The countdown to the NBC News/Politico Republican Presidential Debate has pundit-world anticipating which Republican party will be presented to voters tonight. Earlier debates showcased extreme right-wing positions candidates have adopted on the economy and science to placate their fervent tea party base.
Jon Huntsman refuses to be a part of that. He continues to try and separate himself from his colleagues by iterating his reality-based stances on global warming, debt ceiling and evolution — saying he has most appeal in a general election against President Obama.
Will Huntsman stand up to his own party on live television and reprimand them for alienating a broad swath of the electorate? Will the irony of holding the debate at the presidential library of a Republican president who won landslide general elections inspire him to demand his party go back to more centrist pragmatic ideals?
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial, featured in the Rewrite several months ago, describes the mythology that makes up GOP orthodoxy today as one that cramps "the brains and souls of men and women of intelligence and compassion who seek state and national office under the Republican banner." This makes you wonder if Huntsman can succeed in breaking free tonight. David Corn thinks he might:
But Huntsman has a cold! Earlier today Andrea Mitchell interviewed Huntsman on msnbc's Mitchell Reports. He had to phone it in because he fell ill with bronchitis and has been resting up in his hotel room for the debate. He promised to be "back in fighting condition in a few short hours."
How much fight will we see from Huntsman? Drop us a line in the comment section below.