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On May 21 I published a blog titled  ‘My Bet is On Huntsman’:

“On February 19th, 2007, I wrote in this space that ‘Obama would ‘continue a graceful yet powerful surge to the White House’.

Today I predict that barring an Act of God, John Huntsman, the only candidate that Obama rightly fears, will represent the Republican party in the 2012 presidential election.

Huntsman made his debut on mainstream TV yesterday from a New Hampshire living room, chatting with John King.  It was a relaxed, yet extensive introduction to the man who until a month ago was President Obama’s Ambassador to China.
Last night on Rachel Maddow’s show this ‘also Mormon’ ex-governor of Utah got plaudits from the progressive Democratic ex-mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson......A Huntsman/Obama debate, more than any other today conceivable, will be worth watching.

The only opposition candidate who is an intellectual match for Obama, Huntsman will appeal to those who have given up on the President’s ability to bring change, hoping that this sophisticated Republican will tame his greedy fellows.
Unless the Chinese disavow him, his insider’s view of the country that is overtaking us will be valuable to the business community. Yet he is perfectly credible in shirt-sleeves.

Huntsman will be dubbed a ‘Rockefeller Republican’ by the pundits. A Nation reader wrote this week that Republicans used to believe in government, convinced they could manage it better than Democrats. The 2012 election will not be over who can manage government better, but how much of it there should be.  And Huntsman will argue that there is too much of it in China.”

On June 5th I wrote “The Unwrapping of Huntsman”, and on August 23, in a show of great creativity, I followed with “The Unveiling of Huntsman”:

"The face to face with Piers Morgan ”revealed him to be a white version of Obama, matching him in intelligence and balance, yet jocular where Obama is pondered, feisty compared to no-drama-Obama.

I’d wager that the Republican grownups are a little less distraught, while Obama must be wondering whether it was clever of him to send Huntsman to China - no wild goose chase, it turns out.”

Today I’m wondering whether Huntsman has been kept in the shadows, interviewed once in a while by a major news personality - today, by Christiane Amanpour - by Republican Party design, or a semi-conscious awareness that every other candidate was a loser?  Even at this late date, I would not rule out an upset.

Tomorrow Huntsman will engage in a ‘Lincoln-Douglas’ type of debate, intended to allow for extended answers, with frontrunner Newt Gingrich.  The famous Lincoln/Douglas debate is described at length and compared to contemporary debates at

Huntsman says he has managed to climb above 5% in New Hampshire, which will hold the first primary election of the 2012 Presidential campaign on January 10th.
As an early and consistent Obama supporter, I can think of several reasons why the President has not been able to carry out his promise of change. Though I cannot imagine voting for a Republican, at this axial moment in world history, it may be that he could achieve with a Republican Congress what Nixon achieved by reinstating relations with China, which Democratic Presidents had not dared to do.

On the other hand, I do not really believe that any country will be conducting business as usual, two years after the Arab Spring, already a worldwide revolt of the few against the many.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    Otherjones. Insights and Ironies.

    by Deena Stryker on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:14:32 AM PST

  •  Interesting prediction; but when (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sirclown, antooo, fizziks, VClib, MKSinSA

    the strongest argument you're able to muster is that he has broken 5% in the state in which he's put all of his eggs, then I don't think many folks will be convinced.

    With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

    by cardinal on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:20:21 AM PST

  •  I have yet to watch any of the 'debates' so I had (0+ / 0-)

    even forgotten Huntsman was still in the running for the nomination.

    As late as yesterday I commented that I was having  thoughts that Jeb Bush will be finally drafted because all the others (besides Huntsman) are so batshit crazy.

    You know, I still remember how so many said JFK could never be elected because he was catholic.

    Will be interesting to see if Huntsman continues to progress, which would clearly make for a bigger challenge to the Pres.

  •  I don't think the Horn of Urgency is blowing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But his daughters are hot, though.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:30:42 AM PST

  •  Can't see it. As nutty as the rest of the (0+ / 0-)

    republicans are  at least people have heard of them. Huntsman has virtually no name recognition and the MSM certainly isn't going to help him out

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:34:05 AM PST

  •  Huntsman (5+ / 0-)

    Do you actually know any Republicans?

    In a sane, logical world--that is, if Republicans were Democrats--Huntsman would be the nominee.  Otherwise?  Hmmmm.  Just can't see it here, either.

  •  Who's Going to Turn Out the Republican Voters (0+ / 0-)

    for the party?

    Not the evangelical base they've depended on to do it since Carter. They were sitting on the sidelines in 08 till the state and local party organizations demanded a Palin type be assigned McCain so they could get any GOTV going and avoid a national bloodbath.

    Since the moderate backed by a fundy lost last time, they're probably not going to accept it this time.

    In order to support the biggest part of the rightwing revolution nationwide, it's probably worth it to the party to run a winger on top of the ticket and sacrifice the WH if need be, to keep the GOTV troops hard at it downticket.

    And the odds are they win with that. They won twice with Reagan supported by a competent moderate, and twice with Bush Jr. supported by a competent moderate. With the competent moderate on top, they were shut out in 08 and got thrown out after 1 term in 92.

    I say based on the totality of what they're striving for, it's more helpful to them to stick with a crazy this time.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:51:06 AM PST

  •  Not on board with your prediction, but... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcnewton, janmtairy, MKSinSA

    ...I agree with this:

    A Huntsman/Obama debate, more than any other today conceivable, will [would] be worth watching.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:51:43 AM PST

  •  One is always wary of predictions in politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I can pretty confidently say the chances of Huntsman being the Republican nominee this election are low indeed. He does not connect to their base in any meaningful way that I am aware of. This is the guy of whom 'The Onion', a satirical magazine was able to write the headline "Huntsman admit that Republican Voters Scare the Shit Out of Him"  or something like that.
       Now if that rotten turncoat wanted to go for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election then yeah, he might have a real shot at it, or would have if he hadn't gone for the wingnut prize in this one.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 11:19:10 AM PST

  •  I saw him being interviewed this am. Fareed (0+ / 0-)

    Zakaria. He's talking about eliminating all corporate welfare. etc.
    I could see him as a possible replacement for Tim Geithner after the election.

  •  From your lips to God's ear... (0+ / 0-)

    Huntsman is the seemingly sane Republican candidate who isn't an ideologue.  I'd love to see a debate between him and Obama.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 11:45:18 AM PST

    •  Ditto (0+ / 0-)

      Huntsman did some great things for UT.  I was pissed Obama drafted him. He was moving us into the 20th century.
      The guy who took his place set him back.
      Many said at the time that Obama took him out to discredit him if he decided to run.
      Rocky was a great Mayor too.

      Easter has been canceled. They found the Body.

      by snoopydawg on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:28:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jon Huntsman only looks halfway (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    good next to the remaining GOP field.  

    Almost anyone would look good by that comparison.  

    Huntsman has one chance, IMO.  If discontent with Romney is real enough to erode Romney's current lead in New Hampshire and Huntsman were to pick up a fairly respectable percentage of those disaffected voters, he could place a strong second, say, in the NH primary behind Newt.  

    The next hurdle, though, would be to find enough "moderate" Republican primary voters to sustain Huntsman's coffers and campaign from that point forward.  South Carolina is out of the question.  Florida doesn't look good either.  

    There's talk that no money is coming in to Huntsman headquarters and so no momentum is being generated.  

    Huntsman's a lost cause in Iowa and on the ropes in New Hampshire, and barring a reversal in Romney's fortunes with Huntsman the chief beneficiary, I think he's out of the race after New Hampshire.  

  •  This Ain't Huntsman's Universe (0+ / 0-)

    Your musings about Huntsman are interesting but not relevant for the present political universe we live in, which is a universe where the present Republican Party is beyond repair.

    Ambassador Huntsman, like President Obama, is too intelligent for the ultra Conservative wing dominating today’s elephant party, which ascended to power through the aegis of myths, lies, and simple but fatal policy beliefs.  Consequently, the only hope for a reasonable and intelligent Republican like Huntsman is for his party to implode and then resurrect itself as a sane political entity.  Right now, this appears to be happening, but Huntsman cannot rise until this implosion runs its course.  Thus, President Obama is the one who is in a state of ascendancy because Republicans are imploding and, more importantly, because he has corrected his four main weaknesses as a leader of a country run by maniacs.

    First, President Obama now understands that his initial compromising and benevolent outreach to Republicans failed.  Second, he realizes he was outshouted by his opponents, allowing them to frame the debate, cast aspersions on his numerous political accomplishments, and to kill his efforts to heal the economy. Third, he finally realizes he has not publicized his policy successes very well. Fourth, he finally understands that he has some powerful, self-evident truths on his side that he must use every day to defeat his opponents.  Of course, he is still hesitant to reveal the hidden but powerful consumer (99%) friendly provisions in the Affordable Healthcare Act (see and for fear that the Conservative Supreme Court is looking for an excuse to declare AHA as unconstitutional.  Nevertheless, the president has been willing to speak the truth to power more than he has in the past.

    This is the universe the president is living in, and his universe is considerably more promising than the one in which John Huntsman is living.

  •  here's my prediction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming

    Huntsman will not be the Republican nominee.  Not even close.  He might get the VP nod, though, if whoever the nominee is wants to tack to the center for the general election.

  •  If the Puke primary continues to veer (0+ / 0-)

    far far far Right and someone like Newt Gingrich is nominated, I could see Jon Huntsman running as a third party candidate in the middle, with his strategists painting Newt as a crazy far Right nutbag and Obama as too left-leaning for the average voter.  

    Don't know if it would work, but it would be a more likely outcome for Huntsman than his having any shot at all at the Republican nomination.  

    •  Remediator - Huntsman will never run (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as a third party candidate. It would be the death of his political career. One of his first cousins is a good friend of mine and I have been told he would never consider it.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:32:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no relations close to the (0+ / 0-)

        Huntsman campaign!

        I'll defer to your friend's first cousin's account.  

        If I had the 10,000 bucks to bet that Mitt Romney thinks I have, I'd bet that Huntsman has almost no chance at all at the 2012 Republican nomination.  

        A political party that has let itself be disgraced this long by the kind of candidates it is pushing forward doesn't seem like one that would tolerate Jon Huntsman.  

        I'm not sure they'd be that hog-wild about him in 2016 either.  

        •  Huntsman is really looking at 2016 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator, wu ming

          His bet is that Obama wins and the race in 2016 is wide open. His challenge is staying in the public eye for four years. The GOP likes to nominate someone who is not a first timer on the national stage.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 03:52:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I could see that strategy from (0+ / 0-)

            Huntsman's point of view.  

            What is harder to picture is what the GOP is going to do with their large percentage of disaffected voters.  Especially the hard-line, fundie base.  Those folks are already throwing a fit.  

            I'd love to see the Republican Party just go to pieces over factional grudges.  It would be long overdue and well-deserved.  

    •  There is already (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a putative third party candidate: Rocky Andersen, former mayor of Salt Lake City (Utah...).  

      Otherjones. Insights and Ironies.

      by Deena Stryker on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:45:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anti-choice,pro tax cuts for the rich & Ryancare (0+ / 0-)

    Jon Huntsman is essentially Jeb Bush without the evangelical roots.

    He was on GPS today and seriously thought he could get the Congress to close each and every tax loophole and subsidy in exchange for lower overall rates. He believes this would spur job creation and address budget issues.

    One need not scratch deeply to recognize that Jon Huntsman would just be a kinder-gentler, seemingly hip version of the same ol' same ol'.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:58:01 PM PST

  •  maybe in 2016, but the right isn't chastened (0+ / 0-)

    enough right now to tolerate a non-wingnut at the top slot. they;'re still convinced that the reason they lost in 2008 was that mccain was a RINO, and not a true believer. same reason why jeb's not going to run this time around, he'll be more compelling to a GOP willing to ditch the overt xenophobia and try to appeal to latino voter.

    in 2012 it's a battle of the has-beens and fire eaters.

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