Revealed: How Huntsman's 2012 bid caused friction with Obama's team

According to the official, who was not a political appointee, the administration began micromanaging Huntsman’s schedule, canceling media appearances and carefully vetting his public remarks. The source specifically noted a major education speech in Shanghai that was heavily scrutinized by administration officials “to make sure it was kosher.”…

But while both sides put on happy faces in public, the official said Huntsman didn’t take kindly to the enhanced supervision or the U.S. media speculation that he was abdicating his responsibilities to pursue a personal agenda.

“He was very upset when people began to question his commitment to the job, that people would question his character like that,” said the embassy official, who added that he never saw Huntsman put his own career ahead of his ambassadorial duties. “I’m sure he wished he had only agreed to stay another two weeks after he submitted his resignation, but he stuck through it.”…

At the time, the embassy said Huntsman simply stumbled upon the protest and was not there as a participant. But while attending a pro-democracy rally doesn’t necessarily run counter to Obama administration policy, some in China viewed it as a calculated move to please American voters, and one that came at a cost. After the ambassador’s appearance at the Jasmine protest, Chinese officials canceled meetings with Huntsman.