The Republican presidential candidate field widened slightly today as former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination with the Statue of Liberty as backdrop.
How Huntsman’s entry into the race will affect anything is anyone’s guess but let me take a stab at it. Huntsman is quite literally a clone of Mitt Romney, a clone but a relatively unknown one. He literally has all of the qualities of Romney including all of the liabilities Romney carries with Tea Baggers and the Evangelical Right.
Like Romney, Huntsman is a Mormon. Evangelicals will vote for Satan before voting for a Mormon.
Like Romney, Huntsman as governor signed into law a health insurance exchange in
, and even proposed an individual mandate in Utah a cornerstone of “Obamaneycare.” Utah
Like Romney, Huntsman has received broad praise from the Obama Administration. He has, on top of that, to explain to Tea Baggers and Evangelicals why he served 18 months in the Obama Administration as the Ambassador to
And like Romney, Huntsman will have to explain to the rightwing base that are also known as “persistent primary election voters” some of his more moderate stances like his support for Cap and Trade and Obama’s economic stimulus plan.
The only good thing is that Jon Huntsman is such an unknown, having been packed off to
for the past year and a half, that very few in the Republican base have any basis upon which to judge whether he deserves their vote. He can literally remake himself into any form and no one would be the wiser. China
Not so Mitt Romney.