Jon Huntsman has had a rough go of it so far. He’s shamelessly pandered to the extreme right while simultaneously trying to be the Adult in the Room™, and this hasn’t been the best strategy for a Republican primary in 2011. He’s had months of awful polling that barely qualifies him for the debates. Despite a stated plan to focus everything on New Hampshire, his campaign reported raising a whopping $1000 from two donors there in the last quarter (and the former Utah governor was geeked about that). His dad commented that Jon, Jr. would totally be winning the presidency in China (where he may not even be fluent in the language).
Oh, and a goat bit him last Sunday. It’s not going well.
Despite his flagging chances and debt-ridden campaign, Jon Huntsman remains relevant. In a primary election season during which Republicans are searching for a non-Romney, my fellow Penn Quaker has proven quite adept at attacking the presumptive Republican frontrunner with very effective messaging, something about him that actually does appeal to the far right.
He also got some dap from Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen:
Romney, it would seem, has two main flaws as a candidate. He’s a cowardly and uncontrollable flip-flopper with no core convictions, and he has an atrocious record on job creation. And on both fronts, I’d argue that Huntsman is hitting Romney on both counts more effectively than anyone in either party.
Now, pivoting off his recent “perfectly lubricated weather vane” comment, the Huntsman campaign has released a sequel to their split-screened, flipping-monkey video “Backflip” entitled “Weather Vane” (above). As Rachel noted, “every other candidate can just pop themselves in” once the cellar-dwelling Huntsman, presumably, leaves the race at some point.