As the Republican Presidential race is about to begin, former Utah Governor and US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is the man to watch, the so called “dark horse” in the multi candidate race.
Huntsman accepted the offer of President Barack Obama to be the Ambassador to China in 2009, and has filled that post very well for the past almost two years. Skilled in Mandarin Chinese and considered an expert on Asian affairs generally, Huntsman is a brilliant, talented man, only 50 years old, and very photogenic and charismatic to boot!
His decision to resign his post in China, plus his purchase of a home in Washington, DC, give broad hints that he is going to seek the Presidential nomination, and he so hinted over a month ago in an interview in Newsweek Magazine.
What are his negatives? Well, he is a Mormon like Mitt Romney, which will upset many evangelical Christians who consider the Church of Latter Day Saints a cult religion, and not really Christian.
Also, by agreeing to work for President Obama, it makes him somewhat suspect in GOP circles, and Obama even joked last month that he thought Huntsman would really please Republican leaders, leading to Obama’s cute way of chuckling! 🙂
Also, Huntsman is definitely a moderate centrist, unwilling to take the strong right wing stands of other Republicans, and not willing to cave in to Tea Party activists.
In a poll of Mormons in Utah, it is clear that they favor fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, who seems much more dedicated to his faith than is Huntsman. Also, as Governor of Utah, Huntsman took socially moderate positions on abortion, illegal immigration, and civil unions for gays and lesbians, which would antagonize most orthodox Mormons.
But his socially moderate views, his brilliance and intelligence and service in China, his good looks and charisma, and his mainstream Republicanism generally, could actually set him apart in the race, and if the GOP wishes to have a real shot at defeating President Obama, Huntsman would probably be their best bet, even more than Mitt Romney who has always been seen as trying to cater to the right wing even though his record shows he is actually in the center, or was, as Governor of Massachusetts, including a health care plan strikingly similar to that of President Obama!
So if the GOP wants a real shot at winning, they would be wise to turn to Huntsman, rather than to cater to the right wing Christian conservatives and Tea Party activists!
So stay tuned as we see whether the GOP is ready to commit suicide and go for a KNOW NOTHING such as Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann, or a FLAME THROWER such as Newt Gingrich, or a bland boring candidate such as Tim Pawlenty, or a Baptist preacher big spender as Governor such as Mike Huckabee, or a “phony” conservative such as Mitt Romney!