Jon Huntsman: Call me crazy but I believe in evolution and global warming

I too am a fan of Darwin, so that’s one thing Hunts and I have in common.

Another thing we have in common: Neither one of us is winning the Republican primary.

Huntsman made the tweet shortly after Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered comments that cast doubt on evolution — his comments can be interpreted as criticism of Perry.

“To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,” tweeted Huntsman, the former ambassador to China.

Perry has also raised questions about whether humans are contributing to global warming.

According to a Gallup poll taken last year, the number of Republicans who said God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years clocked in at a breezy 52 percent. Another 36 percent said evolution is happening but is being guided by God, and just eight percent joined me on RINO island by believing that evolution is happening on its own. (The last group is also a small minority among Democrats and independents, but not quite as small.) So naturally, if you’re a Republican who’s already under suspicion for being too far to the center, you’d want to chime in on this almost wholly irrelevant issue and alienate the solid majority of religious primary voters who disagree with you. Wait, what?

Here’s something else you’d want to do if you’re trying to beat the rap that you’re more interested in impressing media sophisticates than winning over grassroots conservatives. You’d want to sit for a profile in Vogue magazine (with photos by Annie Leibovitz!) written by a guy who goofs on Palin regularly at Slate and who recently likened tea-party congressmen to “mindless cannibals.” I recommend reading all of it — my favorite line is “One doesn’t cover this campaign so much as join it” — but here’s the passage that makes it all worthwhile:

When we chat at the airport, Mary Kaye tells me about the first time her husband and Obama met, in a holding room at Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006. She glimpsed some kind of spark, a connection between the two men, as if they knew that they would figure jointly in some future history.

I admire Mrs. Huntsman’s candor, but the idea that she would volunteer that observation knowing how much of a liability her husband’s service to Obama is among the base is mind-boggling. Serious question: Is Huntsman trying to win anymore or is he playing some sort of long game now? I can imagine a game plan in which he tries to position himself as the fearless yet doomed centrist Cassandra who warned the base not to nominate a candidate too far to the right. If Obama wins reelection, Huntsman gets to do an “I told you so” tour among an adoring media and hope that Republican primary voters will remember when he runs again in 2016. The only problem with that? There are a good half dozen bona fide rock stars who’ll also be positioned to run next time, starting with Marco Rubio and maybe including Christie, Jindal, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Nikki Haley, and who knows who else. Anyone think Huntsman, who’ll have been out of office for five years by 2016 and nine years by 2020, will beat ’em all? I honestly don’t get his grand strategy.