Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bite Size Post – The path forward for Jon Huntsman

The path forward for Jon Huntsman

Well the Iowa caucus has ended, and like much of the Republican race to this point it ended with a new front runner emerging, candidate Rick Santorum. However that is not the only headline to come out of the Iowa caucus.  A very upset Newt Gingrich, who was victimized in Iowa by attack ads coming from Mitt Romney’s SuperPac, has indicated that moving forward he will have a singular focus…going after Mitt Romney.  Speaking of Mitt Romney, he barely inched out of victory over Rick Santorum by a slim margin of only 8 votes.  It seems that Rick Santorum will be the next candidate to get his 15 minutes in the spotlight.  It is also possible that the Republican field may be getting smaller after the Iowa caucus, with Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann finishing at the bottom of pack both candidates will be forced to make tough choices of whether to proceed on or get out of the race now, either way though it seems neither will be winning the Republican nomination in 2012. 

So what does all that have to do with Jon Huntsman?  Why do these circumstances create a “path forward” for Jon Huntsman?  In my opinion all these events are playing out perfectly for Jon Huntsman to make a big push in New Hampshire as his campaign has planned. Rick Santorum will NOT be the Republican Nominee for President; he will get his time in the spotlight but in a few weeks his numbers will fall as his record and statements on social issues are evaluated and played out in the media.   Like the other “flash in the pan” candidates before him  (Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin)Rick Santorum will rise and eventually fall leaving Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. 

Yes, but what about Mitt Romney and Ron Paul? They aren’t exactly going to step aside for Jon Huntsman.  No they won’t step aside for Jon Huntsman, however if Newt Gingrich follows through with his plan to focus solely on Mitt Romney going forward, Mitt Romney’s poll numbers will be affected.  Newt Gingrich is a savvy veteran politician, if he wants to make life difficult for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, he can.  So that leaves Ron Paul. Ron Paul has a passionate and committed base of supporters however his policy positions place a ceiling on how high his poll numbers can go due to a lack of crossover appeal.  For example a recent problem for Ron Paul is his “Charmin Ultra” soft position regarding a nuclear Iran.  Ron Paul does not support sanctions, he views sanctions as “acts of war” and has also stated he would NOT use military force to ensure Iran does not become a nuclear power.  For a majority of Americans and especially Republicans this weak position on Iran makes Ron Paul unelectable as the Republican Nominee. 

With Mitt Romney being target by Newt Gingrich, with Ron Paul shooting himself in the foot regarding Iran which is a relevant new story now, with Rick Santorum currently rising but like those “flash in the pan” candidates before him Rick Santorum will also fall, and other candidates like Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann falling out of the race, it is Jon Huntsman with limited name recognition and resources who has positioned himself perfectly to maximize his chances of making a big splash in the New Hampshire primary and the Republican Primary Race.  

What do you think? Are things unfolding for Jon Huntsman or is it too late for Jon Huntsman to make a surge and win the nomination?