Posted on | December 15, 2011 | 25 Comments
MSNBC has in recent weeks become the daily venue for one of the most bizarre reality shows on cable TV: Morning Bromance, starring Joe Scarborough as a man helplessly smitten with “Republican presidential candidate” Jon Huntsman.
When he isn’t blowing air-kisses at Huntsman, Scarborough is citing every possible media blurb about Huntsman as ratification of the former Utah governor’s make-believe campaign. Joe is to Jon what 11-year-old girls are to Justin Bieber, or what Chris Matthews is to Barack Obama. If Scarborough hasn’t yet announced his leg-tingles for Huntsman, it’s only because the MSNBC host wants to save his final orgasmic gush for the eve of the New Hampshire primary, where some polls show Joe’s teen-idol candidate in third place behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
Today, for example, Scarborough cited an editorial from National Review that mentions Huntsman as a possible alternative to Gingrich. The obvious conclusion anyone would draw from that mention is, “Gee, Rich Lowry really hates Newt, doesn’t he?” But the conclusion pushed to the Morning Joe audience was that Huntsman’s conservatism has been Officially Validated, the ghost of William F. Buckley Jr. anointing Huntsman as spiritual heir to the Reagan legacy.
Scouting around for further evidence that GOP voters have succumbed to Huntsmania, Scarborough touted something nice that Erick Erickson had said about Huntsman. Evidently Joe isn’t well-informed enough about Erickson’s habits to recognize this for what it was: Proof that the Huntsman campaign recently hired one of Erick’s consultant buddies.
While no intelligent person could be fooled by this ridiculous Huntsman hype from MSNBC’s token Republican host, permit me to reiterate the facts about the man I’ve dubbed “Governor Asterisk.”
If Gary Johnson is a poor man’s Ron Paul, then Jon Huntman is a rich man’s Tim Pawlenty — an unimpressive governor whom self-interested Republican consultants saw as a potentially lucrative vehicle for employment during the 2012 campaign season.
Much like Pawlenty, Huntsman embraced the climate-change/green-energy theme as a triangulating gesture during the 2006-08 era of GOP “brand damage.” Going beyond that, however, Huntsman endorsed a gay-rights group’s agenda in February 2009, three months before joining the Obama administration as ambassador to China. Two years later, when Huntsman announced his presidential candidacy, a headline writer for the Salt Lake Tribune published this masterpiece of understatement:
Gee, ya think so? Huntsman’s record practically guarantees his last-place finish in Iowa and South Carolina. Even if Huntsman should do well in New Hampshire, were that to give him any actual traction elsewhere (which I sincerely doubt), his destruction would be as simple as cutting a 30-second ad with video footage of the event at which Obama announced Huntsman’s ambassadorial nomination.
He’s Charlie Crist 2.0, complete with perma-tan. Huntsman represents no actual Republican constituency. The only reason he’s still running is because his bankrupt campaign got an infusion of Daddy’s Money.
Huntsman’s “base” is the media, and being MSNBC’s favorite GOP candidate ought to be the final kiss of death for his Disney Princess fantasy of a campaign, and the schoolgirl crush he inspires in the lovestruck heart of Token Joe.
UPDATE: In a New York Times story two weeks ago about the help Huntsman’s getting from his billionaire father, we read this:
“If Huntsman is the story coming out of New Hampshire, he’s got a real shot,” said John Weaver, the candidate’s senior strategist. …
With an albatross like Weaver attached to his campaign, the only “real shot” Huntsman’s got is at being the candidate with the highest ratio of dollars spent to delegates received, which will most likely be zero. Yet hope — and hype — springs eternal with the latest poll numbers in New Hampshire.
It’s the colossal waste of time and money that annoys me.