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February 22nd, 2011

Jon Huntsman: The Kindler – Gentler Candidate?

United States Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, is gearing up for a presidential run.  Huntsman’s advisors have already begun to assemble a campaign team to build the necessary infrastructure for a potential presidential run.  Huntman’s political efforts are being conducted by Horizon PAC, which launched a new website today and is also staffed by someone who has roots in Iowa presidential politics.

Tim Miller, a native of Colorado, spent the entire 2006 election cycle working in Iowa.  He served time as Bill Dix’s political director in the 1st District congressional primary before becoming Jeff Lamberti’s communications director during the general election.  After 2006, Miller joined John McCain’s presidential campaign as its Iowa communications director.  Miller worked at public relations firm before joining the Horizon PAC a few weeks ago.

It’s unknown whether or not Huntsman will put up much of a fight in Iowa.  Huntsman is a moderate Republican who supports civil unions for homosexuals.  His position on that issue alone will put him to the left of Mitt Romney and the rest of the eventual field.  It’s hard to fathom a candidate like Huntsman playing in Iowa if a guy like Romney doesn’t see a path to victory here after tromping through the cornfields of Iowa for much of 2006 and 2007.

The Horizon PAC website is absent of any policy positions, but is instead full of rhetoric about longing for the day when America will be great again.

The Horizon PAC website ponders:

What happened?

To America? To politics? To our politicians?

What happened to decency? To reason?

What happened to common goals? To calm? To respect?

What happened to actual, lasting solutions to problems?

When were they replaced with anger?

Slammed fists. Divisive words.

Winning at any cost?

When did principles evaporate?

Those kind of statements, or rather questions, play well in boardrooms and donor meetings, but they don’t play well in the coffee shops and at the dinner tables in middle America.  When did our principles evaporate?  A majority in the country would probably say that they are finally relieved that the people they elected last November are willing to stand on principle over political expediency and aren’t going along just to get along.

Just as Mitch Daniel’s so-called truce on social issues ignores the entire base of the Republican Party, Huntsman’s call for civility in the midst of the greatest political debate about the direction of this county is equally tone-deaf.  The 2012 elections will determine which direction our nation will go, and Huntsman’s attempt to simply repackage and rebrand the Republican Party signals retreat at the time we must forge ahead.  Good luck with that.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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