Jon Huntsman is the one to beat. Excuse me, should be the one to beat. Unfortunately, with the rise of the hysterical purists, the likelihood of him being the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is almost too small to calculate (similar to the IQ of the average Tea Party person).
On the issues, no one else offers more thought-provoking analysis. No one else has as open a mind. No one else has the experience. Above all, no one else has the will to sustain potential political damage by putting country above self, as Huntsman did by serving as an ambassador to China under the Obama administration.
And it is a pity that the one responsible, calm, genuine candidate might just be unelectable in this climate.
At first, I thought an unblemished political newbie like Herman Cain might be best for the GOP. I even donated to his campaign. But that doesn't really count. I was just in the mood for a televised black-on-black "hate crime." That would have put an end to all of this racism nonsense.
But after lowering my head in shame at his culturally-insensitive (and quite frankly, inappropriate) remarks about Muslims, I looked for a new savior. So, my second instinct was Ron Paul. He's great on many issues and could probably win the general election, but he has run too many times, and is just an unlikely candidate for an as-of-late strict, no-compromise party.
Mitt Romney, maybe? Sorry, too much baggage.
I continuously found myself lowering the standard, resigning for voting Obama in the face of a looming Bachmann.
But then a friend pointed me to the Huntsman campaign website (jon2012.com) and I found myself in awe. I did a little research. I found no flaws. No dirt under the rug? Impossible, I insisted. I searched meticulously, hopeful that I would not find anything.
On foreign policy, he is practical. On the economy, he is focused. On social issues, he is firm, but not rambunctious.
Time for selfish-mode to kick in. As a freshman in college, education stances are important to me. When it comes to talking education, I ain't playing. Expecting the inevitable bombshell, I almost did not even want to look at his positions on it, but forced myself. In favor of school vouchers? Check. Willing to invest in early childhood learning? Check. Willing to appropriately compensate first-rate teachers? Check. Yes to all of those, in addition to his opinion on everything else? He's hired!
If Huntsman is granted the Republican nomination, I will have a renewed faith in a political system that until I discovered him, I had assumed was doomed.