As Jon Huntsman moves up in the polls (almost exactly as we predicted a few weeks ago) in the run-up to the New Hampshire Primary on January 10, he has scored two important newspaper endorsements this morning. Both the Keene Sentinel and the Valley News editorial staffs have given their endorsement to Jon Huntsman, countering the Union Leader’s puzzling endorsement of Newt Gingrich in November.
For those of you who are not familiar with these newspapers the Keene Sentinel is the local daily of Keene, New Hampshire, a college town in southwestern New Hampshire. The Valley News covers the “Upper Valley” -a region of the Connecticut River Valley that covers Claremont, Lebanon, Sunapee, and the Hanover-Dartmouth area. Added together, these endorsements cover a significant segment of the New Hampshire population.
Here is an excerpt from the Keene Sentinel’s endorsement.
His principal qualifying distinctions include a boldness in economic policy that belies his temperate personal demeanor and a belief that the country’s divisions cannot be closed by bulldozers moving in only one direction. His appeal is enhanced by hands-on experience in international affairs, principally involving China, that’s entirely lacking in every other Republican whose name will be on the presidential primary ballot on Jan. 10.
For these and other reasons, the former Utah governor and ambassador merits support from Republicans and independents voting in the Republican primary — this in a state that is more libertarian than conservative, more open-minded than ideological and more tolerant than mean.
On matters of national policy, Huntsman can’t easily be pigeon-holed. His wide-ranging tax reform plan, including a ridding of loopholes and other special treatments in favor of lower overall tax rates, won plaudits from The Wall Street Journal. His belief that banks should be limited in size should appeal to Wall Street occupiers, among other interests. His commitment to means-test Social Security and Medicare meets the demands of a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission last year. And his support of government spending controls should interest tea party activists.
And this from the Valley News endorsement entitled “Jon Huntsman: The Better Choice.”
All this is not to say, however, that the Republican field does not contain an entirely plausible presidential candidate. His name is Jon Huntsman Jr., and we urge Republicans and independents in New Hampshire to take a second look at the 51-year-old former governor of Utah and former ambassador to China.
What we see is a candidate whose views are solidly conservative, but not myopically so. These individual positions are integrated into a worldview that recognizes the extent to which America’s security depends not only on its military prowess but also on the strength of its economy, as measured by opportunity, innovation, competitiveness and energy independence.
All in all, a very good day for Jon Huntsman. We hope to see more New Hampshire newspapers follow suit and continue this run of endorsements.