Jon Huntsman may be able to do more for Utahns as ambassador to China than finishing his term as Utah’s governor.
Like it or not, China is a heavyweight on the international stage, a formidable economic force and potentially a future military foe. Huntsman knows Utah has a lot of business opportunity in China and he’ll be in a better position now to influence favorable developments.
Huntsman also seems to be a good choice to represent the United States at large, with his China experience and his solid reputation at home.
The domestic political ramifications of Huntsman’s elevation are more than fascinating. Many questions trample one another in demand for answers:
- What kind of Utah governor will Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert make? He’s still virtually unknown outside Utah County.
- Has Huntsman enhanced or harmed his potential presidential aspirations by taking a job with the Obama administration?
- Will the rigid drivers of the Republican Party now pigeonhole Huntsman as an ideological pariah, as a flunky to their great enemy, President Obama?
- By luring a top-tier Republican officeholder to a key diplomatic post, has Obama strengthened himself politically and given more basis to his claims he’s seeking bipartisan governance?
It’s also highly amusing to me, for some reason, to realize that the most popular politician in Utah is going to work for Hillary Clinton, a longtime ultimate enemy of the GOP.