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John Huntsman's Chances: Feast or Famine

With Jon Huntsman’s announcement this morning that he’s running for president, The Brody File sees it this way: This guy is either going to be a great candidate or an absolute implosion. I don’t see a middle ground.

Huntsman could soar with his easy style and articulate sentences. If he is able to communicate his ideas effectively, people may gravitate to his candidacy and the rest will be GOP history.

Indeed, there is something about Huntsman that looks and sounds presidential. It’s an intangible but it’s there. It also helps that he’s got money and powerful people who know what they’re doing running his campaign. Plus, he has a strong record to tout when he was governor of Utah.

Oh, and by the way, he has the most credibility of any candidate when speaking about the global economy since he was Ambassador to China.

It is quite a bit of baggage to the point that it may end up being problematic for him to reach the GOP Primary finish line.

First of all, he worked for President Obama as Ambassador to China. Not the best thing to have on your resume and so he begins with Strike 1. There is the sense here that Huntsman won’t play the bash Obama game. While that may be statesman like, it may not work right now considering the anti-Obama mood of GOP voters.

Other issues: He’s for civil unions and he’s Mormon. That’s not going to play great in places like South Carolina and some other states.

On the big Obama stimulus package, he didn’t really have a problem with it other than the fact that the money should have been directed more into infrastructure and other certain places. He’ll have to explain that.

There are more issues, too, but those are some to chew on at this point.

Ultimately, for Huntsman and really any of the other candidates, this will be about believability and establishing a connection with voters. If he can do that, he’s got a serious chance.

If not, well, there’s always the job of Mandarin Chinese translator.

Excerpts from Huntsman’s big announcement speech are below.

I'm Jon Huntsman. I've been a governor, a businessman, and a diplomat. I'm the husband of the love of my life, and the father of seven terrific kids. A son of great parents.

I'm from the American west, where the view of America is limitless with lots of blue sky.

I've lived overseas, where the view of America from 10,000 miles away is a picture of liberty, opportunity and justice; people secure in their rights and in love with their freedom, who've done more good for more people than any other nation in history.

And today, I'm a candidate for the office of President of the United States of America.

For the first time in our history, we are about to pass down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got.

This is totally unacceptable and totally un-American.

And it NEED not, MUST not, WILL not be our permanent condition. We will not be the first American generation that lets down the next generation.

What we need now is leadership that trusts in our strength. Leadership that doesn't promise Washington has all the solutions to our problems, but rather looks to local solutions in our cities, towns and states. Leadership that knows we need more than hope, leadership that knows we need Answers.

And we must make hard decisions that are necessary to avert disaster. If we don't, in less than a decade, every dollar of federal revenue will go to covering the costs of Medicare, Social Security and interest payments on our debt.

Meanwhile, we'll sink deeper in debt to pay for everything else - from national security to disaster relief. Our country will fall behind the productivity of other countries. Our influence in the world will wane. Our security will be more precarious. The 21st Century then will be known as the end of the American Century. We can't accept this, and we won't.

We must make broad and bold changes to our tax code and regulatory policies; seize the lost opportunity of energy independence...and reestablish what it means to be a teacher in society.

We must reignite the powerful job creating engine of our economy - the industry, innovation, reliability, and trailblazing genius of Americans and their enterprises -- and restore confidence in our people.

We did many of these things in Utah when I was governor. We cut taxes and flattened rates. We balanced our budget. Worked to maintain our AAA bond rating. When the economic crisis hit, we were ready.

And by many accounts we became the best state for business and the best managed state in America. We proved government doesn't have to choose between fiscal responsibility and economic growth. I learned something very important as Governor. For the average American family there is nothing more important than a job.

I don't think you need to run down anyone's reputation to run for President. Of course we'll have our disagreements. I respect my fellow Republican candidates. And I respect the President. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better President; not who's the better American.

Behind me is our most famous symbol of the promise of America. President Reagan launched the 1980 general election here in an earlier time of trouble and worry. He assured us we could "make America great again," and under his leadership we did. I stand in his shadow as well as the shadow of this magnificent monument to our liberty.

We're a resourceful, ingenious, determined, problem solving people. We don't settle for less than our character and talents can achieve. We choose our destiny. We always have, and we always will.

This is that moment. We're not just choosing new leaders. We're choosing whether we are to become yesterday's story or tomorrow's. Everything is at stake. This is the hour when we choose our future.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 8:34 AM

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