Matt Bai pens a fairly nice profile of Jon Huntsman in this week’s New York Times Magazine. It is a series of contradictions, but all in all a positive piece and something which I hope will generate some name recognition. After all it is his policies and leadership that will get him elected. Not the New York Times or vignettes from New Hampshire weeks before he even announced his candidacy. I did have to grin at the following paragraph which illustrates how his unique situation on the other side of the globe allows him to steer clear of any of the extremist nonsense being touted by the far right for the past two and a half years (something we have been saying here for months).
If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the “Saturday Night Live” routine in which Phil Hartman played the “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” — a Neanderthal who thawed out after 100,000 years, went to law school and became a grandstanding advocate and even ran for political office. (“I don’t really understand your Congress or your system of checks and balances, because as I said during the campaign, I’m just a caveman,” went a typical oration. “I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by scientists. But there is one thing I do know: We must do everything in our power to lower the capital gains tax!”) As I watched Huntsman tour New Hampshire, I began to think of him, in a kind way, as being the unfrozen caveman candidate. He’d been living in a censored society on the other side of the planet — encased in ice, for all political purposes — during the town-hall uprisings in the summer of 2009 and all the grass-roots fury that attached itself to everything Obama did. And this, he seemed to think, exempted him from having to know much about any of it. I’m just a caveman. I don’t know much about your “tea parties” and your “birthers.” But there are some things I do know . . . .
The author seems to like him and clearly places him above the rest of the GOP pack. The contradiction comes with things like an unflattering picture and selected quotes from voters who thought he had no substance (instead of balancing that out with quotes from people who like him). But there is plenty of time for Huntsman to announce his policies. He’s not even running until tomorrow. This piece does an adequate job familiarizing the reader with Jon Huntsman and it illustrates many of the qualities that will set him apart in the GOP pack. And at this stage any publicity is good publicity.