GOP US Ambassador to China Readying Presidential Bid
January 31, 2011
(ChattahBox Political News)— The prevailing wisdom around Washington, was that Republican Jon Huntsman, the U.S. Ambassador to China would not be a presidential threat to Barack Obama in 2012. Well Huntsman, a wealthy former two-term governor of Utah apparently didn’t read the memo reminding him that it’s not polite for an ambassador to a country vitally important to America’s interests to leave his post to run in the Republican primary, hoping to unseat his boss. And besides which, in this extremist tea party, anti-elite mania taking over the Republican Party, it’s unlikely that the somewhat moderate Huntsman could make it through a primary, but the Politico is reporting today that he is quietly laying the foundation for a presidential run in the spring.
The Obama team realized back in 2008 that the handsome and independently wealthy Huntsman could prove a formidable opponent in 2012. David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, said then, Huntsman’s 2012 presidential aspirations made him feel “a wee bit queasy.” But the problem was solved by absorbing Huntsman into the Obama administration, or so he thought.
Now, the Politico reports, Huntsman has his eyes firmly set on a 2012 primary run.
“Huntsman has avoided publicly discussing the possibility of a bid against the president who appointed him, but he’s sending signals that make clear he’s serious about a run now – not in 2016, when many top officials in both the GOP and the White House assumed he’d run.”
“Over the holidays, the ex-governor met with Sen. John McCain, whose 2008 presidential run Huntsman backed early on. In a discussion with the senator, who is the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, about a variety of issues, Huntsman made plain that he was eyeing a White House campaign in the near term, according to a source close to the senator.”
Huntsman, without tea party backing, doesn’t stand much of a chance in a GOP primary, but Politico reports that the Obama administration is still peeved over his unconventional plans.
White House Chief of Staff William Daley, recently joked at a dinner that Huntsman was a Manchurian candidate.
“It’s also good to see Jon Huntsman, our ambassador to China,” Daley said, according to a source in the room. “Or as we call him around the White House: the Manchurian Candidate. I want Jon to know that the president has no hard feelings. In fact, he just did an interview with the Tea Party Express saying how integral he has been to the success of the Obama administration.”
Jon Huntsman, if he does decide to run, as a former member of the Obama administration, he will soon come up against the rabid irrational hate the right-wing harbors against President Obama.
(Update: Jon Huntsman resigned from his post today, according to Politico.
“Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House said. Huntsman now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, according to supporters.”
“In a letter hand-delivered to the White House, the former Utah governor said that he wants to return to the United States by May. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.”