Jon Huntsman is the only potential Republican candidate who isn’t too extreme to win in the general election. But how can he get past the fringe-dominated primaries? My guess is that the big-money GOP party bosses like Karl Rove will push out the less desirable Republican nominees and throw their weight behind a Huntsman candidacy:
WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is returning to the United States this weekend amid speculation that he could be mounting a Republican campaign for the White House.
Huntsman, a former Utah governor who joined President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009, officially completes his work as the nation’s top diplomat in China this week.
[…] Huntsman will be meeting with advisers on Monday to discuss his future, according to a person familiar with his schedule. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about Huntsman’s presidential plans.
Federal laws have barred Huntsman from taking any steps toward a campaign until his diplomatic duties are complete. But supporters have created a campaign in waiting should he decide to pursue the presidency. Next month, Huntsman plans to deliver commencement addresses at universities in South Carolina and New Hampshire, two key primary states.
Conservatives play a large role in early primaries and Huntsman could face criticism among the GOP faithful for joining the Obama administration. If he decides to run, Huntsman will need to address two main questions: Why did he decide to work for the Obama administration, and why is he now seeking to unseat his former boss?
“May is going to be the Huntsman month, where he really comes on the scene,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who managed Sen. Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996. “He needs to square the issue about how he served in the Obama administration. He needs to get it right and he needs to get it right quickly and then he needs to move on why he’s running for president.“