A few days ago I lamented about the weak slate of Republican presidential candidates lining up to take on Obama’s projected billion dollar war chest. There has been an intriguing development in the arena as former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman has entered the fray. Real Clear Politics has reported that Mr. Huntsman has formed a Political Action Committee to explore a potential run against Obama since he resigned his ambassadorship. Mr. Huntsman has an impressive resume before serving as Utah’s governor he worked in the Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2, and Obama administrations. He also had a solid record as a businessman working for the Huntsman Corporation (started by his father).
His popularity can best be illustrated by the fact that he won the governorship of Utah against a popular Democrat and carried 57 percent of the vote. He was relected and enjoyed nearly 78 percent of the vote and had an approval rating over 80 percent when he resigned to become Ambassador to China. Utah was deemed the best managed state by the Pew Center on the States and was named one of the top three states in which to do business due to his leadership. It is believed that Mr. Huntsman’s Mormon faith will not hinder him as it was assumed happened to Romney (incorrectly in my mind) and in fact his measured beliefs may be an asset to his candidacy currying favor with the “religious right.”
He almost seems too good to be true. One thing that has me hopeful is his father because a couple of years ago I read his book Winners Never Cheat. Huntsman, Sr. is a self-made billionaire yet his book was not about how to make it big or an autobiography about his audacity. Winners Never Cheat was about ethics and not just doing things for business, but doing things because they are right. If the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree Huntsman, Jr’s accomplishments seem real rather than those of a trust fund rich kid.
While it is still too early to tell I am heartened by his potential. Perhaps in an attempt to calm himself, Obama took a swipe at Jon Huntsman during his comedy set at the White House Correspondents dinner,
“Jon Huntsman is with us. There’s something you might now know about Jon. He didn’t learn to speak Chinese to go there. Oh no. He learned English to come here.”
Obama’s jokes were in my mind over the top and not particularly funny (he had some highlights) so he shouldn’t quit his day job…campaigning and community organizing. Being Commander-In-Chief doesn’t seem to hold his interest.