Who is Jon Huntsman? Where is His Website?

Jon Huntsman PhotoWith an announcement Tuesday in New Jersey; the Statue of Liberty and the place Ronald Reagan launched his general election campaign in 1980; John Huntsman has officially entered the race to claim the Republican nomination and ultimately the title of next President of the United States.  Even still, many are asking “Who is John Huntsman?”

I suppose it’s only fair that we let the candidate describe himself before we begin our own analysis.  Oh wait, his campaign website launch is as much a mystery as the candidate behind it.  I really hope be kicked in the extra cash to buy both Jon Huntsman and John Huntsman for President, because if his staffers can’t spell his name right, I’m quite certain Googlers are going to have a field day with it…

I guess he floated a special screening of his site to media outlets.  My apologies, I wasn’t included.

CNN:

“For once we could have a president who actually knows the world.”

Those are the words that will greet visitors to the brand new campaign website of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who begins his White House bid Tuesday with a speech near the Statue of Liberty.

Never mind that President Barack Obama lived overseas as a youth and has made restoring America’s reputation in the world a central theme of his presidency.

Huntsman’s pitch, according to Jon2012.com, is that unlike his Republican foes, he possesses the unique combination of foreign policy acumen and executive experience to walk into the White House and lead from day one.

It’s time for America to “regain strength” and “own the 21st century,” Huntsman says in one of the site’s many web videos highlighting his foreign service under three presidents, most recently as President Obama’s ambassador to China.

But as Huntsman sees it, fixing the sluggish American economy is more pressing than any foreign pursuit.

“Our priority on the foreign policy side, before too much more time slips away, needs to be at home,” he explains in one web video. “It needs to be about getting our house in order. It needs to be about strengthening our core. Because the world knows that our core is weak. And as our core is weak, so goes our leverage and our ability to sit at the negotiating table.”

The website, previewed to CNN before it goes live following Huntsman’s speech, is sleek, modern and, according to campaign officials, very iPad-friendly. 

Awesome, right?  Nothing like making your website as douchebaggy as your mysterious candidacy…

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Nevertheless, here’s my take on the latest candidate to enter the Republican field…

I may be in the minority here, but I DO NOT hold his serving as Ambassador to China against him.  Frankly, I consider that a plus on a rather short list of pluses.  He was called to serve; and he answered.  As Republicans, we’re supposed to be the Party that respects the “Office” even when we do not respect the man with his name on the desk.  The fact that he served under the worst president in modern American history is a talking point; and nothing more.

The MSM is in love with this guy; and by “in love” I mean they’re in love with referring to him as the candidate the White House fears the most.  While that certainly makes me question his conservative credentials, it also makes me wonder how his candidacy is going to be covered going forward.  I think it’s probably safe to say that he’s going to close that name recognition gap rather quickly.  I suppose the real question is how quickly he can close the credibility gap among Republicans?

His position on “social issues” is nuanced; and that’s going to be a massive hurdle to overcome with primary voters.  While public opinion polls and a changing demographic may reflect a similar position on matters like same-sex marriage, Republican primaries are not typically the places most friendly to “evolving positions.”  He’s reportedly pro-life; but he’s said to be for civil unions.  I’d expect his position on the latter to be the focus of folks like Bachmann and Santorum if and when his candidacy picks up steam.

He returned from China with a presidential campaign waiting on him as if his actions were being followed like a military general who’d just won a great victory on foreign soil.  While I’m certain we will hear more about achievements made in China, this political enthusiast hasn’t the slightest clue at the outset what they could really be.  Last I checked, our position in relation to China has taken a turn for the worse in recent years and is anything but a resume-builder.

But on to the “fluffy” stuff…

He comes from “money” as his pops is a billionaire.  He’s a former two-term Governor of Utah.  He was Ambassador to China and speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.  He’s telegenic and he’s got charisma that the Pawlenty’s of the world could only dream of.  He’s a Mormon; and he has seven children (two adopted) and an attractive wife.  He’s a Republican; and he says he’s a conservative.

How much of that ↑ you care for, is really up to you.  I only throw it out there for the sake of putting it out there as all of it will be fodder for all sides to the political conversation.  I’d discount 95% of it, but I’m not every Republican voter.  Frankly, I’m pretty certain that paragraph will be all you hear about this guy for the rest of the summer.

I cannot wait for the next GOP debate.

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  9 comments for “Who is Jon Huntsman? Where is His Website?

  1. Bill H
    June 22, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I can see myself voting for Huntsman; Utah though is a state with a good work ethic and appears rather prosperous. If he can do the same for the whole country, it would be great. His pledge to keep it clean strikes a good note with me.

    • June 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Fair points Bill. A clean race in the primaries is certainly desirable, but anyone potentially going toe-to-toe with President Obama is going to have to be willing to take off the gloves. At some point he’s gonna get punched in the nose.

  2. Lorrie Luckinbill
    June 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    http://WWW.JON2012.COM If you are still looking for his website. :)

    • June 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Thankfully, I was able to find it eventually. But thank you sincerely for sharing it here so that others can have a quick link.

      • Lauren Cohen Wichman
        August 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

        THANKS T.Christopher for the link!

  3. John F. Weyhausen
    June 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

    The Obama team is praying that someone like John Huntsman gets the nod. They will eat him up and spit him out. The president already “threw him under the bus” yesterday. Please Mr. Huntsman, do the world a favor and withdraw. If you should get the nomination, you are assuring a second term for President Obama and the country as we know it can’t afford 4 more years.

    • Lorrie Luckinbill
      June 22, 2011 at 7:31 pm

      Interesting points. I believe that if he can get the Nomination he is the strongest candidate. The press hasn’t been hard on him and that is a plus. While the November elections may have been carried by the Tea Party movement I don’t believe that the Presidency will be decided by them alone. I think our current President is in because he was the darling of the media.

      I believe Jon, as he likes to be called, is the true “bipartisan” in the race and his desire is to create a sustaining legacy for future generations but not at the expense of this one. I agree with his stands on most issues.

      I hope he is like the Derby winner Donerail and nobody knows what hit em. I may call him Jon now but I want to call him Mr. President after 2012.

      • June 23, 2011 at 11:51 am

        I appreciate the comment Lorrie. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on candidate Huntsman. While I can’t say I share your excitement about his candidacy, I am very pleased that he has entered the race. The field needed a “moderate” to keep the conversation on issues that would have otherwise been taken as givens. Where your thoughts and mine part ways is with your optimism about the “media.” You’re right that “they” helped create and elect President Obama. That said, just because they’re not hammering Huntsman right now does not mean they won’t in a general election against the man they helped put in the White House. They won’t abandon their liberal agenda simply because Republicans nominate a “bipartisan.” Look at the McCain ’08 model if you need to see that at work. McCain was the MSM token Republican darling for years because of his willingness to reach across the aisle and his tendency to criticize fellow Republicans on their airwaves. And he lost. Any Republican candidate that bets the farm on being backed by the media is probably going to be looking for a new gig the day after the election. That said, I will continue to follow Huntsman as his campaign comes together. I don’t write anyone off with first impressions. I kid about “not knowing” him, but I have been following him for some time now. It will be interesting to see how Candidate Huntsman looks when he’s in full swing.

    • June 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

      I don’t see any path that leads to his getting the nomination, so I think you can probably sleep soundly knowing that he won’t be the reason President Obama gets another term. A few of the others currently cause me restlessness, but I’m confident cooler, right-leaning, heads will prevail.

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