation of carbon-based fuels. 5) He once considered health insurance mandates. However, in Utah he passed a market based health plan and has stated his firm opposition to Obama Care.

Another plus for Huntsman is his wife. If he is elected President, Mary Kaye Huntsman will take the crown as the worlds most beautiful first lady from France’s Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. In one election, get rid of Obama and stick it to the French. Priceless.

For more information, check his web site Jon2012 especially the Issues section and watch his performance on the November 6th Meet the Press. Also a transcript of ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi’s interview of Jon Huntsman can be found HERE. Interviews of all the GOP candidates are on ABC Politics.

Huntsman is a conservative who also attracts independents, which means he can beat Obama. After all, that is the number one requirement. The conservative alternative to Romney may already in the field and his name is Jon Huntsman.

Cross posted on Sound Politics

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One Response to “Thinking About Jon Huntsman”

  1. Fredc said

    A year ago most of us (east coast anyway) had never heard of Huntsman. When he first declared his candidacy, a lot of liberals (me included) came to respect him, even while disagreeing with him on a number of issues. He has not shown well at all in the debates, and that has kept his numbers near zero. I still think he would do better in head-to-head debates with Obama than any of the others, and probably has the best chance to grab more than half of the growing number of Independent voters which probably is required to win.

    His “New Hampshire or Bust” strategy seems high-risk, but if no one else can challenge Romney, and he gets at least a strong 2nd in New Hampshire, he might pull it off.

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