Jon Huntsman

Trump Appointment Of Jon Huntsman As Ambassador To Russia A Mixed Message, Not Necessarily Good For Huntsman

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has finally been formally appointed by Donald Trump to be Ambassador to Russia, although news of the appointment emerged in March. Why it took this long to make it formal is a mystery.

Certainly, we can say that this is, by far, the best appointment Trump has made, without question.

Huntsman is a true statesman, a brilliant figure in politics and diplomacy, and this blogger has said in the past that Huntsman was easily the most qualified and competent GOP Presidential candidate in 2012, and only Ohio Governor John Kasich of the 2016 Republican field came close in competence to Huntsman, although not being equal to him.

But why Huntsman would agree to this appointment in the midst of the Russian collusion scandal is beyond understanding, as it gives cover to Trump, and complicates the whole investigation.

It will be important for Huntsman NOT to allow himself to be manipulated by Trump, as it would undermine Huntsman’s credibility.

One could still wish that Huntsman had become President, rather than Trump, and it is still an open question how he will be involved in the whole Trump–Putin “bromance”, which endangers our government and our national security.

So this blogger feels that Huntsman is making a mistake in legitimizing Donald Trump, particularly now after the revelations about the Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner meeting with Russians in June 2016, and the newly discovered hour discussion at the G-20 Summit between Trump and Putin without any other American involved, not even an interpreter!

The Perplexity Over Jon Huntsman Accepting Russian Ambassadorship From Donald Trump

Former Utah Governor and Ambassador to Singapore and China Jon Huntsman surprised many when he accepted the Ambassadorship to Russia offered yesterday by President Donald Trump.

Huntsman was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2012 cycle, and even John Kasich, who this blogger thinks was the best Republican Presidential candidate in the 2016 cycle, does not match up to him in background, experience, and solid quality.

Huntsman has solid credentials for diplomacy, including knowledge of several foreign languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and did an excellent job for Barack Obama in that nation as our ambassador from 2009-2011.

While of course we need an excellent ambassador to Russia, why oh why, would Huntsman allow himself to be associated with our despicable President, particularly in the midst of the controversy over his Russian connections, which might force Trump out of office at some point?

Huntsman is 57 this month, and was rumored to be planning to challenge Senator Orrin Hatch, President Pro Tempore, and third in line for the Presidency, for his seat in 2018, when Hatch would be running for his 8th term at age 84. That would have made sense for Huntsman long term.

This blogger’s head is shaking in disbelief!

Utah, The Mormon State, Could Vote Democratic For First Time Since 1964, When They Voted Against Barry Goldwater

Utah, the Mormon state, has had an interesting history in their voting patterns on the Presidential elections.

Coming into the Union in 1896, Utah voted for Democrat William Jennings Bryan that year; for Woodrow Wilson in his second term bid in 1916; for Franklin D. Roosevelt four times in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944; for Harry Truman in 1948; and for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (over Barry Goldwater).

So if Utah goes for Hillary Clinton, which now seems likely, it will be the first time in 52 years.

With Utah politicians, including Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, and former Governor Jon Huntsman condemning Donald Trump, and with Mitt Romney, the most famous Mormon and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, being vehemently anti Trump from the beginning of the 2016 Presidential race, it is seen as a blow to Trump having any chance to keep that state loyal to the Republican Party, which is natural in the past half century. Realize that Romney won 3-1 over Barack Obama four years ago!

The Abandonment Of Reason By Jon Huntsman!

Anyone who has read my blog since its inception in August 2008 KNOWS that I have been an admirer of former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, and recommended him as the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, and wished he would run for the nomination in 2016.

Huntsman has great background and experience, and always has come across as a reasonable moderate conservative, someone worthy of respect, admiration, and willingness to consider in a Presidential election.

But now,this blogger is dismayed at Huntsman’s decision a few days ago to suggest that it was time to unite around Donald Trump.

If anyone in the Republican Party should refuse to back Donald Trump, it is Jon Huntsman, as there is no legitimate way to say that Trump represents the long history of the Republican Party.

So now, one has to wonder if Huntsman is hoping to be Trump’s Vice President, or an important member of his cabinet, which if so, will require this author and blogger to repudiate him totally.

If Huntsman is shown to have no principle in a party that is so lacking in decency, then indeed the whole Republican Party has lost all of its purpose of its existence!

So we can say that the Republican Party, by nominating Donald Trump, has effectively died as an historical force, and this year will be seen as the death of the Republican Party after 162 years!

The Achilles Heel Of The Republicans Has Emerged: Lack Of Foreign Policy Knowledge Or Expertise!

It used to be that the Republican Party had candidates who had a reputation for foreign policy expertise, including Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush.

Now, we have Rand Paul, representing the isolationist viewpoint; and the viewpoint of the neoconservatives, which includes just about everyone else, all who have apparently learned nothing from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  They want to commit US military forces to another war, but of course give not a care to veterans once they come home from war, often wounded physically and mentally by their experience.

And some have not a clue as to what is going on in foreign policy, demonstrating unbelievable ignorance, particularly Dr. Benjamin Carson and Donald Trump.

As this blogger has stated many times in the past few years, in the 2012 election cycle, ONLY Jon Huntsman had any legitimate background in foreign policy; and in the 2016 election cycle, only John Kasich demonstrates any experience in foreign policy, although inferior to that of Huntsman.

One may criticize Barack Obama in some areas of foreign policy, but his top aides and advisers on this have included Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry.  Many would criticize all of them, but in comparison to the Republican camp, they are people of experience and awareness of the complex world we live in!

When it comes to foreign policy, this time there is no doubt that the Democrats with Hillary Clinton will emerge superior in knowledge, experience, and competence!

The Republican “Establishment”: Can It Overcome Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, And Carly Fiorina?

It has been more than 100 days now of the Donald Trump phenomenon, and for the first time, Donald Trump is not first, ending up second behind Dr. Benjamin Carson, in an Iowa public opinion poll.  It seems as if the Trump surge may be starting to fray at the edges.

But the fact that Dr. Benjamin Carson is now ahead of Trump in Iowa, and the fact that Carly Fiorina, while weaker in polls than she was, is also still in the top few in any poll, one has to wonder will the Republican “Establishment”, which has always controlled the party nomination, except for Barry Goldwater a half century ago, be able to recover and choose the nominee of their party?
The fact that Texas Senator Ted Cruz is also doing better in the polls worries the “Establishment”, as Cruz is despised by John McCain, Mitt Romney, and now, even former President George W. Bush, who so stated that “I do not like that guy” at a fundraiser for his brother Jeb Bush, who is floundering badly in the polls, and has cut his campaign staff and spending, signs of a dying campaign.

But with Jeb Bush in trouble, and Chris Christie not improving his situation either, and predicted by many to be on his way out of the race soon, who is there the “Establishment” can have confidence in?   It comes down to a man who despite some stupid statements and low ratings in the polls still seems viable for some reason, and could run a decent campaign against Hillary Clinton, and at least compete in debates and in experience.

That is Ohio Governor John Kasich, with 18 years in the House of Representatives and in his second term as Governor, with a high public opinion rating, and slowly rising in New Hampshire, with little chance in the Iowa caucuses.

This blogger has said before that John Kasich is the best Republican in the race, although he is no J0n Huntsman, who competed in 2012, and is still the best Republican available to be President, although he is not running, and instead is promoting the “No Labels” movement for a bipartisan choice that could unite Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Ohio is the crucial state, as anyone who studies Presidential election history is well aware of, and were Kasich to combine with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a “new generation” and telegenic figure from the other crucial state of Florida, a man who has some connection to the Establishment, but a foot in the camp of the challengers to the Establishment as well, it would be by far the best general election ticket.

Nobody in their right mind can think that Trump, Carson or Fiorina could actually win the election, but a Kasich-Rubio ticket, or even as some suggest, a Rubio-Kasich ticket of two men a generation apart in age as Barack Obama and Joe Biden are, with the “elder statesman” in the supporting role, COULD have a shot at winning over Hillary Clinton, although the odds are clearly, ultimately, against that scenario for the GOP!

 

 

 

 

Foreign Policy Experience Mediocre For Republican Party Candidates: A Danger For America!

It is clear that foreign policy is going to be a crucial part of the Presidential Election of 2016.

When one looks at the Republican candidates for the Presidency, it is very alarming how little background and experience the group has.

Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, and Carly Fiorina, the “Non Officeholders”, have ZERO experience, and just because one is in the business world or is a medical doctor, is NOT qualifications for the Presidency!

Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore were or are  Governors and have no experience in foreign policy. but love to act like bullies.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have no understanding of the intracacies of American foreign policy, with one so hawkish in his rhetoric that he is literally scary, and the other being totally naive about the world with his overly dovish views.

Former Senator Rick Santorum has no skills to understand the world scene, and Lindsey Graham, while more knowledgeable on foreign policy, is famous for wanting troops everywhere, as he is a super hawk!

Senator Marco Rubio is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which helps his credentials, but he lacks a serious understanding of world affairs.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the plus of being related to his dad, who was a foreign policy specialist, but he is more inclined to follow the disastrous policies of his brother, George W. Bush.

John Kasich has the most varied career, and gained foreign policy knowledge while in the House of Representatives for 18 years, and has a more balanced view of the world than any other potential nominee, but he does not have the expertise of Jon Huntsman, who was a potential nominee in 2012 and was Ambassador to China.

The fact is that NO Republican matches the background of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, pure and simple!

 

“No Labels” Convention Being Held Monday In New Hampshire To Promote Bipartisanship

Today, a convention under the name “No Labels Problem Solver Convention”  is being held in New Hampshire, promoted by former Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman and former Democrat and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

The convention expects a thousand or more participants, including eight Presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Donald Trump and George Pataki.

The purpose is to promote bipartisanship, the dealing with important issues in a way that brings progress, rather than the constant deadlock now prevailing in our political system on the national level.

The convention is gaining attention of the news media, and it is hoped that it will lead to a new attitude that will benefit the nation at large.

The goals include the creation of 25 million new jobs over the next decade; making American energy secure by 2024; protecting Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years; and balancing the federal budget by 2030.

This is the time to unite around a future which avoids confrontational scenes like we are now seeing from the so called “Freedom Caucus” of Republicans in the House of Representatives!

The Best Republican In 2012: Jon Huntsman! The Best Republican In 2016: John Kasich! But Not An Endorsement!

There is no debate that former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman was the best Republican in the Presidential campaign of 2012. He had the best credentials, including real foreign policy expertise, and unwillingness to take crazy, extremist stands on issues or to make nutty statements. Of course, it got him nowhere, and he gave up running for President again long ago!

Now in 2016, there is no question that out of a horrible group of potential Republican Presidential candidates that Ohio Governor and former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich is easily the best potential nominee in 2016.

Kasich was very late in announcing, doing so only this week, and being ignored in all of the hype about Donald Trump, who has taken all of the oxygen out of the room with his rantings and ravings, and insults against anyone who criticizes him, whether fellow Republican contenders or the news media.

But Kasich is the most experienced of all of the potential GOP nominees, and has avoided coming across as a right wing extremist in his statements. He is clearly a conservative, but considered in the “mainstream”, whatever that means.

No one is saying, certainly not this blogger, that he is about to vote for John Kasich if he was the GOP nominee.

And no one is saying that everything he has said and done is endorsed or acceptable. He has shortcomings as everyone else does, but in comparison, he comes across as the best alternative IF the Republicans were to win the Presidential Election of 2016. His stands on immigration, education, and Medicaid make him better than any alternative the Republicans have.

In many ways, John Kasich is the alternative to Jeb Bush, to whom he has been compared, but has much more experience than Bush has had, and avoids the connection to the Bush name.

And lately, Jeb Bush has been making horrible statements of his views, which seem to be catering to the Tea Party crowd, while Kasich so far is seen as less willing to cater.

Having said that, Kasich has just made some terrible statements about climate change (that nothing should be done as it is God’s will) and about military intervention in the Middle East, making one worry that he could be linking up with the neoconservatives, who took us into the Iraq War, similar in that regard to Jeb Bush.

So again, this is not an endorsement, but simply recognition that were the nation forced to accept a Republican President, John Kasich is the best of a terrible crop of candidates!

Serious Republican Presidential Contenders: Part II—The Importance Of Florida And Ohio

We have, so far, examined 13 of the 16 Republican Presidential contenders, most of whom could be considered a “Clown Bus”!

Only four of the 16 are serious contenders, and so far we have looked at Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, who President Obama would like to see as the nominee of the opposition party, as he believes Walker’s terrible economic record, his anti labor stance, and his dramatic attack on the University of Wisconsin budget, along with the connection to the Koch Brothers, would make him easy to defeat.

And then there are the three remaining contenders, from crucial swing states Florida and Ohio, so arguably the three best primed to have a real chance to win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother and son of two earlier Presidents named Bush, comes across as more moderate, more mainstream than just about any other contender, but he had a mixed record as Florida Governor, and has been out of office for ten years by 2016, and last ran 14 years ago by 2016. He is, certainly, seen as a man among boys, but he also is too close to the neoconservatives who took us into endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also exhaustion at having a third President Bush, after the disastrous Presidency of his brother, George W. Bush.

Then we have the youthful, good looking, charismatic Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is Cuban American, but much more appealing and less extreme than fellow Cuban American Ted Cruz of Texas. But Rubio has come across often as not too bright; has distorted the story of his parents leaving Cuba to make it seem as if it happened under Fidel Castro, when it happened two years earlier; has come across as having no guts on immigration reform; and has had issues with his finances and his connections with Norman Bramam, a South Florida auto dealer and billionaire. Some see him as the equivalent of a Republican Barack Obama or John F. Kennedy, but that is pure illusion.

And then we have the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who had 18 years in the House of Representatives, and was House Budget Committee Chairman, and has accepted Medicaid under ObamaCare as Governor of Ohio since 2011. He is very personable, engaging, and experienced, including recently, in a way that no other GOP contender can match him. And he comes from the crucial swing state of Ohio, more crucial than Florida, another swing state. And why is Ohio more important than Ohio? The answer is that every single Republican President from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush has won Ohio, so it is an essential state on the road to victory.

While all three of the above are serious contenders for the White House, it is clear that John Kasich would be the strongest, most competitive nominee imaginable, similar to what Jon Huntsman was in 2012. But that is precisely why the Republicans, almost certainly, will NOT select Kasich.

In any case, the Republican Party is on the road to defeat for the White House, and Donald Trump only further complicates that whole situation.