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Thursday, August 4, 2011

More on Jon Huntsman's Rapidly Disintegrating Campaign for President

In fact, a whole lot more is provided by Jonathan Martin in his extensive POLITICO piece, "Jon Huntsman 2012 campaign: Inside the 'drama'", excerpts from which appear below.

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Tensions within presidential campaigns, especially those struggling to find traction, are common. But the ferocity with which Fischer and others attack Weaver and the extent they went to disclose sensitive internal problems is not merely the stuff of a power struggle. It’s illustrative of a campaign that has been thrown together on the run and is comprised of figures who hadn’t even met the candidate before he returned from China this spring, working alongside those who have known him for much of their adult life.

The problem for Huntsman, of course, is that all this high-decibel public squabbling undercuts his main rationale for winning the GOP nomination — that the former Utah governor offers the level-headed competence and executive experience needed to unseat President Barack Obama. Not only that, but voters might wonder how he’d bring civility to the public discourse — another Huntsman promise — if he can’t do the same inside the four walls of his campaign headquarters.

Publicly, at least, Huntsman’s campaign problems were most vividly illustrated when he formally launched his campaign on June 21 across the Hudson from the Statue of Liberty.

When the elder Huntsman [the candidate's father] arrived at Liberty Park, he immediately noticed that his son’s name was misspelled as “John” on the credentials, recalled Fischer.

“Huntsman Senior and his wife saw it within five seconds, too, and they came over. It was like, ‘Who did this? They need to be fired. This is embarrassing.’”

Then, when the Huntsman caravan arrived to a Saudi airplane at the Newark airport, the father again knew something was amiss.

At age 74, he took matters into his own hands.

“So Huntsman told the bus driver, ‘Open the door.’ He goes out and he’s talking to the cops out there and he’s taking control of it. He’s pointing in the other direction to that. So finally, we all get back on the buses and we head over to the right airplane.”

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