Jon Huntsman took another step towards a full-fledged presidential campaign today when he registered “HPac” with the Federal Election Committee. From Politico.
Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman took his first step toward a presidential run Tuesday, creating a federal political action committee that will allow him to travel and raise money in the weeks before he’s expected to formally announce a bid.
Moving swiftly since his return to Washington from Beijing Friday, Huntsman filed paperwork with the Federal Election Committee to begin “H PAC.” In the event he runs, the organization will be the last placeholder before he announces a full-blown campaign.
“This is a paperwork step,” said spokesman Tim Miller. “He’s doing the organizational things required by campaign finance law. When he wants to make an announcement he will make an announcement.”
The story goes on to offer some speculation on the not-quite-yet-a-campaign’s possible strategy for early GOP primaries.
It’s no accident that he’s heading first to South Carolina and New Hampshire. Huntsman advisers believe it would be difficult to compete in the Iowa caucuses, which demand both intensive organization and a more pure brand of conservatism than Obama’s former man in Beijing offers.
Instead, he’s likely to begin his effort in the Granite State, where voters are more fiscally-focused and where independents can participate in the GOP primary. His aides believe success there would vault him to contention in South Carolina, where no Republican candidate yet has found a foothold.
Huntsman aides are also eyeing Florida, a state which requires a significant paid TV presence and could be amenable to a deep-pocketed candidate like the former governor.
Despite a Bin Laden bounce in the polls, it is still early days in the 2012 election cycle. The economy is showing no signs of improving and a summer of $5 gas will evaporate any short-term poll gains for the President. That’s not to deny credit where it is due. It’s just reality. Elections are won and lost based on the economy. Now let’s see what Jon Huntsman can do.