Pres. Obama's "advisors are telling potential donors that he is in a weaker position heading into the 2012 election than he was in 2008 and are detailing potential vulnerabilities of likely opponents," with a specific focus on former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
[Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina talked] about what Obama aides see as likely vulnerabilities for Jon Huntsman, the president's outgoing ambassador to China, who is leaving his post to consider a campaign against his boss. The focus on Mr. Huntsman suggests Democrats see a threat in the former Utah governor, considered a moderate among potential GOP candidates.
Mr. Messina, responding to a question, said it would be easy to "show the hypocrisies" in Mr. Huntsman's candidacy by stressing his ties to the administration, according to people at the event.
In addition, donors said Mr. Messina explained that Mr. Obama's political aides view Mr. Huntsman's support for a health care overhaul in Utah as a potential flashpoint for GOP primary voters, much like a state health plan that has caused problems for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.