Huntsman to Beijing: What a story!

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.

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2 Responses to Huntsman to Beijing: What a story!

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    I am disappointed Huntsman took the job. He is very qualified for China post but so are probably 30 other people. And now Utah is losing a strong chief executive who was able to temper interest-driven politics and achieve some significant gains, such as liquor law reform. There was a lot more for him to tackle in the future. Maybe Herbert will prove to have some strength as a chief executive but that’s a big if right now. I wish Huntsman had cared enough to finish his term but it’s not uncommon for a pol to bail, I guess.

  2. flatlander100 says:

    I’m with Mr. Gibson on this one, except that I think the appointment a good one for the US. Not so good for Utah. As for Herbert, the signs are not good. The SL Trib reports that Sen. Bramble is all over delighted at the prospect of a Herbert governorship. Not a good sign.

    And it was Hebert, through his staff, that recently informed Utahns that he really didn’t have to enforce the new campaign contributions reporting law if he didn’t want to. And that he didn’t want to.

    No governor can be effective if he does not choose good staff to rely on. And in this morning’s SL Trib, Hebert’s chief of staff, attempting to explain his boss’s views on global warming, delivered himself of this bit of blather: “Global warming needs to be realized before anyone talks about it.” Yes, our new governor’s chief of staff said that, on the record, to a reporter. It’s a direct quote.

    Maybe The Party of No [aka US Senate Republicans] will filibuster the appointment. [I know, I know. Not likely. But no other hope is on the horizon. ]

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