Damn, that Jon Huntsman is reasonable

It says a great deal about the state of the Republican nominating process that Huntsman is floundering while Mr. Pizza soars. “It’s a new world,” Huntsman told me as we spoke Tuesday in the lobby of his Manchester hotel. “You throw out anyone with any connection to real-world experience in government.”

Huntsman will almost certainly fail, but that doesn’t make what he is doing any less important. He’s betting everything — “a Vegas move,” he called it — that there is still some constituency in the Republican Party for reason and moderation. While Mitt Romney has found success by running away from the moderate indiscretions of his past, Huntsman is begging the voters who chose John McCain over George W. Bush in 2000, not to mention Henry Cabot Lodge over Barry Goldwater in 1964, to reestablish the political center…

It’s probably too late for Huntsman. His campaign is in debt and he’s getting 1 to 2 percent in national polls. But in New Hampshire, Huntsman has finally found a compelling message. He has shifted from his initial dubious theme — the need for civility — to the worthier goal of fighting for the political center. He said he would not join his rivals in going to pander to Donald Trump. He bravely proclaimed: “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”