Huntsman dropping out?

According to this, he’ll announce he’s folding Monday morning.

Given his performance so far, this isn’t the biggest shock of the 2012 campaign, but I figured he’s at least stay in until after the SC primary.

So much for the theory that he’d benefit by the splitting of the batshit crazy vote.

Unfortunate, I hope he becomes Secretary of State or the Treasury.

Per Political Wire:

Guess that’s another 45 votes for Romney.

He’s polling 3-4% in South Carolina, and polls have consistently underestimated Huntsman. This means SC is in the bag for Romney and thence the nomination.

Somehow I think Obama is disinclined to give him another job.


Well that stinks. I was hoping Hunstman would stick it out at least until South Carolina.

Oh well. Perhaps he feels he’s done enough preliminary work for 2016.

I’m not sure why he didn’t drop out immediately after the New Hampshire results came in, but this was going to happen sooner or later.

Romney already has a double digit lead in SC. This isn’t changing anything.

I dunno, Hilary is rumored to be looking to retire and Huntsman’s worked in Obama’s administration before. While Huntsman has some deplorable policies, his foreign policy is not among them. I think he might do OK.

ETA: Oh, and yes, this will cement Romney’s victory. Huntsman was the only person running less crazy than Romney.

Try as I might, I can’t get further than 15% through this threa…

Actually, I’m not sure his actual record is less crazy than Romney’s. Huntsman was pretty conservative in Utah, both socially and fiscally. He’s less willing to throw bombs, but there might actually be more right-wing substance to Huntsman than there is to Romney.

Now Romney can go after his bigger threat in SC: Colbert!

I don’t really think he’s helped himself any for a 2016 Presidential run. The GOP often turns to the runner up in the last primary to choose its nominee, but Huntsman isn’t the runner up. Or the runner up for the runner up. Depending on how you measure it, he’s maybe tied with Perry for fifth.

And 2016 assumes Romney looses this cycle. If Romney loses, the GOP isn’t going to turn to another moderate Mormon governor with a business background and good hair to try again in five years.

I still don’t understand what Huntsman has been doing for the past six months, but the conventional wisdom that he’s prepping a 2016 Presidential run doesn’t make a lot of sense.

But on the bright side, I’m sure his daddy has another company he can run to keep himself busy for a few years.

But he didn’t embarrass himself like “Three Things” Perry – and he didn’t go wildly negative in defiance of Saint Ronnie’s eleventh commandment either, whereas Gingrich keeps speaking ill of another Republican in an all-or-nothing tactic that’s now drawing criticism from inside the party. So if Romney doesn’t run again in '16, who picks up all the voters who went for Romney this year? It’ll presumably be the guy who can make the same case Romney is now making; it won’t be Ron Paul, if Ron Paul runs while in his 80s.

Assuming a Romney loss, Huntsman has four whole years to build up one little difference between them – which he can then fire off whenever asked why he won’t lose the way Romney did; he can otherwise duplicate the most successful strategy in play this time around, the way no one else can. (And assuming a Romney win, what the hell else can he do but be the first to endorse the guy while at the closest thing he’ll get to a high point?)

To be fair, Gingrich also defended Romney against other candidates’ criticism of his time at Bain Capital.

You’re implying that there is any substance to Romney?

He could’ve done that by just staying home. But I’m not sure he didn’t embarrass himself. He was beat by Bachmann and and Perry in Iowa, and creamed by Ron Paul in NH despite spending months campaigning there. Not being able to do well in elections against marginal candidates is embarrassing for a politician. Thats sort of my point.

Again, he could’ve not gone negative while just staying home. But half the reason people knew who Huntsman was outside of Utah was due to his criticisms of the party in '09, so to the extent criticizing Republicans is a deal breaker, his putative '16 opponents will still have something to point to.

Some other pro-business guy who is less reminiscent of last elections loser. Who is picking up John McCain’s votes from '08? Not another geriatric Senator ex-fighter pilot.

Romney is winning because the other decent potential candidates stayed out of the race. I don’t think thats really a strategy that can be purposefully duplicated.

Romney got creamed by Ron Paul – and John McCain, and Mike Huckabee – in NH back in '08. But he got his name out there, showed he can debate on the national stage without making stupid gaffes or burning important bridges, and got McCain’s endorsement four years later.

Heck, I can not go negative while just staying home. The other half of the equation is positioning yourself as someone who looks electable.

Who? (And, again: Huntsman has four years to build up one difference he can point to and argue is all-important.)

Again, who?

The famous-from-his-run-four-years-ago moderate who goes for a plurality while multiple folks split up the right? I can’t yet rule out a duplication.