Washington loves a good political rumor and the latest is that Obama’s Ambassador to China, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., is considering throwing his hat in the ring again for public office. In a recent interview on January 2nd, Huntsman told the Salt Lake Review that he “may have one final run left” in him. While some see him going up against fellow Republican, Senator Orrin Hatch, Huntsman is not ruling anything out. He may already have a ready-made machine waiting for him, as his father, billionaire-philanthropist Jon Huntsman, Sr., was recently awarded at Glenn Beck’s “Restore Honor” rally on 8/28 for charitable works. Could Ambassador Huntsman find 9/12 Project and Tea Party members eager with open arms for him?

ambassador jon huntsman jr

Probably the one person most curious about whether Huntsman will run is former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney. There seems little doubt that Romney wants another shot at a presidential run and 2012 appears tailor-made for him. With the likelihood that the economy will still be a major issue in two years, many see Romney and his business experience in the private sector as a plus for getting the country moving, and employed again.

But, Romney has ‘baggage’, namely the Massachusetts health care reform that occurred during his term in office. Seen by many as a blue print for the current Obama administration policy, Romney spends much of his time explaining and distancing himself from the issue. During the 2008 campaign, Mitt also ran into much trouble with Conservatives over this and other issues. The question is, would Huntsman fair any better?

Ambassador Huntsman has an interesting life story. Born to a self-made billionaire father, Jon Jr. dropped out of high school to play in a rock and roll band. He later did go to college, earning a degree at the University of Pennsylvania after attending the University of Utah for a time. He did missionary work in Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin. He served in both the Reagan and Bush-41 administrations. His business background in the Huntsman Corporation as an executuve, and later as well with the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

In 2004, Jon Hunstman Jr. was elected as governor of the State of Utah by a fair margin, 57%. He was re-elected in 2008 by a whopping 77%. During his term in office, Utah was named the best managed state by the Pew Center. Many were already eyeing him for a presidential run then, which is one reason why Barack Obama offered him the job to be Ambassador to China. Get him out of the country and out of the way.

But his service as ambassador has not always been so cooperative. Huntsman had envisioned himself as taking a lead role in policy and affairs with China and Asia in general. But time and time again, Obama has used others, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to function as ‘point-man’ in dealing with China. Huntsman has been becoming more vocally critical of the Obama administration’s Asia policies. A clear sign of dissatisfaction and political ambition.

As governor, Huntsman demonstrated political savvy, walking the line between moderate and Conservative ideology. Huntsman reduced taxes, reformed government, and sided firmly with those opposed to abortion, gun control and same-sex marriage. He also advocated energy efficiency and raised concerns on proposals to store nuclear waste in Utah.

So keep your eye on Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. as the presidential field begins to take shape this year. He has a thick dossier for economic, executive and international skill sets. He and his lovely wife, Mary Kaye, have seven children, two of which are adopted (one from China and one from India). Huntsman is smart, good-looking and plays a mean piano I hear. Just the sort who could be viewed with a wide base for popularity in the 2012 presidential campaign.

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