Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who resigned earlier this year as President Obama’s ambassador to China, is the latest candidate to enter the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
As we learn from this video, Huntsman has a big photogenic family, likes to ride motorcycles in the desert, doesn’t like fancy restaurants and left high school early to tour with a rock band.
It appears Huntsman will be competing with Mitt Romney for the votes of non-insane Republicans in next year’s primaries. Like Romney, he dares to believe that human-caused global warming is not a hoax. He favors civil unions for gay people and even said that Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package was too small.
But the biggest obstacle for Huntsman will be his service in an administration that the Limbaugh–Bachmann–Palin wing of the party loathes, fears and despises in a way that goes far beyond mere political or philosophical differences. For them, this is crazy talk:
Huntsman said in his candidacy announcement Tuesday morning that he respects Obama and hopes to lead a civil opposing campaign.
“[Obama] and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love, but the question each of us wants voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American,” he said.
On the other hand Huntsman may appeal to economic conservatives with his support for a regressive flat tax and his effort to repeal Utah’s corporate income tax, as well as his endorsement of the Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system.