Huntsman, truth be told, hemorrhaged steam in New Hampshire and has had little to no luck rallying support in other primary states. But he can still turn to rarefied Republican pockets where his relatively moderate brand of conservatism and internationalist bona fides resonate, as well as to former Democratic donors such as Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a glamorous and die-hard Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter whose antagonism toward Barack Obama has led her across the partisan aisle.
Huntsman’s “dear friend,” as he called her, hosted the fundraiser in her 18th-floor apartment. Guests included a former Andy Warhol muse, Wall Street moguls and the global-warming activist great-grandson of Teddy Roosevelt. Among the members of the event’s host committee were past supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), former New York governor Eliot Spitzer (D), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and the progressive activist group MoveOn.org. (“Hillary partisan gathers Gillibrand supporters for a Huntsman fund-raiser,” read a headline on the Web site Capital New York.) Many of the event’s organizers testified to Huntsman’s integrity and superior qualifications. But when it came to his electoral prospects, they tended to speak in past, future and conditional terms.
“He ran out of time,” said de Rothschild. “I think one more week in New Hampshire, with the limited funds that we had, we would have been a strong second.”