Dark horse, schmark horse. 2012 now likely seems out for the now former-Utah governor. Consider me as surprised as everyone else by the move from Beehive state governor to ambassador to China. Reactions have run the gamut from...
good for Charlie Crist to...
if you can't beat Obama, join him and from...
Huntsman in 2016 to...
Huntsman in 2016 (James, posting over at RedState, is a former student of mine, so I have to get that link in there.).
Here's the thing on Huntsman: This is a shrewd political move.
- It augments his executive experience and enhances his foreign policy credentials (He has already served as ambassador to Singapore in the Bush 41 administration and took an LDS mission trip to Taiwan.).
- By working with Obama, it shows Huntsman's capacity to operate in a bipartisan way.
- He avoids the two Mormons is better than one problem, he would have faced if he and Mitt Romney were to enter the fray in 2011 or so. Michael Steele seems to think this is an issue.
- And finally, and this can't be understated, it allows the soul-searching within the Republican Party to more fully develop. More negatively, that soul-searching could be spun as infighting, but I'll stick with the more positive angle. 2012 may yet be a good year for the GOP, but through the current lens that is difficult to see. 2016, an open seat and chance for Obama/Democratic Party fatigue looks a lot better electorally.
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