September 16, 2011

AND THAT’S PRETTY MUCH HIS PROBLEM IN A NUTSHELL: Jon Huntsman gets the Vogue treatment.

And why is he, with his minuscule poll standing, in all the debates while Gary Johnson and Thaddeus McCotter are passed over?

UPDATE: Reader Kevin O’Brien writes from New Hampshire:

One of the great benefts of living in NH s having the quadrennial presidential circus sweep through. (And one of the miseravle ordeals of living in NH is the quadrennial… you get the idea. Idi et Amo as Catullus said). You can actually meet and interact with candidates if you’re so inclined. Most of them are interesting and personable people. Recently my brother and I attended an event where Thad McCotter spoke. In personal interaction as well as in his speech, a very impressive man. He has a wry sense of humour and is very likeable even among these people who tend to be more personable than average (if you’re a misanthrope, politics would weed you out, yes?)

My bro and I are bleah on social issues, strong on the economy and strong on national security (I’m retired from Army/reserve/guard, 30 years total). We think we’re fairly typical NH Republicans. Many candidates had horrible defense policies, and Huntsman stood out as lacking in Vitamin Clue. (This is the problem I have with the more libertarian candidates like Paul and Johnson).

Huntsman did not attend the event (the foks that did were all second- and third-strng candidates (Fred Karger? Buddy Roemer? Christopher V. Hill?) but had a very large team. THey were wearing very striking, artistically designed t-shirts featuring a huge “H”. Best t-shirts, worst policies. A Hollywood campaign.

A who’s who of NH politics was here and a high point for me was meeting John Sununu. Sununu gave the briefest and best speech, which in essence was: we need to unite behind the nominee, because any of them is an improvement over the incumbent. We’re calling it the Sununu rule. and that’s pretty much how I feel. There’s a lot of talent in this race and even some who have little shot at the Oval Office, like Newt, Bachmann and McCotter, bring real strengths to the race and you hope whoever is #XLV can find ways to use their gifts. Huntsman may be the exception to the Sununu Rule: I don’t see what he’s got over Obama. Why elect Mini-Me when you can have Dr Evil himself?

I can live with Perry even though he’s prone to hipshots and dreadful on immigration. I can live with Mitt even though he’s worse on guns than Perry is on immigration (and Mitt’s not real great on immigration, either). These imperfections in our probable standard-bearers just serve to remind us how important the down-ticket races are, also. We need a President with mostly good instincts, and we need a Congress that will frustrate him in his bad instincts. (It seems like everyone but anyone in Washington knows that our immigration system is too open to unskilled and criminal line jumpers, and too harsh on productive immigrants, for example. And note where legislative innovation in the gun arena takes place, in the labs of the states — we just passed stand-your-ground reform, after an egregious case two years ago, over the petulant veto of our lib dem Governor).

Indeed. And I love “best t-shirts, worst policies.”

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