There is a growing feeling that former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is best suited to beat President Obama in the 2012 election, and that’s why the Republicans won’t nominate him.
Cameron Lynch writes in U.S. News and World Report that the current Tea Party sympathies engulfing the GOP means he doesn’t have a chance to win the nomination.
In a political era defined by activist Tea Party populism, Huntsman’s calm and directed demeanor doesn’t place him as the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination. Huntsman may not have the vicious tongue and damning rhetoric necessary to appease the red meat base this go-around. If the gamble works, however, the only group more afraid of a Huntsman candidacy than the far right would be those mapping out the president’s re-election in Chicago.
Lynch says Obama’s people realized the threat posed by Huntsman so early on that they made him part of their administration, and that’s the biggest hurdle he will face.
That he resigned to (presumably) run against his old boss makes him either a Brutus or a political genius—depending on who you ask. Primary opponents will likely pepper Huntsman with questions about and accusations of party loyalty: "How could you work for Obama in China?" Huntsman's best retort would acknowledge his service head on: "If you mean dealing directly with our largest trading partner and the globe's only other superpower, the question I ask you is, 'How could I not work for Obama in China?'"