Jon Huntsman: George W. Bush’s Choice for 2012?

Flickr/World Economic Forum

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


For the GOP’s 2012 presidential contenders, there’s one family whose approval the candidates will be fighting for more than any other: the Bush family. An endorsement by George H.W. Bush or Jeb or George W. will go a long way toward winning over Republican voters—and perhaps more importantly, deep-pocketed Republican donors—in the fiercely competitive primary season and ultimately locking up the GOP nomination.

It’s too early now to say who’s winning over the Bushes. George H.W. has agreed to meet with several presidential hopefuls, including Tim Pawlenty, who dropped in at Bush the senior’s office in Houston. But Time‘s Mark Halperin sees Jon Huntsman, Obama’s former ambassador to China, as a likely candidate to win over “BushWorld.” That observation looks especially true in light of Indiana governor and Bush favorite Mitch Daniels’ exit from the race:

The members of BushWorld (the family’s political and policy advisers, its bundlers—and 41, 43, and would-be 45 themselves) still don’t have a candidates in the Republicans’ 2012 presidential race. These are not a group of disinterested observers. Some are with Mitt Romney. Many are pressing Mitch Daniels to run. But most of them are searching for an answer to the question “Who can be nominated and beat Barack Obama?”

If Daniels doesn’t run (and even if he does…), Huntsman might end up being the consensus BushWorld candidate. Within the Republican Party, that remains the largest source of nomination throw-weight out there. Huntsman is playing an aggressive inside game, mirroring his long weekend in New England with many public events. Over the next few weeks, he will go from coast-to-coast doing more prospecting for campaign cash. And BushWorld is watching closely. The semiotics and symbolism of giving Huntsman a Kennebunkport audience are not lost on the very sophisticated Bushes.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate