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June 09, 2011

Jon Huntsman's Non-Aggressive, Non-Starter Campaign

I love when would-be "political consultants" get cute. You understand, these folks will be working for one campaign or another, or one press shop or another, or one pollster or another, regardless of who actually wins or loses. Politics is their career. So it doesn't actually bother them much to try out hare-brained ideas like, for example, advising their client to simply not mention the name of his opponent.

Jon Huntsman is trying out a novel strategy: running for president without criticizing the incumbent by name.

Since returning from his post as ambassador to China last month, Huntsman has made scant mention of the man who appointed him in May 2009—President Barack Obama. And his would-be campaign officials say that won’t change when the former Utah governor officially launches his campaign.

What gain by not referring to the President by name? Try this one on for size: "Jon Huntsman, the Republican Presidential Candidate Not Explicitly Running Against the President." Oooh, it gives ya goosebumps, doesn't it? That there is a man with the gumption to be a contender.

Aside from the substantive problem with Huntsman's non-aggression non-strategy—which even his political so-called specialists admit can only last until the Obama team decides he is more than a two-bit player in this little drama and swats him like a bug—there's a bigger problem. One (or more) of these political geniuses was so enamored of this imbecilic strategy that he just had to boast of it to a reporter.

Which is why the chattering classes today are not talking about Huntsman's bold (I'm assuming it would be bold; I don't know the man from Adam) stand for or against whatever it is he's for or against and pushing that out to the voting public. Instead they're talking about "Huntsman's name gimmick." Great job, would-be Huntsman campaign officials. I can't wait for the second round of process stories when the campaign decides to drop the Epic No-Name Strategy.

I've got to hand it to them, "Jon Huntsman, A Man Who Has Trouble With Names", is without-a-doubt a "novel" campaign slogan.

Okay one more: "Jon Huntsman Has No Name Recognition." Literally. Hah. I crack myself up.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:00 AM

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