A Republican I would vote for: Jon Huntsman
After watching the CNN Republican Debate on 6-13-2011, I noticed one glaring fact, the current Republican field is considerably more conservative than previous primary fields and I do not believe this to be a benefit for Republicans in a general election. One candidate which could stand out from the pack is Jon Huntsman, an experienced politician with both executive and diplomatic experience. He has served as the Governor of Utah as well as serving in four other administrations under U.S. Presidents. He has been an Ambassador to both Singapore and China. He is a fiscal conservative, however a social moderate.
Unlike Mitt Romney whose own state, during his time as governor, struggled to create jobs; Jon Huntsman has a clear record of economic success. During his years as Governor, Utah was named the best managed state by the Pew Center. Following his term as governor, Utah was also named a top 3 state to do business in. This type of accomplishment could score huge with voters on all sides of the political spectrum since “the economy” will still be the NO. 1 issue in the 2012 campaign. In 2010, Utah was awarded the prize as the best state in the country to do business in. Now as many point to his tax cuts, and yes they were apart of his overall approach, another thing to keep in mind was Utah’s state budget rose under his watch from 16.8B to 22.8B which leads me to believe that he will solve problems with whatever tools and policies necessary, an approach critical to America’s success.In 2007, in response to the problem of global warming, Huntsman signed the Western Climate Initiative, by which Utah joined with other governments in agreeing to pursue targets for reduced production of greenhouse gases. This commitment to the environment shows a moderate tone to his positions that in a general election would attract independent voters. Huntsman is also a long time supporter of civil unions but not same sex marriage; he supported legislation that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples in the state, now this may actually hurt Huntsman initially and in some primary states he could really struggle among social conservatives but if he can win the primary his moderate positions could give Republicans the best shot at taking back the White House.
Jon Huntsman’s foreign policy experience is also impressive, he was the youngest appointed Ambassador in over 100 years as Ambassador to Singapore. More importantly was “tapped” by President Obama to serve as Ambassador to China in 2009. Now this blade may cut a few ways; some on the far right may not want anyone linked to President Obama or any of the problems with China holding so much of our national debt. However with time to get his record and message our there I believe any prior experience in dealing with China could prove vital in a potential future President.
UPDATED 6/22/2011 - Jon Huntsman Official Presidential Campaign Announcement
So what do you think of Jon Huntsman?