The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Is Jon Huntsman Really Contemplating a Presidential Run?


There are reports that U.S. Ambassador to China and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican, is “leaning toward a run for president in 2012 and a team of political operatives and fundraisers have begun informal talks and outreach to ensure he could rapidly ramp up if he decides to run.”

One of my regulars offered this thought: “I’m actually shocked so far that there hasn’t been both-barrels commentary on this yet. Think about it: Our most difficult diplomatic relationship is with China, with whom we are waging a full fledged currency war, and who we are counting on to prevent a full fledged shooting war in Korea. Can you imagine how confused and befuddled the Chinese regime is with the idea that our ambassador might run against our president? Granted, any enterprise that involves John Weaver involves excess drama. But this is grossly irresponsible on Huntsman’s part. Either he should have nipped this in the bud two months ago, or he should have resigned. I can’t think of a single historical parallel for the game Huntsman is playing. If he were Ambassador to Bermuda it would be one thing. But China?”

I suspect the Chinese would be thrilled to see distrust between the president and his chief ambassador. However, it does say something about Obama’s “team of rivals” concept of governing that he expects actual potential presidential competitors to enact his agenda.

Tags: Barack Obama , Jon Huntsman


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