The Godfather Presidency

John Huntsman, Governor of Utah, steps down and accepts Obama’s offer of the US Ambassadorship to China. Evidently even the appearance of thinking of maybe testing the waters for 2012 was enough for Obama to entice him with a plumb appointment far, far away from America’s ravenous media. As Vito Corleone once told his son Michael:

…keep your friends close but your enemies closer

While Moe Lane thinks this will help Huntsman in the long run and is a gift of sorts from The Won,

By co-opting Huntsman, Obama will have successfully pacified the lone Republican 2012 challenger, thereby ensuring a stable route to victory. Then, of course, is the knowledge that he’ll likely receive Republican praise for his gesture of bipartisanship, however politically shrewd it may be.

Obama is an impressively calculating politician, perhaps more so than his former opponent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As such, he realizes a nomination of this nature will offer Huntsman the last needed ingredient for presidential success: foreign policy bona fides.

I really hope Moe is right, especially since the GOP needs as much help as it can get, but for now I tend to agree with Allah in that the further away Obama can ship him (or any potential usurpers to the throne), the better.

So much for the great moderate hope in 2012. What’s his angle here? Three possibilities: (a) Despite all appearances, he was never thinking of running for president. (b) He was thinking of running, but he’s enough of a patriot that he couldn’t say no when the president called on him. (c) He was aiming at 2016 all along and this is actually a brilliant move to burnish his bipartisan cred and his foreign-policy gravitas in advance, especially insofar as it makes him a player with a rising superpower like China. My only question is, how does he get back on the national stage after he’s done as ambassador?

[…]Needless to say, in co-opting a potential rival, it’s a typically cagey move by The One.

[Allah’s] Update: To expand on that last thought, I don’t think anyone on Obama’s team considered Huntsman a serious threat to beat him in 2012 but they’re obviously keen for the public to perceive the GOP as “far right.” Hence their obsession with Rush. Huntsman was a threat to that strategy so they needed to get him off the national stage and as far away as possible. Mission accomplished.

Get some armed guards for your horses, folks. Who knows whose beds they’ll turn up in.

1 Comment

  1. April 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

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