Huntsman in 2016

I’ve been reading for a while that John Huntsman’s only possible rational strategy is to just get his name out there as a sane moderate in 2012 and then hope the party implodes after losing by nominating Bachman, Palin, etc.  Then they’ll be happy to have his moderate sanity in 2016.   Makes as much sense as anything.  For the most part, he’s much too sane to be running in this year’s Repubican primaries.  Romney is too sane, too, but is so desperate to win he’s clearly quite willing to hide his sanity.  Huntsman, apparently not.  In case you missed his famous tweet earlier this week:

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg has a nice blog post arguing that after taking the embarrassing step of raising his hand along with the others saying he would reject a revenue increases even if $10 were cut for every $1 increase in revenue, Huntsman was looking to redeem himself with the sanity crowd.  Love this conclusion:

This looks to me as if Huntsman is not just letting go of any remaining pretense of having even an outside chance of getting nominated this time; he’s also not worrying all that much about 2016. Right now, he’s not campaigning for President at all, he’s campaigning to regain his self-respect. You can almost feel his relief. What the hell. He might as well have a little fun.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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