Feature

Gov. Jon Huntsman and Obama

Why Obama asked Utah’s Republican governor to be his China ambassador, and why Huntsman accepted

President Obama named Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) as his ambassador to China, said Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic, which “can only be called a genius move” by Obama, and a “terrible blow to the GOP.” A “pro-civil union Mormon who gets the problem of climate change,” Huntsman is “the un-Cheney.” So, in one stroke, Obama has "co-opted” one of the GOP’s rising moderates and rid himself of a potential political rival.

I’m not sure that “Obama co-opted Huntsman,” said Dennis Sanders in The Moderate Voice. It’s just as likely that Huntsman saw no viable path to national office as a Republican, with the “Limbaugh wing of the party” calling the shots. Huntsman probably decided that “dealing with the Chinese is far easier than dealing with Sean Hannity.”

It’s also possible that Huntsman is “waiting until 2016” for a run at the presidency, said Reihan Salam in Forbes.com, calculating that the GOP “tea-partyism will die down” by then. Burnishing his foreign policy credentials in a job once held by former president George H.W. Bush can’t hurt his chances with his foreign policy–centric party, either.

Actually, China was “the one offer he couldn’t refuse,” said Rebecca Walsh in The Salt Lake Tribune. Huntsman—who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, has an adopted Chinese daughter, and is respected and admired by the Chinese—clearly “left his heart in China.” So yes, Obama disarms a 2012 competitor, but “Huntsman will be returning home.”

Recommended

Peru's new president sworn in after country's ex-leader is impeached and arrested
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte.
political chaos

Peru's new president sworn in after country's ex-leader is impeached and arrested

Peru's president moves to dissolve Congress
Pedro Castillo.
uhhhhh

Peru's president moves to dissolve Congress

Nigerian military has run forced abortion program for years, report says
A soldier seen on the background of the Nigerian flag.
A Dark History in Africa

Nigerian military has run forced abortion program for years, report says

3 wild details of the plot to overthrow the German government
German police.
power grab

3 wild details of the plot to overthrow the German government

Most Popular

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes
Drone strike inside Russia
Fear Factor

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes

The 1st 3 weeks of Trump's presidential campaign have been brutal
Donald Trump
Maybe it's a sign?

The 1st 3 weeks of Trump's presidential campaign have been brutal

Jan. 6 Congressional Gold Medal recipients snub GOP officials
Gladys Sicknick, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy
...

Jan. 6 Congressional Gold Medal recipients snub GOP officials