Kilgore On Hunstman's Chances In A Tea Party-Influenced Republican Presidential Primary With Romney The New Republic
At least on one level, the Huntsman boomlet isn’t terribly surprising. He was, after all, considered a big future GOP star and possible 2012 candidate just before he accepted the role in Beijing, and, in fact, his appointment was interpreted by many at the time as a shrewd White House maneuver to sideline a potentially dangerous rival. He is heir to a huge fortune, is telegenic and unquestionably intelligent, and, in addition to having been a very popular governor, has the kind of resumé heavy in foreign policy that many D.C. insiders find most impressive in a potential POTUS.
But Huntsman has one big problem: his prescription, before the 2010 mid-terms, that the solution to the Republican Party’s political woes was to move to the center. This idea generated great publicity back in 2009, during earlier talk of a Huntsman candidacy. But it ended up being more or less 180 degrees away from the direction the GOP chose in the mid-terms, which pushed the party far to the right. Now, as he again gears up for 2012, Hunstman’s move-center strategy could come back to bite him.