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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jon Huntsman Is Running for President

Posted by on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:16 AM

  • Danny Schwartz
With the Statue of Liberty behind him, Jon Huntsman announced his candidacy for president today. His speech set the tone for a respectful race, saying that he and President Obama have "a difference of opinion" about how to run this country, although he did refer to himself as the "ultimate conservative," which I'm sure had Rick Santorum fairly peeing his pants in outrage. (If you don't know much about Jon Huntsman, I'd like to gently nudge you in the direction of my candidate primer.)

Meanwhile, ThinkProgress would like you to know that Huntsman isn't as good on gay issues as Huntsman's fundraising literature has been saying:

The letter, written by California Log Cabin Republicans Vice Chairman and Huntsman campaign employee Charles T. Moran, states plainly that Huntsman “signed into law Utah’s first Civil Unions legislation” — a simplistic declaration that could easily mislead voters into believing Huntsman actually signed legislation to legalize civil unions in Utah...In 2008, Huntsman signed legislation expanding domestic partner benefits for Utah’s unmarried couples, including gays. But legislation legalizing civil unions never passed, making it impossible for Huntsman to sign it into law. And while he supported expanding hospital visitation rights and other “contractual” rights for gay couples, most of those initiatives died in the state Legislature.

This leftward-leaning strategy is interesting, and it's going to get a lot of moderate Republicans excited for the guy, but it's important to keep his real achievements in mind.


Comments (15) RSS

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venomlash 1
I wish he WAS the ultimate conservative, so we wouldn't have to deal with any more of them.
Posted by venomlash on June 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 2
Yeah, yeah, he's not exactly flying the rainbow flag, but expanding domestic partner benefits is pretty decent for a Republican in Utah...

Of the current crop, I find Huntsman the least terrifying, other than Johnson, who doesn't have a prayer.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on June 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 3
Huntsman will never make it out of single digits. He may draw some moderates, but he'll get get killed in the Iowa primary, and he won't win a single state in the south. His campaign is DOA.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on June 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 4
He's probably the best candidate they've got. Which means he doesn't stand a chance, of course.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM · Report this
I'm of the opinion that Huntsman is setting himself up for a run down the road.

Right now, the GOP is firmly in the grasp of the crazies. But the party can read the tea leaves. They know, for instance, what direction the country is heading on gay rights issues. Which is why you're starting to see a few Republicans break away even on the marriage issue. (And keep in mind there were a couple of fairly conservative Senators who voted to repeal DADT last December).

I think Huntsman is betting that the insane radicals (who are the ones who turn out for primaries) will get a nominee to their liking. And the party will implode in 2012. Then the party either goes completely nuts and decides that Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin is too much of a "moderate" and a "RINO" and drives further off the cliff, or the adults wake up and take the party back and Huntsman is perfectly positioned.

The strategy works less well if someone like Pawlenty (who is, nevertheless, very bad on social issues...he's only more moderate by way of comparison) or Romney (who's been pandering like crazy to the crazies) wins the nomination. If a nominee like that loses, then the tea party crowd will still likely be in the driver's seat.

And, of course, it doesn't work at all if a Republican actually wins.
Posted by Corydon on June 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM · Report this
The clown drew a couple hundred people to his big announcement. Compare that to the huge crowds at the coming out parties the real wingnuts had. There are no more 'moderates' in the Republican Party, Democrats are now the moderate Republicans. As a result his fund raising will lag, he will be in the single digits as long as he can stay in.
Posted by frankdawg on June 21, 2011 at 12:21 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 7
@5--On some level, I think the best thing for both GOP and the country would be for the Republicans to nominate a complete lunatic and lose in a 1984- or 1972-scale landslide.

But I'm not willing to hope for that, simply because I'm not completely convinced a lunatic couldn't win the general election.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on June 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Zebes 8
I'd never vote for him, but if we had to have a republican president in 2012 I guess we could do worse.
Posted by Zebes on June 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM · Report this
seatackled 9
I looked at that candidate primer hoping to find facts, but it seems like you're just saying hateful things there about people whom I bet you've never spoken to or met. You are to be felt sorry for.
Posted by seatackled on June 21, 2011 at 12:42 PM · Report this
seatackled 10
Actually I want people to start asking Huntsman if Obama was born in the U.S.
Posted by seatackled on June 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 11
Welcome to Slog, @9. If you're looking for a rational, reasoned discussion of the issues, you're in the wrong place.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 21, 2011 at 1:07 PM · Report this
seatackled 12
An inflated C- for #11 for, uh, reading retention?…
Posted by seatackled on June 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@9: Yes, that's Constant's idea of being a political pundit:

Bachmann: She's an idiot
Romney: He's an asshole
Paul: He's a nutjob

All of which is true, but adds absolutely nothing to the discussion, and makes one wonder why they let this clown write about something he clearly is ill-equipped to understand.

Posted by bigyaz on June 21, 2011 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Indy 14
@11: So FTE, why do you keep coming back?
Posted by Indy on June 21, 2011 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 15
Dan Savage, of course.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on June 21, 2011 at 3:14 PM · Report this

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