Jon Huntsman is back at it, being the only adult in a room full of children that is. He recently commented on the conniption certain Republicans are throwing over Susan Rice’s possibly appointment to Secretary of State. This is what he had to say:
Huntsman, who served as U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, said that it would have been nearly impossible for authorities to instantly obtain accurate intelligence about who was responsible for the September attack, which resulted in the death of four officials. Because of that, he said, recent criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for not immediately declaring the attack an act of terror was either politically motivated or misplaced.
“The issue of Benghazi, I think you can attribute to the fog of war, more than anything else,” Huntsman said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “When you’re in a wartime setting and you have an attack like that — let’s face it. No one is prepared for an attack like that. There is, as Robert McNamara used to say, there is a fog of war. And it takes awhile to sort through the details. And it doesn’t do a whole lot of good for the political class to point fingers before you even know what was behind it. And you’re not going to know that [immediately].”
In offering up his assessment, Huntsman became the rare Republican to downplay the boiling controversy surrounding the matter….
…For Huntsman, the debate over who massaged what talking points and when is a distraction. While not downplaying the deaths in Benghazi, he noted that there have been other foreign policy developments in the past month that have also demanded attention.
“I heard endless chatter about Benghazi during the last several weeks and not a bit about the leadership changes in China,” said Huntsman. “Now I needn’t tell you which over the longer term is going to impact us as people. You’ve got once-per-decade leadership changes in China, whose economic and security policies will have a profound impact on the next generation of Americans.”
Speaking from his home in Washington D.C., Huntsman called this a moment of unique, historic possibilities in U.S.-China relations. The new leader of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, has more political flexibility than his predecessor, Hu Jintao, and he comes into office at a moment of acute pressure for both economic and domestic political reform, Huntsman noted.
Calling for regular head-of-state negotiations between the U.S. and China and a toning down of some of the political rhetoric — “You can’t just designate them a currency manipulator without reverberations recurring on the other end,” he said — the former ambassador outlined the obstacles ahead.
The goal for the Obama administration, he argued, is “helping China understand that in being on the world stage, there are greater expectations of the role that they will play. It is helping them understand that a weapon obtained by the Iranian government would result in tremendous instability in the region that would upend their raw material supply line. Sometimes it is walking them through things they never had to consider before because they’re new to the world stage.”
I have said it before, but the fact that Huntsman performed so poorly in the GOP primaries is testament to how dysfunctional the party is right now.