Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out of the Hunts

I've read a number of predictable analyses of why former Utah Governor John Huntsman failed to connect with Republican voters in any way that could earn him enough votes to be a meaningful Primary challenger to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. I've read that his "words were conservative but his music was liberal."

I get that his belief in science, i.e. of Climate Change, is an anathema to his Party's electorate, as is his having served in China in the Obama Administration, even speaking Chinese in a GOP debate.

I understand that he never had the organization that Willard has. I've believed from the start that this was mainly his training for the 2016 campaign, assuming Willard fails to beat Barack.

I see that Stephen Colbert, not on the Primary ballot, was outpolling Huntsman in South Carolina. Colbert claims he scared Huntsman out of the race.

Here's why I think John Huntsman was such a dud as a candidate, at least this time around:
  • Intellectualized Voice: Yes, Barack Obama is a very smart guy, a book reader, a.k.a. an intellectual. But, to a lesser extent than Bill Clinton, he turns his intellectual notions into understandable, even moving ideas that can galvanize a crowd. From his underwhelming candidacy announcement on, Huntsman never seemed to have the common touch.
  • Lack of Leadership: I commend Huntsman for taking a firm stand against Willard's slam of his having served as a diplomat under Obama, his smart invocation of non-partisan service, but he had numerous opportunities to stake the moral high ground in a number of debates where the other candidates and the audience were out of line. Most notably, there was the debate where the gay soldier was booed by the audience. What a great moment that could have been for Huntsman to show moral leadership and distinguish himself from the rest of the candidates. Blown.
  • Weakie: He just doesn't seem all that virile. More Adlai Stevenson than Dwight D. Eisenhower. Americans want a certain masculine reassurance in their President. For example, what Hillary Clinton had that Huntsman does not.
It'll be interesting to see how Romney's 1950's-style masculinity compares to Obama's 21st Century version.

May the most manly man win.

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