Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. formally launched his campaign for the White House with a promise of civility in his “high-road” quest for the presidency. Mr. Huntsman, who only weeks ago was President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China, did not run from the distinction of having served the man he seeks to replace in the White House Instead, he framed his candidacy as a throwback to a time when political discourse was less coarse and more policy driven, implicitly slapping at some conservatives who have challenged the legitimacy or patriotism of Mr. Obama.
As every conservative candidate knows, one must paint President Barack HUSEIN Obama as un-American, socialist, communist or muslim, and use the requisite comparisons to Hitler and or the anti-Christ. Since Jon Huntsman isn’t doing any of those things, I assume he must be using the pre-Karl Rove Republican campaign playbook. Stylistically at least, he certainly stands out among other republican presidential candidates. In advertising, positioning yourself as unique among other brands is referred to as “point of difference.” This is a difference I for one welcome. With hate and fear mongering being staples in the contemporary conservative setlist, can a reasonable candidate focused on the issues survive the primaries? By trying to win the Republican primary as a “civil conservative candidate” is Jon Huntsman an oxymoron or just a moron? I’m sorry, that wasn’t very civil of me.
Spewing hate and fear and focusing on social issues is what one does when they don’t have any big ideas going forward and their own record is not something that will win the election. The fact that Mr. Huntsman is not relying on that strategy and has served presidents from both parties, makes him more appealing to me and I assume Independents in general. I may find out that I won’t like his positions anymore than I do the rest of the field, but I am more willing to consider them. I don’t know if he’s smart to run this kind of campaign, but I think registered republicans who don’t want Obama to win would be smart to vote for Huntsman in the primary.