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Jon Huntsman Quits Ambassador Post; Is He Mulling Presidential Run?

3 years ago
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Jon M. Huntsman Jr. resigned as U.S. ambassador to China on Monday, a move that many think means he's likely to make a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

"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," reported Politico's Mike Allen.

"If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal," Allen wrote.

When President Obama appointed Huntsman to be his ambassador to China in May 2009, it looked like a smart move to show Obama's willingness to reach across party lines and, to the more cynical, a way to sideline a possible opponent in 2012.

But that second calculation, if it was in Obama's mind, may be proved wrong.

Talk about a Huntsman candidacy has been around for a while. A recent article in Newsweek, headlined "The Manchurian Candidate," quoted him as saying, "You know, I'm really focused on what we're doing in our current position. But we won't do this forever, and I think we may have one final run left in our bones."

The speculation reached enough of a peak that Obama was asked about it during a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Jan. 19. Obama quipped, "I'm sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary."

Along similar lines, new White House Chief of Staff William Daley joked at the exclusive Alfalfa Club dinner Saturday night, "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."

But the humorous responses of Obama and Daley to the prospect of a Huntsman candidacy may bear a grain of truth since Huntsman is mostly seen as a moderate who advocates a pragmatic approach to governing.

The conservative RightSphere.com blog said that "Huntsman is for most intents and purposes much more like the winner of the 2008 nomination, John McCain. Both are regarded as centrists, although for separate reasons and issues. Huntsman says himself the key to future conservative success is to move to the center on issues such as gay rights, the environment, and immigration."

Last week, the Florida Times-Union reported that political operative Susie Wiles, who worked for Republican Rick Scott in his successful run for governor of Florida, has signed on as executive director of a new political action committee stocked with McCain veterans sympathetic to a Huntsman candidacy.
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31 Comments

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scorpian777

I do believe we have a winner in our mist!! this guy gets my vote! Beats destroying the country!!

February 01 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drdave415

White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal," Allen wrote. Did Obama betray Hillary Clinton when he ran against her? The narcisism of this White house is unprecedented.

February 01 2011 at 9:45 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
lovato418

The GOP is desperato to find someone with apeal to beat Obama in 2012. They are upset of having a Harvard graduate, intellectual, sensitive and on top of that Nobel Peace Price winner that happens to be black. Suck it up republicans we are going to have Barack for 4 more years. YAY!!!

February 01 2011 at 9:30 AM Report abuse -14 rate up rate down Reply
lllcln

another rich republician who did nothing but outscource jobs to china and unemployed americans that has caused people not to be able to pay their mortgages,pay for health care and their futures this is not the type of people to run this country,we need people who represent the american people and give our people hope and a future for future generations and build the american dream.and stop tearing america down and making this a nation a third world country.

February 01 2011 at 8:56 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
TESS

Well what is the big surprise. It's just what they all do.. Democrat and Republican. Loyalty to country comes last. All The administration care about is gaining complete power. Nerve they have to be so upset. They have stabbed the Republicans in the back for years.

February 01 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
pmbalele

Jon Huntsman is dreaming the impossible for GOP presidential nomination. There is a sea of GOP aspirants for that spot. Further, looking at him he does not have that charisma and force of a president.

February 01 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kent05r

Obama quipped, "I'm sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary."

This statement tells of just how vain Obama is, everyone must work to his game plan, not there own. your idea's or anyone else's idea's are not releivent in this president Eyes. U.S. District Judge Rodger Vinson is my hopefull for 2012 GOP pick.

February 01 2011 at 8:04 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kent05r's comment
lawmutt55

It was sarcasm!

February 01 2011 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bnhopeful7

Some people, will find fault with anything this President says and does. So there is no credibility in your post.

February 01 2011 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
masterjtsbackxo

as long as you continue to put the same type of filthy rich illuminati mason elite in office you will continue to lose america / the constitution / republic . amazing how you so called college edjucated sheeples havnt figured their game out by now . absolutely amazing . its like living in a twilight zone episode. again i will say the people in office representing us should be peoples of our peers . not born and bred corrupt secret society scum . but you will figure it out one day maybe .

February 01 2011 at 6:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to masterjtsbackxo's comment
sharank251

obama isnt a mason. definitely not illuminati nor elite. he is college educated not a citizen. so arrogant he couldnt possibly be a sheepy. he was born corrupt and not a secret society scum. or is he? thats right we dont know where he was born and bred since he wont give us a look at his birth certificate. look what a progressive marxist/communist mess hes made.

February 01 2011 at 8:45 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
manofclas1

that is all that can be done since the poor has no voice.

February 01 2011 at 11:39 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Joannie

Born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth - Daddy is a BILLIONAIRE! Money to win the Presidency will be a non-issue. He cannot identify with the issues the common American deals with on a daily basis.

He's handsome, he's charismatic, he's rich... If he runs, chances are in his favor.

February 01 2011 at 6:55 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
spmazanek

To the libs, a centrist Republican is someone who believes in; open borders and citizenship for illegals, abortion on demand regardless of term, special rights not only for gays, for any minority, clasifying Americans by group, bigger government, any enviormental idea that destroys the oil industry and the manufacturing sector in general, and anything proposed by the Democrat agenda.

February 01 2011 at 6:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to spmazanek's comment
CATANIA

Well said. This guy will get the nod from the media, since he can't win but will look like the right choice.

February 01 2011 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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