Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is Mitch Thinking?

Local pundit Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has recently been reporting that Mitch Daniels is considering supporting former Utah governor Jon Huntsman in the 2012 Republican primary for President of the United States.

Assuming that Abdul isn't making stuff up again, I find this quite odd for a number of reasons.

Jon Huntsman, who most recently was ambassador to China under the administration of President Barack Obama, has only been back in the country for about a month. He hasn't declared his candidacy, or even formed an exploratory committee. Of course, with the late entry of many of the candidates, this might not be too odd. But Huntsman isn't a well known figure like Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin is, and probably can't afford to wait. In fact, in a recent Public Policy Poll, only one person (out of 481) ranked Huntsman as their top choice.

And that's just one side of the issue. Huntsman is known as a moderate Republican, and differs from conservative Republicans like Daniels in several areas. He has stated that the stimulus package that was passed should've been larger, floating the idea of a payroll tax exemption or a cut in the corporate tax rate for small and medium sized businesses. He supports civil unions for same-sex couples. He previously supported cap and trade before changing his position. Combine all that, along with his most recent job working for President Obama, and it makes it an odd choice for Daniels to throw his support to Huntsman.

It's also worth noting a majority of the Students for Daniels chapters have chosen to endorse Huntsman.

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