The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Joe Scarborough’s Weird Man-Crush on Jon Huntsman: Get a Room, You Two!

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:

Huntsman’s civil-union stance
may prove political liability

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.


25 Responses to “Joe Scarborough’s Weird Man-Crush on Jon Huntsman: Get a Room, You Two!”

  1. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    Huntsman, who?

  2. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    Geez RSM!  I sure hope ol’ Joe Scarborough never says anything good about your man Santorum!  (I’m not a Huntsman supporter BTW and you might be dead on…but did you have an extra double espresso this morning or something?)

  3. Bob Belvedere
    December 15th, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Well put, Stacy, but I must disagree with this statement:

    Huntsman represents no actual Republican constituency.

    Actually, he does: the John Anderson Republicans who, though incredibly small in number, get themselves elected still to State GOP Committees and hired by local campaigns and by local TV stations as Republican pundits.

    Also, Joey Scars is an entertainer working for a vaudeville show that’s not drawing-in the crowds it used to, so he’s trying to be ‘iconoclastic’ and ‘provocative’ in order to get noticed next to the Fox behemoth.

  4. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Joe’s motivation is  the same as a lot of others like him: frustrated ambition expressing itself as ideological disagreement.

    He dreamt of becoming Senator Scarborough or Governor Scarborough, perhaps some day President Scarborough, and when that became unfeasible, he conceived an ideological disagreement with the Republican Party to explain (mainly to himself, but also to save face with his friends) why his ambitions fell short.

  5. Bob Belvedere
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    I think that factors into it too, but, having joined the TV Pundit Club, he has assumed the duties of entertainer. One of the things I’ve always admired about Rush is that he has always admitted that his is one. We’ve both been entertainers in the musical field and know we have to ‘put on a show’ – that doesn’t imply what we did was not serious. Neither is the fact that, as owners of blogs, we have to be entertaining in order to attract and keep readers.

  6. ThePaganTemple
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    Scarborough just fell in love with the cameras and got addicted to the spotlight. After so long public service couldn’t satisfy his craving in the same way he quickly discovered being a pundit could. Once he went down that road he just found it easy to moderate his views, which were probably never that firm to begin with. He found himself craving the acceptance of his fellow pundits, and the general public, who he views as mostly moderate. As time goes on he will more and more come to see liberal progressives as moderates, and conservatives as extremists. I bet he probably views the Tea Party as the fringe right, and probably sees the Occupy movement as well meaning though in some cases misguided and inexperienced people who are fed up with their needs being ignored and mostly not like the more radical members who are a minority in the movement and who give it a bad name. This line of thinking is like an infestation.

  7. Fred Beloit
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    A commenter at National Review (NR just said no to Newt)  actually submitted this idea: Talk to independents and you will see that Newt is the wrong guy.
    Yeah sure, the indies helped elect Obama so we know how well-informed many of them are. So go out there and ask your local indies whom the Repub candidate should be. But why use a middle man, just let them select Repub candidates instead of us.

  8. herddog505
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Scarborough isn’t the only one.  CNN annointed Huntsman months ago.

    The blatant, transparent, brazen effort by MiniTru to select the GOP candidate is repulsive.  Glad that (so far) it isn’t working.

  9. Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:27 am

    Joe S needs to put down the MSNBC interns and slowly back away, before the family values blow up in his face.

  10. Third-Rate Bromance, RINO Rendezous | Right Wing News
    December 15th, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    […] Click here to read the rest at […]

  11. Joe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    Well unlike Justin Bieber, Jon Huntsman does not have to worry about a paternity suit from Joe Scarborough, if he should…uhhh…slip him something backstage. 

  12. Joe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    Joe Scarborough is a loser.  And he knows it. 

    Sadly Tabatha Hale would probably invite him to blog con. 

    Life is so unfair sometimes. 

  13. Joe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:16 am
  14. Joe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:16 am
  15. Joe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:17 am
  16. ThePaganTemple
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    The thing is, its not just “Token Joe” nor is it just CNN. You also hear him touted now, albeit tepidly, by some pundits on Fox, more than one of who have pointed out that Huntsman is “more conservative than Romney”. This coincided with the surge in the polls for Gingrich and with what looked to be the death plunge of Romney. It’s like Huntsman is actually Romney’s understudy, waiting for the opportunity to step into the role.

  17. Joe Scarborough
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Jon Huntsman is a bit hotter than Mika. 

    I used to hit on interns, but that sort of backfired on me. 

  18. Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    That was only one of the things I was hintin’ at.

  19. ‘Morning Joe’ Promotes Huntsmania! « The Greenroom
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    […] If there is a “Huntsman bubble,” Joe Scarborough is the guy blowing on the nozzle to inflate that bubble: MSNBC has in recent weeks become the daily venue for one of the most bizarre reality shows on […]

  20. richard mcenroe
    December 15th, 2011 @ 11:54 am

    Didn’t Hunstman say the people of Wukan “acted stupidly?”

  21. The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Dear Joe Scarborough ...
    December 15th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    […] Therefore, on behalf of everyone with enough sense to understand that independents can vote in the New Hampshire primary, permit me to say that we see through your transparent and relentless hyping of Huntsmania: […]

  22. Dear Joe Scarborough … « News « @griffinrc
    December 15th, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    […] Therefore, on behalf of everyone with enough sense to understand that independents can vote in the New Hampshire primary, permit me to say that we see through your transparent and relentless hyping of Huntsmania: […]

  23. Anonymous
    December 15th, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    That BIG ONE percent Huntsman is polling could symbolize something phallic … for those pre-inclined to think about such things all the time, anyway

  24. Adjoran
    December 15th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Wow.  If anyone watched MSNBC, Huntsman might take off.  His ratings pretty much match theirs.

    IF Huntsman ever made a serious move, all that would be necessary to derail him is to publish the notes he wrote to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  Such sniveling and groveling may get you foreign postings, but it won’t win any Republican votes.

  25. wayne tallaksen
    December 16th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

    Poor Joe! He says he needed more time with his children so he had to step down. But mentions nothing about the suspicious death of a female associate found in his office.