Remember in a previous post through the week that I thought Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman should be the Republican nominee in 2012 for president?
In previous interviews, David Plouffe – campaign manager for Obama (which means when he says something, he is speaking for Obama as well) – said that Hunstman was the only potential 2012 possibility that had he and the campaign team worried. Read it here for some insight as to what the Obama campaign/administration is thinking.
I’d also like to take a moment to point out that the Obama campaign hasn’t stopped – not even since his victory. Emails for fundraisers, meetings, lobbying still arrive in my inbox weekly. And the way decisions and policies have been made have been set up to help the Democrats in 2010 and the reelection in 2012.
And nothing shows this off more than this latest piece of new: Jon Huntsman has been appointed ambassador to China. It won’t be called, by Republicans, as a campaign-based move and it won’t be seen in the public as one either. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, was formerly the US Deputy United States Trade Representative, was ambassador to Singapore, and also has an adopted daughter from China.
Combine this (his foreign experience) with his executive/political experience, his age (he is 49 at the moment) with his message about the Republican Party – that they need to change position on all their major policies: not stop same sex civil unions, adopt polices that stop climate change, move away from tax cuts only economics, etc. – and you can begin to see why the Obama team was worried about him.
So send him to China.
Putting him there completely neutralises him as a threat to Obama in 2012. He can’t campaign. He can’t really quit (at the service of the President). And he will be removed from the political landscape for long enough for some right-wing hardball that is a bad choice for the Republicans to claim the mantle and shift the party to the right some more.
Great political move for Obama. Great move to put another nail in the GOP’s coffin. Probably doesn’t eliminate Huntsman from a possible 2016 run – he could return some time, get a Senate seat of his governorship back, and fall into the mix of things again. But great politicking to watch over the weekend.