Monday, January 16, 2012

And Then There Were Five

Sadly, Jon Huntsman ended his presidential campaign today. It's not like anyone didn't see this coming. But the person most qualified to be President of the United States on the GOP side barely made a blip on the radar in 2012.

Huntsman's general election chances were promising. He served as an ambassador to China under the Obama administration. He was a successful two-term Governor of Utah. He had been a successful entrepreneur.

But it was his moderate views that made him an unwanted commodity in an increasingly hardline Republican Party. He never stood a chance in the primary. Too often he was seen as another Mitt Romney, a moderate who recognized civil unions for gays and lesbians. He believes in evolution and he criticized the Tea Party Caucus for bringing the country to the brink of default on our debt.

If anything, his staffers were right - the only votes he was getting were ones that would have otherwise gone to Romney. Like Huntsman, Romney is seen as the moderate among the grassroots base of the party. While Huntsman has authentic claims to being pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment, his ties to the Obama Administration meant most Republicans took one quick look and knew right away they wouldn't like him, regardless of his intellect and experience.

Let us not forget the "Mormon" issue as well. Various polls show that Romney's faith would have been a liability among the evangelical voters, who comprise about 44% of the Republican vote. If it hurt Romney, it would have hurt Huntsman the same.

I guess we're one step closer to the Romney coronation.

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