The Campaign Spot

Will the White House’s Embrace of Huntsman Work?

From the Monday edition of Morning Jolt:

Obama Tries to Crist-Hug Huntsman

So apparently the girl from the Twilight films is making a movie entitled “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which will greatly complicate Google searches about information about former Utah governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

I guess he should just be thankful he’s not named Jon Snooki.

Huntsman’s other headache over the weekend: “The White House is showing no signs of letting up on its campaign for Ambassador Jon Huntsman’s presidential prospects — if anything, it’s in pile-on mode. Chief of Staff Bill Daley on Sunday heaped praise on Huntsman (R), Obama’s ambassador to China who is resigning his post and is said to be mulling a challenge to his boss for the presidency. ‘He’s done an excellent job on behalf of the Obama administration,’ Daley said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ where he was barely able to suppress a smile as he spoke.”

Pejman Yousefzedah smells fear: “Given Daley’s performance, it is clear that the Administration considers Huntsman one of the most formidable foes the President could possibly face in his quest for re-election. Something for people on the Right to consider the next time they denounce Huntsman as a RINO. Helping the Obama Administration marginalize Huntsman only serves to increase the chances that there will be four more years of the Obama Administration. Oh, and for Bill Daley’s benefit: There is a difference between working ‘on behalf of the Obama Administration,’ and working on behalf of the country. Huntsman did the latter. I recognize that there are some in the White House who are so political that they cannot recognize the distinction, but that doesn’t mean that the distinction does not exist.”

My old boss from our CQ days, Dan Gainor, thinks this is all a case of inside-the-Beltway hype: “No one outside press knows or cares who Huntsman is. It’s such a made up candidacy.”

Clifton B. at Another Black Conservative thinks that the White House is inadvertently doing the Republican base a favor: “If the White House was half as politically astute as they pretend to be, they would realize what a needless exercise this is. Huntsman is clearly an establishment candidate and establishment candidates are as out of vogue with the base just like the phrase ‘Hope and Change’. Whatever appeal Huntsman may have, you can easily find those qualities in the prototype Mitt Romney. If the administration really wants to sink Huntsman, then fine; it will be one less establishment candidate the base has to worry about.”

At Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson is keeping an open mind: “I know almost nothing about Huntsman, but I’m certainly not going to like/dislike him based on what comes out of the White House’s billion dollar spin machine, which already is in campaign mode. So tell me about Jon Huntsman.”

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