Jon Huntsman – Running in 2012


Sarah Lenti

Just last month, Jon Huntsman conceded his title as U.S. ambassador to China and resigned from the Obama Administration. Why? Because he is going to take a run at the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Makes complete sense, correct? Primary-voting Republicans (who are typically more representative of the extremist elements of the GOP) will absolutely embrace the idea of nominating an Obama appointee, who quickly embraced the appointment (like any good Republican would). Right? Right…

I ask myself, is this former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman – and now former U.S. Ambassador to China – insane? The answer, I believe, is yes. Jon Huntsman is counting on the fact that Republican voters either have memories that function in the scope of nano-seconds or that Republican voters will somehow become very forgiving and understanding of his decision to work for President Obama and then defect (at at time with the Republican presidential primary is heating up).

But sincerely, I say Huntsman is running. He’s been out there floating as a possible presidential nominee for five months now.  Finally, in April, Obama’s boy Huntsman made his flirtation even more real by ditching a rather decadent residence in Beijing. Yesterday, the 18th of May, Huntsman was commencing his five-day New Hampshire swing.


And, more importantly, Huntsman gets it. Huntsman already understands that despite the millions or billions that his family has in the bank, no serious candidate can self-fund. He himself told the Wall Street Jounal:

“If we were to get in the race – no self-financing,” Mr. Huntsman told reporters over the weekend in South Carolina. “Unless you can raise it legitimately, you’re not going to win.”

Back to the original question.  Is Jon Huntsman running for the Republican nomination? Yes.

Does it matter? No.

When will he annouce? Who knows.

Sarah Lenti is the blogger behind’s The Savvy. E-mail her at For full disclosure, Lenti is a Republican strategist who worked closely with potential GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s former PAC.

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