In keeping with my commitment to post Jon Huntsman stuff whenever I find it, I give you his latest interview, with The New York Times Magazine.
Republicans couldn’t get over the fact that after you resigned as ambassador to China, you sent the president a thank-you note, referring to him as “a remarkable leader.”
I wrote the note, and I’d write it again.
You never paused and thought, Hmm, how will people judge these words in the future?
No, because they were born of honesty.
Honesty? You’re in the wrong business.
It’s terrible. You saw where honesty got me in the primary.
Obviously you’ve thought a lot about it. What went wrong?
When the decision was made to refuse any pandering — because my wife would have left me if I had done any of that — you pretty much disarm yourself. On top of that you have people like Michael Moore, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter coming out and giving you kudos as a sane Republican. That doesn’t play so well in the primary phase of Iowa or South Carolina.
Your father, who has appeared on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, said that he wants to die broke after giving all his money to philanthropic causes. As an heir, are you bothered by this?
I didn’t grow up with that, so it’s not like you grow accustomed to it. My memories were of my father working for his uncles in the egg-distribution business. He’ll be the first to tell you he doesn’t deserve it, the rest of us don’t deserve it, it’s temporary, and it’s there to do something good with before we die.