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June 21, 2011

Why is Obama Afraid of Huntsman?

  2:29 pm

President Obama has refrained from taking shots at any of the Republican candidates as they entered the Presidential race. The only exception has been John Huntsman. Team Obama wasted no time attacking Huntsman’s economic plan. They also sent Dick Harpootlian, the South Carolina Democratic Party chair and a long-time insider Democrat flack, to mock Huntsman as a “former Obama administration official”. This should remind us all of a striking fact: the Obama administration’s appointment of Huntsman as ambassador to China was done with the express purpose of ensuring Huntsman couldn’t run for President in 2012.

So, why is Team Obama so afraid of John Huntsman? Granted, he has a star-studded resume, was considered a pretty good governor, and would bring instant foreign policy gravitas to a race against Obama. On the other hand, Huntsman is at around 1 percent in the polls, and is widely viewed as too moderate to win a Republican nomination in the tea party era. But all this fear from team Obama should lead us to give Huntsman a second look. In general, the things you’re opponent fears from you are things you want to at least seriously consider doing.
It’s also the only path Huntsman has to victory. The Huntsman campaign needs to take the “Obama is afraid of me” angle, and run with it hard. This is the only thing that can mitigate Huntsman’s previous service in the Obama administration (aside from a scathing insider indictment of the way Obama runs his administration, which seems unlikely given Huntsman’s “Mr. nice guy” approach). In actual fact, there isn’t a whole lot that Huntsman did as Ambassador to China which can be seen as overtly pro-administration, or partisan, and unlike a cabinet post, an ambassadorship to one of the most powerful countries in the world is hardly something one can turn down; the ambassador, after all, represents the country, not the President.

The details, however, will easily get lost, as competitors do everything they can to tie Huntsman to Obama. However, Huntsman can argue that Obama has been afraid of him since January 2009; that’s not something many other potential candidates can claim. And if it doesn’t put Huntsman’s name at the top of our list, it ought to at least make us start asking ourselves why Obama fears him so much?


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27 Responses to “Why is Obama Afraid of Huntsman?”

  1. Massachusetts Conservative

    Their motives could be reverse-psychology or not. We don’t know.

    How about we judge the electability of candidates based on our own assumptions? I mean, Obama’s judgment has proven faulty so far by most people.

    I know Huntsman cannot beat Obama for a myriad of reasons.

  2. A.J. Nolte

    Mass con: His policy judgment and governing is pretty bad, I’ll agree. But, give the devil his due, Obama and his guys know how to play politics. Anything that scares them, at a minimum, mildly intrigues me.

  3. Try Not To Snore When I Talk zzzpaw

    Obama shouldn’t be afraid of Huntsman. He can’t even spell his name correctly!


  4. independentthinker

    Obama isn’t afraid of Huntsman. I think we will see in the coming weeks that Huntsman’s campaign will never get off the ground. He isn’t very charismatic, and he panders to the left. I don’t even know what he is doing in this elections. I think he could have been of a lot more service to his country if he would have stayed in China. I’m not impressed by him.

  5. independentthinker

    Perry and Romney are the people Obama is really afraid of.

  6. Ben (One of those MittWitts)

    Obama and his ilk haven’t attacked Romney? Really? You are going to stick with that concept?

    How about the nation wide birthday parties by the dem party and Obama camps re: MassCare? How about the ad (even as weak as it was) that went out specifically attacking Mitt in S. Carolina?

    Don’t try to make more of a story out of Huntsman than is justified. I’m sure they will attack anybody they deem as a potential opponent.

  7. georgie

    yeah no kidding..as far as I’m concerned…Romney is the one Obama has attacked! All that “Mass Care was a template for obamacare” stuff.

    I don’t know that I buy all this talk that the Obama administration brought in Huntsman to keep him from running in 2012. Not many politicians speak CHINESE…and besides that…it didn’t work! You’d think they’d be smarter than employing a strategy that didn’t work.

  8. Jack Bauer’s Dad

    Huntsman excites me about as much as McCain did.

    I’d vote for him in the general, but that’s not saying much, since I’d vote for CoCo the signing gorilla if that was the Obama alternative.

  9. Try Not To Snore When I Talk zzzpaw

    Is CoCo the gorilla deaf? Just asking.

  10. nowandlater

    It works both ways. Huntsman will struggle to get the GOP nomination because he work for Obama. But But, Huntsman is immune against the standard line of attack that the GOP nominee is a racist because Obama nominated. 🙂

  11. asparagus

    Reid says he prefers Huntsman over Romney. Shows you who they are afraid of. Its not Huntsman.

  12. Liz

    I’m afraid of Huntsman…..hurting himself. Do any conservatives support him or is it only the Obama Administration?

  13. Jack Bauer’s Dad

    #9: Don’t think so. Just smart I guess

  14. Dr J

    Obama may be afraid of Huntsman but so are 99% of Republicans.

  15. Noelle

    I doubt the Obama administration fears Huntsman. The media has tried to convince everybody that he’s a top tier candidate, but he polls around 1%. I think the Obama administration and the media are trying to use Huntsman as a way to weaken Romney. I doubt it will work.

  16. LV

    …I don’t think TeamObama is afraid of Huntsman so much as I think they’re trying to pump Huntsman up in an effort to put a wedge between him and Romney in order to split their votes up.

  17. LV

    Noelle #15

    Sorry, I read your comment after I sent my reply…We must be thinking the same thing.

  18. LV

    Since when has Rush and Levine been in the business of trying picking our Nominees?

    Don’t they at least stay out of it until the field is set.

  19. Riccardo

    Obama has taken shots at Romney already. The premise of this post is false. They don’t fear him, they love that he could damage Romney in a primary scenario.

  20. petunia

    Obama successfully damaged Huntsman. No matter how conservatively Huntsman governed,he served under this administration and complimented the President. If Obama was afraid of Huntsman, he isn’t now.

    I am disappointed that Huntsman isn’t telling us where Obama’s secret weaknesses are. I really thought he had a beef with Obama and would love to tell us how awful Obama has been for allies and enemies alike. But no Huntsman is too nice.

    That makes it all anti-climatic.

  21. Jaxemer11

    So is Huntsman at the top of your list currently A.J.?

  22. Jaxemer11

    Huntsman is a lot less charismatic than I remember him being:


  23. The “king” has no Rings

    They’re not afraid of Huntsman; rather, Obama is pissed at Huntsman for making him look bad so he’s attacking him. This is purely personal as Obama can’t believe anyone would possible treat him like this.

  24. AJNolte

    My point wasn’t that Romney hasn’t been attacked by Obama, or that Obama isn’t afraid of Romney. He is. My point was that Huntsman–unlike all the other candidates–was specifically singled out for an Obama attack on launch day. Of course Obama is concerned about/afraid of Romney. Romney is the front-runner. It makes sense. But why wouldn’t Obama be more concerned about/afraid of Perry and Pawlenty than Huntsman? That’s the interesting question in my mind.
    22: I’d say he’s probably third right now, but Pawlenty, Romney and Huntsman are all pretty close for me right now. I’m going to be reviewing Romney’s book shortly, and I expect Romney fans will like what I have to say.

  25. Barney

    Bah ha ha ha ha….Bah ha ha ha ha

    Ohhh…Funny stuff! Ha ha ha… Did you see that heading?

  26. AJNolte

    22: I’d like to put Herman Cain in my top 3, but his foreign policy leaves a lot to be desired, so Huntsman is ahead of him.

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