Jon Huntsman Is The GOP’s Best (And Maybe Only) Hope



The American Conservative is running a story by Leon Hadar that argues Jon Huntsman is still the GOP’s best hope for a legitimate Presidential candidate. I agree completely. Hadar begins by reminding us that if Huntsman had been their candidate, President Obama would not be in the White House:

[Republicans] should consider the following proposition: if former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman had been nominated as the Republican presidential candidate last year, Barack Obama would not have delivered his second inaugural address last week…

…Bottom line: Huntsman would have won more independent voters, suburban and professional women, Hispanics and Asians, which was all Republicans needed to carry northern Virginia or Colorado. Case closed.

He is probably right by the way. The Obama campaign was worried about running against Huntsman most of all. Aside from the wooden and unlikable Mitt Romney, the rest of the GOP field was a freak show.

It is still Huntsman who can win a national election in 2016 for the Republicans. The idea of Huntsman at the helm of the GOP is not far fetched:

But overall, becoming Jon Huntsman’s Republican Party doesn’t require a Big Bang political-electoral revolution. Here are some simple ideas that can be packaged into five fortune cookies.

  1. The central focus on national debate in coming years would be on finding ways to fix (as opposed to abolish) the welfare state and readjusting U.S. strategy to the changing global balance of power. Republicans should understand that what Ayn Rand and John Bolton have to say about these issues is irrelevant and cannot be sold to the American people. Period.
  2. Not unlike George W. Bush, just be nicer to immigrants and especially to Hispanics and stop patronizing women.
  3. Come up with business-friendly proposals on climate change and practical ideas on guns, instead of in-your-face rhetoric.
  4. The “gay thing” is a done deal. So get over it and move on.
  5. And, yes, select an attractive presidential candidate.

More on Jon Huntsman here.

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16 Responses to Jon Huntsman Is The GOP’s Best (And Maybe Only) Hope

  1. digger666 says:

    Reblogged this on digger666 and commented:
    While it’s not clear why we should promote a Republican who might bring a sense of legitimacy to the party, it’s probably fair to keep an eye on them…

  2. If he had made it to the general election there was a fairly high likelihood that I would have voted for Huntsman. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either Obama or Romney this last time so I resorted to Gary Johnson since I also couldn’t bring myself to not vote.

    Though I doubt he will be a contender unless he runs as an independent. There is no way he will make it through the conservative pissing match called the primary. His appeal was that he was more moderate than the others plus he said he believes in science which the others don’t necessarily. Unfortunately moderate is a dirty word during a GOP primary where the goal is to out-conservative everybody else. The GOP primary is going to push any candidate as far right as possible which will make them a hard sell to the general populace.

    • evanberrett says:

      “Unfortunately moderate is a dirty word during a GOP primary where the goal is to out-conservative everybody else.”….Which is unfortunate since it’s kind of naive to totally ignore the other side, and any political scientist would tell you the median voter theorem does matter in winning elections.

      • That does matter in winning but pushing to the extremes matters a lot in fund raising. The more the GOP pushes to the extreme the more money they can get funneled into their elections. Right now I think they are too caught up in the money and not enough in the voters themselves. Also it is the extremes that are most motivated to give time to keep a campaign running and they are more apt to get out and vote themselves. Consider that if candidate A appeals to 50% of the populace but only 50% of them bother to vote yet candidate B appeals to 30% of the population and 90% of them vote then candidate B can win despite being far less popular. I think that is the angle the GOP has been playing. Unfortunately they aren’t seeing that it is hurting them.

    • The comments here illustrate the reason why we need to get money out of politics.

  3. You know I agree he’s the best hope for the party ( and the candidate I wanted last year) but I think Rubio and Christie could win as well. I’m not sure anyone else could even challenge a Clinton or Biden ticket.

    I think working for No Labels will definitely improve his credentials.

  4. Brian says:

    I consider myself a progressive, but Huntsman is someone I would actually consider voting for. The only republican I can say that about really. Of course, the fact that centrist and left of center folks might consider him an option makes him positively toxic to the Teavangelicals running the GOP. The Koch brothers, Roger Ailes/Murdoch and other extreme right powers can’t control this guy so they’ll fight his nomination pretty hard. I think the old, hyper efficient GOP could make the changes necessary to come back strong in 2016. I’m not so sure about the current crop of wing-nuts though…

    • That’s a good point. I’ll always take a cynical, bend with the wind politician over a zealot. Lets see how much power the crazies have left by 2016.

      • Brian says:

        I have to admit I’m really surprised the GOP was able to hang on the way it did in 2012. Gerrymandering not withstanding I was sure that the American people would be so sick of the obstruction (evident by the single digit congressional approval ratings) that they’d lash out a little and reverse the pendulum from the 2010 election. I guess it just goes to show I’m not qualified to be a pundit 😉

      • Well people hate congress but love their congressman. Its the same with government spending: my project is important buy your project is pork. My government services are benefits, yours are welfare.

        Never underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance.

  5. evanberrett says:

    Has he actually said he will be running in 2016?

    • He hasn’t. He has dropped hints though, like saying he has another run in him, that sort of thing.

      I very much hope he does run, but at this point it is all speculation. .

      • evanberrett says:

        I hope he runs to, especially given his knowledge of China. Mitt Romney is learned of China, but Jon Huntsman really knows China

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