Tag Archives: jon huntsman

Why I like Jon Huntsman

I am a liberal Democrat and always have been.  I want President Obama to win re-election.  So why on earth am I pulling for Jon Huntsman to win today in New Hampshire?  He has the best chance of beating the president.  And yet, here I am, hoping he pulls it out.  Intellectually, it makes so sense.

Even if Huntsman didn’t have the best chance of beating the president, I shouldn’t like him. He is really a conservative guy — ‘pro-life,’ supports the horrible Paul Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare, is all about the Second Amendment, you know, my type of person.  So what the hell am I thinking?

Running for president is serious business.  It’s a serious job.  I write political satire so the whole circus that has been the GOP presidential nomination process has been like a gift from God.  Come on, I was all about the Cain Train.  But as a citizen, the idea of a President Cain, Santorum, Gingrich or Bachmann scares the crap out of me. Whenever I want to bring up Ronald Reagan as a positive an angel loses its wings but one thing he had in his arsenal when negotiating with the Soviets was intelligence. (Oh, and hell just froze over a little bit.)  Can you imagine a Herman Cain in that kind of situation?  No?  That’s because we all probably wouldn’t be here now to think about it.

When did we go from picking the best candidate to picking the least insane?

That is why I like Jon Huntsman.  I like that he is sane and reasonable.  I like that Pew called Utah the best run state in the country when he was governor.  And to me, it is a plus that he served in the Obama administration.  What happened to politics ending at the coasts?  When I travel overseas, I am am American first and a Democrat second.  That is what I like about Jon Huntsman.

The inexplicable Donald Trump

…or “Then they were down to two.”

Even Larry King was intrigued by the Donald's do.

First Newt Gingrich sais he would happily participate in the debate Donald Trump is hosting with NewsMax on December 27. Then the Donald did a round of interviews proclaiming himself the ultimate king-maker and representative of millions (Millions! Check his web sites if you don’t believe him!Note to Mr. Trump, oer your standards the cast of Jersey Shore is qualified to pick the nominee for a major party for the most important job in the country.) before things began to unravel. Rick Santorum agreed to take part but then, one by one, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and the also inexplicable Michele Bachmann declined the invite. Reince Priebus, perhaps the first adult to emerge in a while, said that his support of this train wreck would amount to “malpractice” on his part. Well put, sir.

And for the record, Jon Huntsman was the first to decline and for someone with as much experience dealing with criticism and being in the public eye, the Donald has an amazingly thin skin. Trump called Huntsman’s comments that he “will not kiss his ring or any part of his anatomy” “offensive.” Yeah, Donald, your circus is offensive. That you are still harping on President Obama’s birth certificate — after you said you would drop it once you saw the ‘long form’ version — is offensive. What’s really shameful (and I am part of the problem here but watching him crash and burn twice is truly delicious) is the attention you continue to get and the fact that you are using the job interview to be leader of the free world just another way to get publicity for your reality show. Even the Situation has more class (not much).

All of this leaves me a little perplexed.  Why do we care what the Donald thinks about anything?  We know he likes himself a lot.  A lot more than anyone should.  His official bio describes him this way:

“Donald J. Trump has become the most recognized businessman in the world, and the Trump brand is readily acknowledged as representing the gold standard around the globe. As the pre-eminent developer of quality real estate, his acumen is unrivaled, and the diversity of his interests has set a new paradigm in the world of business. His commitment to excellence is legendary, and his work as a philanthropist is an integral part of his ethos. He is the archetypal businessman, and an icon of New York.”  You can read more of this brilliant rewriting of history here.

I don’t dislike the Donald but when I was growing up in NY, his life was a sideshow for the bulk of the time I was there.  First of all, he didn’t start his business, he inherited a successful one from his family.  He has a remarkable talent for self-aggrandizement but inflates his net worth an downplays his failures (to his credit, a Trump bankrupcy looks very different from most other people’s).  He is great at self-promotion but does that make him qualified to do anything but promote his reality show?

 

The Cain Train goes off the rails

Herman Cain, we hardly knew yeI predict by the end of the week we will see a statement like this from the Cain Train:

“As you know, from my repeated and vociferous denials of every doing anything wrong, inappropriate or even less than brilliant — at any point, ever — that my candidacy for president has rattled some people.  They remain desperately afraid of a black, businessman moving into the White House.  They know I can win, and neither the Democratic machine, nor some of the other GOP campaign, can let that happen.  

“Both my wife, Gloria, and I remain convinced that Herman Cain is exactly what the doctor ordered to lead this great country at this time in history.  While the persistent rumors and allegations about me don’t bother me at all, as I know they are not true, the toll they are taking on my wife is another story.  I don’t want to give in to these fear mongerers and mud slingers but after meeting with the joint chiefs of my campaign, we determined these attacks will keep coming so I am ending my current campaign for the GOP nomination.

“Herman Cain will be back.  Maybe as soon as next year — I will base my decision to run as an Independent on whether I can get Donald Trump to run with me.  If that doesn’t work out, he is unpredictable and not nearly the handsome rascal Rick Perry is — or that I am — this is not the last presidential run for the Cain Train.

“Thank you for your support, God bless you, God bless America and God bless Godfather’s Pizza.”

Who would Reagan endorse?

Every Republican candidate has referenced President Reagan at some point.  All want to be seen as being the most like their icon.  After watching most of the debates, as you know, there have been many.  If Reagan were here today, he would endorse (drum roll, please): Jon Huntsman.

While his level headed and non-rabid demeanor has made many paint him as a liberal, he is not.  He is pro-life.  He has a 100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He worked for President Obama, sure, but he has also worked for Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  He served two terms as governor of Utah. Those are not liberal bonafides.  You don’t have to take my word for it — and I am a liberal so you shouldn’t (it’s all about perspective, you know).  But Haley Barbour knows a thing or two about politics and conservatives and has said this:

Jon Huntsman and I served together, and while we don’t agree on some issues, there’s no question that he’s a conservative. He’s way to the right of Barack Obama for goodness sake. But yeah, I consider Jon a conservative. As I said, we have some issues that I think are important that we have different views on. But he was in the Reagan administration, elected governor of a very conservative state — elected and re-elected by the way. So if you’re asking me if Jon Huntsman is qualified to the Republican nominee for President of the United States, the answer is, of course he is.”  View it here.

Plus, Huntsman did a good job.  Taxes went down.  Job creation went up.  The Pew Center on the States found that Utah was the “best managed states” under his tenior.

And Huntsman has solid foreign policy experience and knowledge.  We live in an increasingly interconnected world.  We need someone at the help who will not need to rely on advisors in high level meetings with foreign leaders — they will not be in the room.

President Ronald Reagan — and I can assure you waxing nostalgic for him is something I never thought I would do — would look at the current crop of GOP candidates and pick Jon Huntsman because he is a competent, pragmatic, intelligent and thoughtful person.  He has been consistently conservative.  To my friends on the right, being rabidly anti-Obama doesn’t make you conservative, it makes you rabidly anti-Obama.  There are plenty of lefties who are upset with him, too.

But what about the fact that Huntsman worked for President Obama?  Reagan started off as a Democrat but more than that, he saw the value in working with the other side of the aisle.  Tip O’Neil never would have given a press conference saying that “Democrats and Republicans are drom different planets.”  Never. Would. Have. Happened.

As for the rest?  Mitt Romney would be a second choice, if we could figure out WHICH Mitt Romney would be headed to the White House.  After that, I almost thing Reagan would stay home rather than vote for someone proud of their ignorance.  Yes, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry — I am talking to you.  Newt Gingrich?  Believes his own PR too much and will self-destruct — we want a winner here, people.  Ron Paul & Rich Santorum, right, like that’s gonna happen.

I want President Obama win reelection but having Jon Huntsman as his rival — as scary as that might be for Democrats as he has the best chance of any of them to win the general, it would move our conversation to a better, more productive place.

Every four years, we have the opportunity to look at our government and decide how we want to govern ourselves, who we want to be as a people and what we can do — together — to solve our problems.  We have serious issues that deserve more of our attention that birth certificates or fighting over who knows less about what.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Kind of ironic bok title, huh?

Kind of ironic book title, huh?

Herman Cain, aka the pizza magnate and current flavor of the month in the GOP POTUS candidate, has made some interesting choices and statements. He seems to think running for president and selling books are not mutually exclusive activities.

To give him his due, the Cain campaign has bought a lot of his books so he is definitely selling a ton while running for president. And Governor Sarah Palin would tell you her VP run and the speculation about her possible 2012 run did not hurt her book sales but just because you can do something, does not mean you should.

This is not an anti-capitalist view I am trying to promote. Sell as many books as want but it seems a little unseemly to use a presidential run to do it. Any presidential campaign is really a multi-month (or year) job interview for the most (or one of) important jobs in the country. Nothing a candidate does will really prepare anyone to be president (and it’s not supposed to, you should be qualified to run before you make that decision) but it does give the nation a chance to get to know the would be candidates. This is not a time to bring anything but your A game. When you think about that, is this really the time to split your energy between running and doing anything else?

Running for president is hard. Not has hard as being the leader of the free world but it is hard. That’s why I criticized Cenk Uygar when he said that Mike Huckabee was “too fat and happy” to run. I have a lot of respect for people who admit that it takes a lot of time and energy to run and there are no guarantees. Good for you, Governor.

Governor Rick Perry has learned how much harder it is to run for national office (I believe he thought that his track record in Texas would prepare him better for the presidential race) than any state-wide. That’s one of the reasons he has said he may not take part in upcoming debates (not that his underwhelming performances have had any role, seriously, if you cannot stay awake past 8:00 pm, how can you be president?).

Congresswomen Michele Bachmann has learned this, too. Maybe that’s why her New Hampshire staff all quit in a huff. Maybe she thought she could make up facts as she goes along in this campaign the way she does every other time she opens her mouth but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as she thought.

So we come back to the current front-runner (in national polls, though, not the state polls, where it matters more), Herman Cain. It is worth noting that the title of this post could also refer to Godfather’s pizza. With all due respect to Chicago deep dish pizza lovers, you can theoretically make pizza outside of New York, but why would you?

Full disclosure, which is pretty obvious to anyone who has met me or read what I write, I am a liberal Democrat and have every intention of voting for President Obama. Having said that, I think having two robust parties and a vigorous discussion about where we want the country to go, is in everyone’s best interest. I was really impressed when Governor Chris Christie said that he believes in “small government, lower taxes and less regulation,” not because I agree with ANY of that, in fact I do NOT, but that’s where our conversation should be.

Herman Cain is not advancing our political discourse at all. His economic plan (the “9/9/9” or “9/0/9”) would be disastrous. His ignorance of foreign policy is scary. It is his lack of interest in running for office, while he runs, that bothers me the most. With little or no campaign infrastructure, few details on his policy proposals and a general laissez-faire attitude towards the process, I am left with the thought that if he doesn’t care about his campaign, why should anyone?