Number Fifty-One

Tealiberasophoterianistic Perspectives

An Endorsement of Jon Huntsman

with 8 comments

By Jake Phillips


I am starting off our series for the week.  During the week, Jesse, Joey, Alex and I will endorse a particular Republican nominee for president.  The goal for our Republican readers is to perhaps give you an issue or two to think about as you decide who to vote for in the primaries.  For our non-Republican readers, the goal is to cause you to hate all the Republican nominees even more than you do.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  On Friday (hopefully) we’ll conclude with something somewhat related; James will be posting about the origins of the hip-hop movement. 


To begin our Presidential Endorsement Week, I hereby throw all of my political clout behind Jon Huntsman!!!! (With my endorsement, I guess the Republican party might as well just give him the nomination now.  It’ll save everybody a lot of money.)


There are many reasons why I am supporting Jon Huntsman.  To start, let me give a one-comment reason why I’m not supporting anyone else.  This isn’t to make anyone angry.  And it isn’t fair.  But here goes.


Ron Paul: Too crazy, his view on prostitution and cocaine is anti-intellectual, and he can’t win.

Rick Santorum: He might as well call himself “Generic Republican Nominee For President.  Do Not Actually Vote For Me.  I Don’t Even Want to Be President.”  Of course, that would be a really long name.

Michelle Bachmann: A less dangerous, smarter Sarah Palin.  Which is kind of like being a less dangerous, smarter Ron Artest.  Also, her ideas on taxation and her social understanding is entirely too simplistic.

Mitt Romney: I don’t trust him on pro-life issues, and, like Ezra Klein, I don’t believe in Powerpoint Presidents.

Tim Pawlentry: Would like him better if he was a true populists.


Everyone else is too boring and unrealistic to even offer a reason to not support them.  Thus, I will get to my reasons for endorsing Huntsman.


First, I was extremely impressed that he’s made the importance of local politics a focal point of his campaign.  My opinion is that there are many great ideas in government that are ruined by the administration of the federal government.  For instance, welfare is such a good idea.  However, the federal government’s administration of welfare is ruining what is actually a good idea.  The idea of public healthcare is such a good idea, if run at a local level.  And so on and so forth.  Therefore, to hear a candidate make a big deal out of local politics, certainly a bigger deal than any recent candidate, made me happy.


Secondly, in an Republican era of loyalty litmus tests being administered, an era where every candidate must prove that they will never even have dreams about raising taxes, it is refreshing to see an unapologetically moderate candidate.  US politics at a national level are necessarily moderate.  It is the nature of the way that our country was founded.  Extremism is basically impossible, and Almost Extremism is extremely difficult, and somewhat counterproductive, since every overreach in American politics has had a subsequent backlash.  Given those facts, a moderate, but staunchly pro-life, candidate is what I think is absolutely necessary.  Common, voting, republicans should consider the following; would you rather have a very conservative president in 2012, with a liberal backlash in 2014, or a somewhat conservative president in 2012, and keep the current congressional status-quo in 2014? Do you think liberals were happier in 1998 or in 2010?  The answer to that rhetorical question is another feather in my cap :). 


There is more that I could say.  It is extremely important to me that he is staunchly pro-life, unlike some other moderate candidates from past years (I’m looking at you, Rudy Guiliani.)  His foreign policy credentials and experience is important, as is his willingness to defend that position, even if he was appointed by Obama.  (For those who criticize him for this, see previous paragraph about Almost Extremism.)  It says something that several media outlets has reported overhearing Obama’s inner circle as being more afraid of campaigning against Huntsman than any other potential candidate.  Even liberal political analysts have noted the lack of vitriol and personal criticisms coming from Huntsman’s campaign, which distinguishes him from all other candidates, including Obama (who, let’s be honest, is, generously, 50/50 President/Candidate at this point.)  It is refreshing to see someone be more of a Campaigner than Critic and Character Assassin.  Part of the reason that everyone was so excited about Obama in 2008 was his message of Hope and Change, and not getting sucked into the Beltway Establishment.  The poorly-kept secret, however, was that his campaign was more negative than McCain’s, and almost as negative as the legendary Bush/Kerry campaigns.  Someone who actually avoided potshots and overly-negative campaigning, as Huntsman has done (and been noted for doing so), would be, as I said previously, refreshing.


The most successful, historically-angelic presidents in our history have been moderate.  (See Lincoln, Truman, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower etc.)  There is a reason for this.  Progressive and conservative presidents often have a difficult time governing, no matter the purity of their ideology.  (See JFK and Richard Nixon.  Try to pretend for 5 minutes that Nixon wasn’t a jerk and a criminal, and remember only that he was probably the most brilliant ((intellectually speaking)) president that we’ve had.) The lone exception to these cases were Reagan and FDR, which only proves that if your a phenomonal leader, how extreme your ideas are matters less, historically speaking.  All of this to say, vote for Bachmann at your own risk.  Vote for the new-and-improved Romney at your own risk.  Getting a party-line conservative into the Oval Office is often counterproductive. 

For all of these reasons, and some others, I am happy to endorse Jon Huntsman.  For now.  Even though I’m a registered Independent.


Written by Jake Phillips

June 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

8 Responses

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  1. I’m glad Huntsman entered the race, although probably not for the reasons you stated.

    Jesse P.

    June 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

  2. Bad choice. Mine will be better.


    June 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm

  3. Not taking a stance, just asking a question: Jon Huntsman supports same-sex civil unions and equal rights for gay and lesbian couples. Jake, do you agree with Huntsman?


    June 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    • This is obviously a difficult issue, but yes, I believe that a state has the right to grant equal rights to gay and lesbian couples through the use of civil unions. I’m not sure Huntsman’s exact stance on the issue (I’ve heard he supports civil unions, I’m just not sure the degree) but assuming he believes it’s a state-by-state decision, then I would agree with him.

      Jake Phillips

      June 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      • In 2009, he stated that he supported civil unions and legislation that aimed at preventing discrimination based on sexual identity. I think he supports federal legislation, just as he does for fighting global warming. I wish I could find a good interview with someone other that Sean Hannity, but here you go:


        June 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

  4. Jason,

    Interesting. I haven’t had a chance to watch the interview, but given what you said about his stance, I would have to disagree with him. I don’t see how this is even close to a federal issue.

    Jake Phillips

    June 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm

  5. Huntsman can’t win. He isn’t radical enough for the GOP. He is apparently NOT a science denier:

    And … he is of the Mormon cult.


    June 28, 2011 at 5:30 am

    • Ellen,

      Huntsman probably won’t win, you are correct. But to say it’s for the reasons you stated is somewhat ridiculous. Both statements (the point of them, although not the way you said them) are also true of Romney, who is the favorite to win the nomination.

      Jake Phillips

      June 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

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