Video: Huntsman strikes a chord with his rendition of “Hit the Road, Jack”

posted at 10:45 am on August 8, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Last week, AP reluctantly related the story of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s internal campaign drama, asking the apt question, “How ‘big’ can a story be if the subject is polling an asterisk?” It’s a fair question, and I ask myself that every time I write about a far-back-in-the-pack Republican presidential candidate. But, as I’ve always maintained, part of what makes this GOP primary so enjoyable (and, hopefully, so effective at prepping the electorate for the general) is that the candidates, who array themselves at different points along the conservative spectrum, are all nevertheless pretty positive spokespeople for the need for an alternative to President Barack Obama. That is, at any given time in this primary season, at least nine prominent politicians are making an especially concentrated effort to make the case against Obama — and that doesn’t even count Rick Perry and Sarah Palin.

This weekend, Huntsman made that case at a keyboard. In South Carolina, at a townhall hosted by Tea Party freshman Rep. Tim Scott, Huntsman’s skill at a piano formed the foundation for a jam session to the tune of “Hit the Road, Jack.” The message was explicitly aimed at President Obama. It’s obvious from the video just how much fun Rep. Tim Scott and former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster are having, as they shout the song (off-key at that!). And at about two minutes or so, Huntsman really starts to ripple across the keys. If they didn’t seem to be so sincerely enjoying themselves, I’d succumb to the cynical view that it was staged solely to score media points — but, even if it was, I like it!

Maybe I just love this story because I play piano myself, but I think part of its appeal is also that, as much as it strikes me negatively to see Obama and his cronies dance while the economy wobbles, I still like to glimpse appropriate pauses in politicians’ workaday lives. It’s a pleasure to watch folks who live in suits and speak in talking points let loose somewhat and give us a window into their humanity. Of course, it’s even better when the fun is coupled with a message with which I could not agree more: Hit the road, Barack. And don’t you come back no more.

Update: This post originally mistakenly referred to Henry McMaster as the present South Carolina Attorney General, when, in fact, he is the former Attorney General of the state. The post has been corrected above.


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Whoops, looks like another photo problem, Tina.

Ward Cleaver on August 8, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Giant Photo Alert.

Bishop on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

He can’t bring himself to change the words to “Hit the road, Barack” because he loves Obama.

Ward Cleaver on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Wow…that’ big.

Electrongod on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Aiiiieeee!!!

Giant Huntsman!

darwin on August 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Wow!..The photo is big!..:)

Dire Straits on August 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

It bleeds into my other monitor.

Electrongod on August 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Based on the picture size, it’s already a big hit.

DrAllecon on August 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

The photo — it hurts!

Rational Thought on August 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Tiny is obsessed with size it seems.

William Amos on August 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Wow…that’ big.
Electrongod on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Damn near crushed my iPhone./

Count to 10 on August 8, 2011 at 10:49 AM

That thing is big (TWSS!)

search4truth on August 8, 2011 at 10:51 AM

From the photos on Tim Scott’s Facebook page, it looks like they had a full house. I’m sure most of that was for Tim Scott and not for Huntsman. We love Tim Scott in Charleston (or Chawwwlstun, if you’re from down here).

SouthernGent on August 8, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Sounds like a bunch of cats forcefully being given baths. Facepalmer. Almost as bad as the Bachmann’s stage dancing.

RepubChica on August 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

the candidates, who array themselves at different points along the conservative spectrum, are all nevertheless pretty positive spokespeople for the need for an alternative to President Barack Obama.

Heck, at this point a jar of peanut butter is a better alternative to Dear Liar.

rbj on August 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Tickles them keys AT LEAST as well as Bill blew the sax.

teacherman on August 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Huntsman’s someone that should quit his day job. Wishful thinking on my part, of course.

TXUS on August 8, 2011 at 10:58 AM

This is mega awesome I must say.

faraway on August 8, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Huckabee & Huntsman should start a band.

portlandon on August 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Hmm, found this redirect at jonhuntsman.com

MassVictim on August 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Huckabee & Huntsman should start a band.

portlandon on August 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Don’t forget about Thad McCotter on lead guitar…

It would be a great anti power-trio…

phreshone on August 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Tim Scott comes across as so affable in the video. I wonder if he would be a better face for Black Republicanism than West. West is great for the base, but he comes across as a little angry and may be a little scary for the more moderate people we have to win over.

thuja on August 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Don’t forget about Thad McCotter on lead guitar…

It would be a great anti power-trio…

phreshone on August 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

With Chuck Norris kickbox dancing in silhouette. I’d consider buying tickets for that.

RepubChica on August 8, 2011 at 11:10 AM

So Huntsman does have a definable talent.

Still, I’d rather have Conservatives running important things…and let the Democrats stick to playing tunes.

landlines on August 8, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Tim Scott comes across as so affable in the video. I wonder if he would be a better face for Black Republicanism than West. West is great for the base, but he comes across as a little angry and may be a little scary for the more moderate people we have to win over.

thuja on August 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Concern noted.

MeatHeadinCA on August 8, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Happy warriors. :-)

Mojave Mark on August 8, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Palin’s song on election night?

faraway on August 8, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Not one mention of “hit the road Barack”, not even one little “mispronunciation”…

right2bright on August 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Who?

MassVictim on August 8, 2011 at 11:54 AM

And when I was a dumb college student I saw Clinton play sax on Arsenio Hall and thought “yes! Obviously this guy needs to be president!”

Don’t fall for it.

somewhatconcerned on August 8, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I think the meme is set… “♫♪ Hit the Road Barrack ♫♪”…
-

RalphyBoy on August 8, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Well that seals it, I’m supporting Huntsman.

leftnomore on August 8, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Hit the road Huntsman.
Don’t you run in primaries no more,
No more, no more, no more!
Hit the road Huntsman.
Don’t you run in primaries no morrrrrrrre!

NotCoach on August 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Now you’re figuring it out Jonny boy, there’s no need to attack the party base, things go so much easier when you party with the base instead.

Lawdawg86 on August 8, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Ouch. Are my ears bleeding?

Glad they’re having fun, though. Huntsman tickles the ivories pretty good. I’m glad he’ll have something to fall back on.

SukieTawdry on August 8, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Second look at Huntsman!

juliesa on August 8, 2011 at 1:59 PM

What a stupid post. This is what we’re talking about? Really?

NoStoppingUs on August 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I am so appalled by the news today. And Obama’s response. I wish we could get some prime time for this song.

Let’s get Huntsman on keyboard and Huck on guitar… Maybe all current candidates could do it together… at the debates.

Huntsman isn’t getting out of asterisk range so he shouldn’t threaten any of the others. Let him spend his debate time leading a sing a long.

This is therapeutic today.

petunia on August 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM

petunia on August 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Huntsman is not in asterisk range at all. He’s at 2% in the national polls, which is about the same territory as T-Paw and Santorum. Do you who in the * range? Gary Johnson, Thaddeus McCotter, Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger, and Jonathan Sharkley.

I for one, am seriously considering voting for him, if he makes it to the NY primaries.

Frank T.J Mackey on August 8, 2011 at 6:26 PM