Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Huntsman Has Some Potential

Former Utah governor and ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman has formally announced his candidacy for president.  He joins a thick field in the GOP primaries, most directly competing with Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty for the moderate and establishment wing of the party.

However, Politico seems to think there is little room for Huntsman in the mix, although conceding that
The former governor’s aim is to appeal to independents and moderate Republican voters that the rest of the field has so far largely ignored. While Huntsman’s opening video calls him the “ultimate conservative,” he has taken moderate positions on the environment, immigration and supports same sex civil unions....
Depending on how Huntsman's campaign shakes out, these moderate positions may very well be the ticket the GOP needs to successfully court independent voters and give Obama a much needed one-way ticket back to Chicago.

Nevertheless, some on the right have already ripped into Huntsman for his role as Obama's ambassador to China, claiming that by working with the president he has become tarnished goods.  Rush Limbaugh cries that "I also know that Reagan never served in Jimmy Carter's regime or administration.  Jon Huntsman did serve in Obama's; he was ambassador to the ChiComs."

Fortunately this argument is completely backwards.  What better ammunition against the current administration than someone who served in it and left.  Not only does Huntsman have more (and highly relevant) foreign policy experience than Obama did when elected, but he has the endorsement of his (potential) opponent. Obama would be ill-at-ease to criticize the foreign policy of a man he appointed to lead the relationship with one of the world's most important nations.  Just imagine Huntsman's potential response to Obama's foreign policy criticisms during the first presidential debate!

"Yes, Mr. President, I believe it was you that expressed confidence in my ability to manage foreign affairs when you chose me as ambassador to China!"

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