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Friday, October 28, 2011

Jon Huntsman Is the Man

Let the wise man guard his mind, incomprehensible, subtle, and capricious though it is. Blessed is the guarded mind (Buddha)

Huntsman is still the guy for me, even though he doesn't shine in the polls. Unlike Perry, he speaks his mind easily and guardedly. Unlike Perry, he doesn't stumble, hesitate, mumble, equivocate, backtrack, or confuse. His message is concise and clear. Yes, he was ambassador under Obama, so what! That gives him a clear advantage when it comes to dealing with China, and China is the main adversary and partner at this time. None of the other candidate has the presence, the charm, and the easy going manner that makes him a perfect candidate for the White House.

Yes, he is a Mormon and yes, he was born rich, two qualities or two handicaps, depending on whether you are a sophisticated human being or a simple-minded citizen. Did we all become Catholics under John F. Kennedy, another rich guy who faced religious bigotry? Jon is a polished diplomat; he worked for Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, and was the governor of (gasp) Utah, where he obtained a lot of support from Independents and Democrats in the last election (2008). Is there another qualified candidate on the Republican side, more qualified than Huntsman?

Some of his opponents accuse him of being a moderate Republican; I say, bring it on! Do you want somebody who get things done in a bipartisan way? Or do you want an ineffective President, such as Obama in the last year, who hits his head against an unbreakable political wall? Since when is being moderate a political sin? Do we really want an extreme right or left in the White House and, for that matter, in Congress?

Jon Huntsman has a few black areas in his past; for example, he dropped out of high school to try and become a rock star. His signature is almost illegible in a cursive way, though there is a big loop at the beginning that could indicate excessive ambition. But the package as a whole is very pleasant and very convincing. I still believe that despite his low poll numbers he has a chance to be the chosen candidate after Romney and Perry self-destruct through their infighting.

His major obstacles are both the low name recognition and the lack of so-called "purity" in the Republican ideology. The first can be fixed easily and he is doing it through an active campaign in the key states. The second is so subjective that no speech or baby-kissing will remediate. Purity of thought was first approached by George Orwell in his famous novel 1984. Big Brother was watching what you said, what you read, and even what you dreamed about. Another famous era of purity occurred with the Soviets under Stalin; any criticism of the government sent you to the frozen tundra for the rest of your life. Those extreme-right Republicans who expect purity in their candidates would do well to study History again.

It's a shame that only registered Republicans will select (elect) their presidential candidate. If independents had a voice in that vote, Huntsman would win by a landslide. Alas, it is not to be and President Obama's team is watching and smiling, thinking that Jon Huntsman does not have a chance. He is the only candidate they really fear!

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