Days of Change

Day 1161 – Huntsman Hawk

January 9, 2012
1 Comment

True to form, Mitt Romney has needlessly attacked an opponent gaining in the polls. Romney went after Jon Huntsman for serving as Ambassador to China under President Obama as an act that worked against Republican interests. Romney surrogate Chris Christie piled on by suggesting Huntsman was disloyal to Obama by leaving that post to run for president.

This was not a great idea. First, you don’t shoot down. Romney is beating Huntsman in the polls about 3:1 (or 4:1) anyway. Calling his government position into question gave Huntsman the line of the night, when he said he serves the country and people like Romney are the problem. Christie also did poorly. His attempted applause line where he empathized with Obama over Huntsman’s leaving drew no applause at all.

Now Jon Huntsman gets his turn at bat. He’s the last of the not Romney candidates to be raised to the level of a real challenge. When Huntsman loses significantly in New Hampshire, Romney will likely run away with it. Gingrich will stay in for spite and Perry may have enough money for a while, but it will be over.

I think this is bad news for the White House. Ideally, they wanted Romney against someone like Sarah Palin, who would pull most of the not Romney support and put up a fight at least until Super Tuesday. They’re hoping for 2004, where a flip-flopper was picked early in the primaries and lost against an incumbent. I think it’s more like 2008, where the incumbent was the issue.


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