The Further Adventures of Jon Huntsman, Super-Surrogate

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 23 2012 3:39 PM

The Further Adventures of Jon Huntsman, Super-Surrogate

Zeke Miller attended a Jon Huntsman-Jeff Greenfield klatsch at the 92nd Street why, and... well, we almost don't have to continue, do we? Huntsman had come to secular liberalism's answer to the Saddleback Church, and he was going to talk politics. The surprise is that he only went this far when talking about the small-mindedness of the GOP that chose not to nominate him.

My first thought was — this is what they do in China on party matters, they punish you, if you say something off script. But not here. You know, we should be having an open, wide-ranging discussion of what works and what doesn't for the sake of the United States.
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Miller's completely reasonable lede: "Former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman took a battle axe to his own party, comparing it to China's Communist Party." And he did! Huntsman, continuing the junket, took to Morning Joe to... criticize "these blogs out there -- Bottom Feeder, BuzzSaw, BuzzFeed, whatever they are" for asserting that he'd actually said what he said.

But the Morning Joe segment went even further? Huntsman claimed that the country needed "a reform kind of election, like 1912." That was the election that featured Teddy Roosevelt (pretty unfairly denied the GOP nomination) running as the Progressive candidate and helping elect Woodrow Wilson. He'd endorsed Mitt Romney -- was Romney up to the task of balming our broken politics? "Oh, I think he has every ability to rise up to the occasion." It was the second consecutive Morning Joe appearance where Huntsman, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, mused about a world where some better maverick candidate -- ahem, ahem, cough -- could swoop in and save the country.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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