From ABC News’ Jake Tapper:
Top Democrats in and outside the White House, speaking on background so they could be more candid, suggest that former US Ambassador to China and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman would be the GOP candidate President Obama would least like to face in 2012 — but they think he can’t win the nomination.
The very qualities that make Huntsman formidable in November 2012 — his centrism and bipartisanship — will work against him in Iowa and South Carolina, Democrats say.
Democrats also told Tapper that they thought Mitt Romney would ultimately win the nomination, due to the GOP habit of nominating the last cycle’s almost winner.
The Obama administration has had plenty of praise for Huntsman’s time as ambassador so far, something they no doubt realize will be prime soundbite fodder down the road for other GOP candidates looking to question Huntsman’s Republican credentials. Bill Daley, the White House chief of staff, said in March that the administration “much appreciated” what Huntsman “did on behalf of this administration and the closeness in which he worked with the president.” Daley added that he was “sure he’ll [Huntsman] talk about that in the primaries.”