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May
10

Hunting Huntsman

Erick Erickson (over at RedState) has a biting post up on why he will never support our former Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. as President...and it's not for the reasons you think.

Ambassador Jon Huntsman is gearing up now to run for President of the United States.

If he is the Republican nominee, I will vote for him. But until that moment I will never, ever support him.

And if you are a patriot to the United States of America, you should not support him either. It’s pretty simple why...

No, it is not his terrible record. It is not his lefty record on the environment. Nor is it Huntsman’s willingness to stand against 70% of Utah’s voters as Governor and come out for civil unions without anyone asking him. Nor is it his buddy-buddiness with Ahnuld and their global warming pact.

And no, it is not because Jon Huntsman’s Presidential bid is largely a creation and fixation of the media and backed by key John McCain advisers. The media, led by McCain’s old advisers, have collectively fawned over Huntsman since the end of the 2008 election.

Well if not that then what exactly has Mr. Erickson in such high dudgeon over a potential Huntsman campaign?

...John Huntman’s disloyalty to the President of the United States, regardless of the President or to which party the President belongs, should not be rewarded by any patriot of this country....

Erickson then lays out a timeline of Presidential ambition - a timeline that began almost as soon as campaign 2008 ended.

...And no, it is not because Jon Huntsman’s Presidential bid is largely a creation and fixation of the media and backed by key John McCain advisers. The media, led by McCain’s old advisers, have collectively fawned over Huntsman since the end of the 2008 election.

John Weaver, formerly of the McCain camp, began advising Huntsman in May of 2009. Even before that, in February of 2009, the media began buzzing that Huntsman was a contender and headed to South Carolina after a stop in D.C.

On February 21, 2009, Larry Sabato declared in the Hotline, “He’s got the presidential bug.”

On May 8, 2009, Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe singled out Jon Huntsman as one of those Republicans he’d feel “a wee bit queasy” about should Huntsman run. That’s all the media needed to begin the buzz.

You'll have to go to Redstate to read the rest of the timeline.  The real reason for not supporting candidate Huntsman?

No, none of those reasons have anything to do with it.

The reason I will never, ever support Jon Huntman is simple: While serving as the United States Ambassador to China, our greatest strategic adversary, Jon Huntsman began plotting to run against the President of the United States. This calls into question his loyalty not just to the President of the United States, but also his loyalty to his country over his own naked ambition.

Emphasis in the original.

It does not matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat. Party is beside the point here. When the President of the United States sends you off to be Ambassador to our greatest strategic adversary in the world, you don’t sit around contemplating running against the very same President you serve. It begs the question of did you fully carry out your duties as Ambassador or let a few things slip along the way hoping to damage the President? Likewise, it begs the question of whether our relations with China have suffered because the President felt like he could not trust his own Ambassador?

And don’t tell me that Jon Huntsman was not thinking of running for President and contemplating that while still in office. On May 5, 2009, the Washington Post reported McCain adviser John Weaver was giving Huntsman strategic guidance on running in 2012. This came before Huntsman went to China.

I said when Huntsman's appointment came out that this was an appointment of convenience for the Obama Administration - Erickson notes the same thing.

On May 8, 2009, Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe singled out Jon Huntsman as one of those Republicans he’d feel “a wee bit queasy” about should Huntsman run. That’s all the media needed to begin the buzz.

The conventional wisdom at the time was that the President's appointment of former Governor Huntsman was strategic move - designed to get a potential challenger out of the way.  That is what Barack Obama does best.

Erickson concludes his column....

On January 20, 2011, President Barack Obama, preparing for a summit with the Chinese, had to deal with press reports that his Ambassador to China just might be setting up to challenge him. From Good Morning America, Jake Tapper noted that President Obama, during a press conference with the Chinese premier joked about a possible Huntsman run with Ambassador Huntsman in the room. Jon Garcia of ABC News caught up with Huntsman and, Tapper reported, “Garcia asked him about a run and Huntsman didn’t specifically answer the question. He said, we are loyal to the President and loyal to the country.”

On January 27, 2011, Chris Cilizza, writing in the Washington Post said Huntsman was definitely running and had already begun reaching out to his advisers to fire up the engines. At the end of the month, Huntsman resigned.

The Huntsman camp claims it was a coincidence in which he was not involved that his chief adviser set up a PAC for Huntsman in October 2010. It was all a coincidence and unrelated to anything that the United States Ambassador to China began talking to key players in Presidential politics at the end of 2010 about a Presidential run — over a month before a summit between the United States and China.

From a level of patriotism and pride in my country, regardless of politics and Presidents, I cannot tolerate a man serving as our ambassador to our chief strategic adversary in the world plotting, while in that capacity, to run against the President of the United States. It is unseemly and disgusting.

Republicans made a great deal of and were outraged by the release of old records in the Kremlin that showed Senator Teddy Kennedy collaborating with the Soviets to undermine President Ronald Reagan. Out of just plain old intellectual honesty, I have a hard time seeing how Republicans could not then be outraged by the United States Ambassador to China plotting with advisers, while still on the job, a run against the President of the United States.

Politics is supposed to stop at the waters edge, though that happens less these days. But politics sure as hell should have stopped at Peking (editorial note: I always refuse to say Beijing because that’s what the Chicoms want us to use). And it didn’t. This disloyalty should not be rewarded by any patriot.

Erickson makes a very valid case against Huntsman - a case that all intellectually honest GOP activists needs to take into consideration come primary season.

Personally, before this piece, Jon Huntsman was not in my top 5 for the GOP nomination.  After this.....well let's just say that I will closely at Gary Johnson before I give John Huntsman a serious look.

Written by LL.

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