Monday, May 18, 2009

Ambassador Huntsman (again)

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has just accepted President Obama's nomination to be Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. This is an obvious choice for Huntsman. Here's his alternative:
  • Govern Utah during a recession (never good, given that he'll have to cut something or raise taxes or both)
  • Run for President in 2012, likely against another Mormon (Romney), who was governor of a more populous state (Massachusetts vs. Utah), during a boom (vs. a recession), who was a more successful business man (founder of Bain Capital vs. major player in family company), whose other public accomplishments are better regarded by the general population (head of the 2002 Olympics vs. Ambassador to Singapore and Deputy Trade Rep)
  • Even if he wins, he'd have to take on a likely very popular president Obama
Instead, Huntsman gets:
  • To not govern during the rest of this recession
  • To sit out the 2012 primary and general elections
  • To improve his foreign policy credentials, though one of the most important diplomatic posts in the world
Finally, the President gets to remove a moderate voice from the GOP conversation, increasing the possibility that the party will tilt more to the right, nominate a conservative member in 2012, and give him a landslide victory.