I don’t know a whole lot about Jon Huntsman. I mean, I know a few things, but not enough to reach critical mass for a judgment in my own mind.
But I know I’ll be watching him closely, now that he’s announced:
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Jon M. Huntsman Jr. officially launched his White House bid here Tuesday morning, setting up a campaign for the GOP nomination that, if successful, would lead to a matchup against his former boss.
“I’ve been a governor … I’ve been a businessman and a I’ve been a diplomat. I’m the husband of the love of my life … and the father of seven terrific kids,” Huntsman told a crowd of supporters at Liberty State Park, the Statue of Liberty rising just behind him. “I’m from the American West, where the view of America is limitless with lots of blue sky.”…
I look at it this way: Jon Huntsman has a reference that is almost as good as having the UnParty seal of approval — Barack Obama. The president hired him for a job of considerable responsibility, ambassador to China. You know, that big place across the water that owns all that U.S. debt. The place where all that stuff at Walmart comes from.
So if Obama thought enough of him to hire him, and now he’s turned in his notice in order to run against Obama — well, that’s a guy who might have something to say worth listening to. He might be a credible, informed critic.
So I’m going to listen.
Speaking of listening, I listened in to a conference call Dick Harpootlian had today with media types to talk about Huntsman, after which he put out this release:
Harpootlian welcomes “ambassador, governor, Democrat, Republican Jon Huntsman to South Carolina”
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootilan held a conference call today to welcome Jon Huntsman to South Carolina.
While Huntsman travels to our state to kick off his Presidential campaign Harpootlian welcomes him by saying, “we always welcome Obama administration officials in South Carolina.” Harpootlian called Huntsman a political “schizophrenic” who’s “very similar to Mitt Romney” in his flip-flopping on key issues such as the Recovery Act.
“Between Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, we have, actually, four candidates rather than two,” said Harpootlian.
That’s pretty much what he said to us on the phone. Afterwards, I asked him whether he was more worried about Huntsman than he was the other Republicans. He said he wasn’t. But I think he should be.
Yeah, Huntsman has a challenge before him getting the nomination with his party momentarily in the thrall of the Tea Party. But from what little I’ve seen so far, he seems like he could have a better chance in the general if he could get that far.
But as I say, that’s how it looks so far. I’ll keep watching.