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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

John David Dyche: "Jon Huntsman Better Qualified Than Republican Rivals." Yes, But American Elections Have NOTHING To Do With Qualifications. Rather, They Have EVERYTHING To Do With One Being Able To Manipulate And Buy His/Her Way To The Top! Most Times, "EXCREMENT" Floats To The Top, Literally And Figuratively!!

John David Dyche | Jon Huntsman better qualified than Republican rivals

This columnist has accumulated plenty of political memorabilia. Much of it evidences past support for unsuccessful contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. For example, there is a Richard Lugar bumper sticker from 1996 and a Rudy Giuliani button from 2008.

Now there is a new Jon Huntsman coffee mug that might memorialize my 2012 gesture of GOP futility. We will know after New Hampshire’s primary on Jan. 10.

Huntsman, 51, is not competing in the Iowa caucuses. He is staking his campaign on “beating market expectations” in the Granite State, where he is polling at 13 percent and won two newspaper endorsements last weekend.

Many Republicans reflect an increasingly desperate desire for an alternative to current national front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Huntsman is better qualified than his Republican rivals. He also has the kind of experience that Barack Obama so regrettably lacked when elected.

Huntsman has a business background from his family’s global chemical company. He has executive experience as a Ronald Reagan staffer, a deputy secretary of commerce, and the twice-elected governor of Utah. And he has foreign policy expertise as U.S. trade representative and ambassador to Singapore and China.

As governor, Huntsman cut taxes dramatically. He also increased state spending, but boasts that Utah “ranked number one in the nation in job creation and was named the best-managed state by the Pew Center.” Huntsman passed tort reform and what he describes as “comprehensive, market-based health care reform” that does not rely on “government control and individual mandates.”

The Wall Street Journal calls Huntsman’s economic plan “as impressive as any to date in the GOP Presidential field, and certainly better than what we’ve seen from the front-runners.” It would create three personal income tax rates (8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent); eliminate deductions, credits, and taxes on capital gains and dividends; and reduce the corporate rate to 25 percent. Huntsman would also break up the biggest banks and abolish Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank law, the Sarbanes-Oxley law, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Huntsman endorses Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and plan to introduce private competition into Medicare. He advocates term limits for Congress. On social issues, the Mormon father of seven (including two adopted foreign daughters and a son at the U.S. Naval Academy) is strongly pro-life and pro-gun rights. He favors civil unions, but not gay marriage.

Writing in National Review Online recently, Michael Tanner said, “It is interesting that Huntsman was so quickly dismissed as a RINO (Republican in Name Only), when many of his positions actually appear to be to the right of both Romney and Gingrich.”

There are reasons for some Republican skepticism of Huntsman, however.

While serving as Obama’s ambassador to China he referred to the president as a “remarkable leader.” Huntsman says he was praising Obama for appointing a Republican. By taking the post Huntsman showed bipartisanship and patriotism.

Huntsman advocates “rapid withdrawal” from Afghanistan. He goes farther faster than other Republicans would, but is closer to where the American people are on the long and costly war.

“Call me crazy,” Huntsman says, but “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.” He supported a “cap and trade” initiative that columnist George Will called “a fanciful climate-change regime among Western states.”

On illegal immigration, Huntsman supports securing the border, but as for illegals already in America he says it is “logically and financially impossible” to deport them all. He advocates a “humane and comprehensive approach” requiring paying back taxes and learning English. Huntsman supports the DREAM Act, which would give children of illegal immigrants tuition assistance.

These positions alienate some in the GOP base, but appeal to independents critical to a general election victory. And beating Obama, whose re-election would be ruinous for America, is what Republicans should be all about now.

Neither Lugar nor Giuliani won the Republican nomination. Both, like Huntsman now, were criticized as insufficiently conservative.

The GOP should remember, though, that the more conservative nominees who beat those fine men went on to lose the general election.

John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney who writes a political column on alternating Tuesdays in Forum. His views are his own, not those of the law firm in which he practices. Read him online at; email:

Editor's comment: ... but American elections are NOT about qualifications. If they were, MANY of the GOATS sitting in office today will NOT be doing so, and MANY of us sitting unelected will be in office.



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