Why is Huntsman running for President?

posted at 1:36 pm on April 15, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Everyone agrees that Jon Huntsman is returning from China to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.  What may be more difficult to determine is whyThe Daily Caller reprints two letters from Ambassador Huntsman to his former boss extolling the executive’s virtues, including his status as “a remarkable leader,” his “experience,” and “brilliant analysis of world events.”  With a President like the one Huntsman describes already in office, why bother challenging him?

Jon Huntsman, President Obama’s outgoing ambassador to China, is considering running against his boss in 2012 as a Republican.

But two handwritten letters from Huntsman obtained by The Daily Caller raise the question of why he’s not campaigning for Obama instead.

“You are a remarkable leader,” Huntsman wrote to Obama in an Aug. 16, 2009 note, underlining the word “remarkable,” “and it has been a great honor getting to know you.”

Click over to read the letters in their entirety to get a sense of just how obsequious Huntsman got in buttering up the boss.  His efforts at blowing sunshine even got directed to Bill Clinton’s skirt in a missives addressed to the former President.  Huntsman wrote that Hillary Clinton is “well-read, personable, and has even more charisma than her husband!”  And yes, the exclamation point is a direct quote.

Hunstman’s team told the Daily Caller that the leaked letters show just how much the administration fears a Huntsman bid, but I suspect that Huntsman might have guessed wrong about the source.  If Huntsman does run for the nomination, he’ll probably focus on attacking Obama’s foreign policy, which means attacking Hillary either directly or indirectly.  This looks like an attempt to blunt the impact of Huntsman’s criticisms, as well as some payback for laying the groundwork of a presidential bid while still serving in the Obama administration.  If they really feared Huntsman, they would have leaked this in December, not April.

Huntsman doesn’t have much of a chance in this cycle anyway, but the letters don’t add up to a boost in confidence that Huntsman would provide any sharp change in direction from his boss.


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*Gag* Oily smooth-skinned ass-licker. Does he think he’s going to run as a Republican?

Fortunata on April 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Peel off some indies. 42% are gonna vote for Barry regardless. We are fighting over the other 8+%. If Huntsman can peel off 1% that puts Barry that much closer to that not s0 cool phone in the Oval Office.

Limerick on April 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Major azz-kisser.

OmahaConservative on April 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Huntsman is pretty much like all the cookie cutter GOP candidates. McCain did the same. Pawlenty, Romney, Huckabee are far more comfortable attacking conservatives than Obama.

sharrukin on April 15, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Huntsman wrote that Hillary Clinton is “well-read, personable, and has even more charisma than her husband!

LMFAOROF

OmahaConservative on April 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

he and charlie crist need to get together and listen to some David Byrne music.

ted c on April 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

RINO Candidate’s Presidential Run Ends Abruptly After Pro-Obama Letters Released!

http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/04/rino-candidates-presidential-run-ends-abruptly-after-pro-obama-letters-released/

idesign on April 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

He’s running as a Democrat, no?

SlaveDog on April 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM

It sounds to me like Huntsman is an extremely passive agressive person to behave this way.
NOT someone we could trust either on assignment in China, nor in Office as President.

TERM LIMITS for ALL.

KMC1 on April 15, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Positioning yourself as the Mormon politician ideologically between Mitt Romney and Harry Reid doesn’t really seem to be catering to a very big share of the overall voter market. Of the “Multi-Millionaire Vanity Presidential Campaigns for 2012″ Trump’s got the pulse of the primary electorate pegged way better than Huntsman, who seems to think the GOP voters are seeking some sort of cross between John McCain and David Brooks as their nominee next year.

jon1979 on April 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM

he and charlie crist need to get together and listen to some David Byrne music.

ted c on April 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Beautiful.

SlaveDog on April 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Why is Huntsman running for President?

Manchurian Candidate.

The Chinese have inserted a mind-control device in his brain. They have also rigged the election machines (where are the Diebold machines manufactured, eh?) so he’ll win in 2012.

(WI was just a test run…how else can the failure of the most blue state to elect a unionite to the SC in the current environment)

BobMbx on April 15, 2011 at 1:45 PM

How does Huntsman address this fart sucking letter? He fooled me? No thank you. I don’t a president who can be so easily duped.

NotCoach on April 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Huntsman is a high school dropout. Maybe he can peel off some of that demographic, which voted for Obama in record numbers last go-around.

steebo77 on April 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM

cya

cmsinaz on April 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Huntsman and Trump can run for biggest Obama fan boi.

swamp_yankee on April 15, 2011 at 1:49 PM

His job -split the polls and distract from the real challengers.

Don L on April 15, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Gag indeed. This guy makes Brooks and Matthews sound almost reasonable in their praise of “The One.” Ugh.

jwolf on April 15, 2011 at 1:51 PM

If Huntsman won the primary, he would totally bend-over for Barry, and with a big smile to boot….

phreshone on April 15, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Huntsman is running to bother Mitt Romney.

Nothing more.

portlandon on April 15, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Why is Huntsman running for President?

Two possibilities:

1) WH believes Romney is the frontrunner and put Huntsman up to being a stalking horse for Mitt.

2) The rumors or a Romney/Huntsman feud are credible and Huntsman hates him enough to run for pres just to split his support and deny him the nomination.

Kataklysmic on April 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM

he remindsme of Frank Burns-

how ya doin, ferret face?

DrW on April 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Why?

Just another millionaire with time on his hands. Like Trump.

GarandFan on April 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM

It may be useful to have the craven embodiment of uber-RINO in the race, just to remind us all again of how besottedly and sickeningly corrupt the GOP has become. I thought that role would be taken by Romney, but he’s met his match here.

rrpjr on April 15, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Relax, everybody. With the votes Huntsman will get, Ron Paul might be looking over his shoulder, everybody else will be miles ahead.

Steve Z on April 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Why is Huntsman running for President?

Because Obama told him to.

faraway on April 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Why is Huntsman running for President?

Why are any of them?

It’s the lamest field since the Donks ran Kerry and The Screamer.

If I had Obama’s luck I’d move into a suite over at the casino.

Bruno Strozek on April 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Can you say ‘Political Class’??

or ‘This is what’s wrong with this country’?

BigWyo on April 15, 2011 at 2:02 PM

2) The rumors or a Romney/Huntsman feud are credible

From what I hear, they do dislike each other, although it’s my understanding it’s mostly coming from the Huntsman camp (in particular, his mother and Jr., not so much from Sr.) directed at Romney. There was resentment over the Olympics position. I don’t think Romney spends nearly as much energy disliking Junior as Junior spends disliking him.

I still think Huntsman is running for Vice President, not President. He could have been useful in that role as an administration insider on foreign policy and international monetary issues who would be in a good position to attack Obama. He could have laid out how he had disagreed with the administration and said that he felt obligated to resign.

But after talking with a lot of Republicans here in the Beehive state, including some former Huntsman supporters, I think he’s just pursuing this for personal (ego) reasons. And he has zero chance.

Y-not on April 15, 2011 at 2:05 PM

His dad is a real man. The kid, forget about him.

Schadenfreude on April 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Who ??

pambi on April 15, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Why is Huntsman running?

Because he thinks that Obama has the Democratic nomination locked up and the GOP is the only other major party.

This guy started out as a RINO and has been consistently moving farther left. He is so bad that he makes Mitch Daniels almost look decent (by comparison).

bw222 on April 15, 2011 at 2:16 PM

There will be no reason for the Democrats to vote in Democrat primaries so they will all be voting in the Republican primaries. Maybe they think if Democrats vote in large numbers for Huntsman he’ll win the nomination. Thinking about it, it would be easy since all Democrats would be voting in lockstep.

Whomever the Democrats select as their guy among the Republican field will be the Republican nominee.

Buddahpundit on April 15, 2011 at 2:17 PM

He looks like an old Colin Cowherd.

rivlax on April 15, 2011 at 2:17 PM

pambi on April 15, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Hey!!! That’s MY line!!!

halfastro on April 15, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Yes, another hard-hitting, no-holds barred, unintimidated, John McCain like candidate is all that he democrats need from the Republican nominee.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 15, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Are we sure he’s running for President?

Obama selected him as ambassador because he thought he’d be a strong contender in 2012. Then one day, the political press started printing rumors that Huntsman was thinking of running. Then the WH started talking about those rumors, then they pushed him out. Now they seem to be leaking unflattering things about him.

Are we certain the WH didn’t concoct this whole thing just to ruin Huntsman *in case* he was thinking of running for president?

MayBee on April 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM

The RNC had better wake up to the fact that last cycles ‘also-rans’ have had their 15 minutes of fame.

Or do they want a reprise of the McCain campaign?

GarandFan on April 15, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Huntsman is a metaphor for George McGovern (i.e. the worst candidate for the other side)

J_Crater on April 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Gallup has Obama at 41, hit most by so-called independents.

Schadenfreude on April 15, 2011 at 2:42 PM

More here

Schadenfreude on April 15, 2011 at 2:44 PM

What a smarmy, obsequious toady.

OhioCoastie on April 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM

*Gag* Oily smooth-skinned ass-licker. Does he think he’s going to run as a Republican?

Fortunata on April 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Are you talking about Huntsman, or The Donald?

gryphon202 on April 15, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Umm, if you think about it, it does have a delicious ring.

Remarkable. Because remarks are all Obama’s good at.

Anyway, Huntsman who? Right. Thank you, drive through.

ace tomato on April 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Let’s create a third party for media trolls and self interest politicians and call it the clown party.

Unelectable and a waste of time.

Kini on April 15, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Huntsman is a “serious candidate” / George RINO Will

Norwegian on April 15, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Peel off some indies. 42% are gonna vote for Barry regardless. We are fighting over the other 8+%. If Huntsman can peel off 1% that puts Barry that much closer to that not s0 cool phone in the Oval Office.

Limerick on April 15, 2011 at 1:39 PM

..how does this peeling off have any effect if he doesn’t win the nomination? Will he and Trump be running as independents?

The War Planner on April 15, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Why is Huntsman running for President?

Probably for the same reason Huckster stayed in long after the last cycle had produced a likely winner, it sets up a platform for 2016.

lexhamfox on April 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM

I’m starting to think that Huntsman is a ringer. Sent into the race (and promoted by the administration and the media) to cause trouble for the Republicans.

It makes no sense otherwise. Why is the O-minstration allegedly so worried about this guy? He’s pretty low on the GOP list of contenders, right?

tsj017 on April 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I doubt Huntsman thinks he can win in 2012, he hasn’t even been in the country… he is probably getting some name recognition for 2016 or after.

However, I think we should be really really nice to him because… he has been on the inside of this administration. He has knowledge. Hopefully, really damaging knowledge.

As bad as Obama is on everything else… he has probably really messed things up with China. And Huntsman can’t say that while he is still representing the US…

At very least Huntsman knows what’s really up in China and we should listen to whatever he is saying on that issue.

Sometimes people run to make a point. Maybe Huntsman wants us to notice China more. I mean why does Ron Paul run? Why is Michelle Bachman running? They want their message to get out.

I’m interested to hear what Huntsman has to say when Obama is not his boss anymore.

I already said stuff about the letters in an article post… basically we should be careful of jumping through the hoops the otherside sets up for us. Whether it is Hillary or the Whitehouse they have a huge stake in discrediting Huntsman, he knows where the bodies are buried.

petunia on April 15, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Someone who is nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person. And a politician who is nice to you but supports policies that hurt people is not a nice person.

JohnJ on April 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Actually… releasing the letters which really only could come from the Democrat side is a way to say he is flip-flopping when and if he criticizes either Hillary or Obama.

I find it really interesting that they would think letters from an dipolmat kissing up to his bosses… two really obvious reasons for the nicey nicey kissing face stuff would do damage. I mean really? Most Ambassitors send insulting letters? Maybe they do, how would I know?

Is being nice in and of itself damaging? Only if they think he might start to get not nice soon.

Or I guess if they think that just being nice to Obama and Hillary is enough to make him unqualified to be President. I mean yeah, it’s probably embarrassing to him but as scandals go… being overly nice to your boss is sort of lightweight stuff.

petunia on April 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM

he and charlie crist need to get together and listen to some David Byrne music. ted c on April 15, 2011 at 1:42 PM

“Our president’s crazy,
Did you hear what he said?”

-Making Flippy Floppy, David Byrne.

Akzed on April 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Someone who is nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person. And a politician who is nice to you but supports policies that hurt people is not a nice person.

JohnJ on April 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Yes, but he stayed long enough not to be an embarrassment to the US, but quickly enough that it is a sure bet he is unhappy with something that is going on in China.

This was his dream job. And he was Ambassador under Bush, somewhere in Asia before… presumably for more than two years.

I’m just speculating… I also think letters being nice will hurt him with some… but there are a lot of Independents who probably started out thinking the same thing and those people aren’t going to hold that against him and those are the people everyone is after.

It just seems like he is leaving quite soon and when he went he said it was his dream post… he speaks Mandarin and he has a Chinese daughter.

I am just so curious about what he is thinking! He must be very unhappy or he would just stay there and do his dream job. He is young enough that he would have other chances to run if that was his ultimate goal.

I also think making a scandal out of letters being nice? Really? Yeah it will make a difference with us maybe, oooo he said nice stuff to Obama!…

But there are a lot of Independents who probably started out thinking exactly the same way about Obama and those people aren’t going to hold that against him. And may make them able to identify with him even more.

Those are the people everyone is after. So these letters could cut both ways for the Whitehouse, why do it?

Actually, I’m talking myself into thinking he might have released them himself to lay the ground work for getting Independents… He couldn’t win the Primary, couldn’t anyway really, not a chance, but if he had really strong Independent numbers he might get VP.

Okay I’m done with this subject… I am just speculating like mad now.

petunia on April 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Okay, one more speculation… maybe he is really running for Secretary of State under whoever wins… presuming we do. In that case he probably wouldn’t say too much bad… diplomats shouldn’t do that if they want to stay diplomats.

This is just very interesting to me because this is such an odd circumstance to come home from being Ambassitor to run for President… very odd.

petunia on April 15, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Why? Ed, why assume that political animals do anything for reasons other than venality and thirst for more power, especially when they have no talent for true contributions to society?

Western_Civ on April 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM

If you read those quotes as sarcasm, suddenly they make much more sense (and are highly amusing, to boot)… “Remarkable leader”? “More charisma than [her] husband”? They only make sense as tongue-in-cheek remarks.

TSUGambler on April 15, 2011 at 4:28 PM