Great for the general election. Not so great for the primaries. Jon Huntsman was long the odd man out in the 2012 election, the guy with just enough support in most polls to show up at most of the debates, but never enough to be the focus of them. While his politics found fans (particularly his early pro-science stance, which stood out from the rest of the GOP and he later flip-flopped on), he was attempting to be the un-cola in a year when every other candidate in the race was trying to prove exactly how conservative they were. Huntsman will end his campaign Monday (a day after winning an endorsement from The State, South Carolina’s largest newspaper) and will offer his support to Mitt Romney, a guy he didn’t hide his animosity towards. Here’s why:
- one Huntsman never faced the kinds of controversy that faced Mitt Romney or Ron Paul did, he did face skepticism from the conservatives that he needed to impress during the season’s primaries. They skewed right; he skewed moderate.
- two His most recent job was the U.S. ambassador to China, giving him three negative marks: One, he was a foreign affairs candidate in a campaign focused on the economy, he worked under Obama, and it gave some on the right xenophobic fodder.
- three Perhaps the most damaging? He put all of his eggs in one basket — New Hampshire — in hopes he’d pull out a squeaker which he could build on. And his third-place showing was not enough to set that long-term momentum. source
(photo by Gage Skidmore)