FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: The Huntsman Affair Begins

1. If Jon Huntsman, the potential Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Utah, is so feared by Obama and his 2012 reelect handlers, then why is the mainstream media giving Huntsman such a big, wet kiss instead of attacking him? When one hears the language the Morning Joe crew used earlier this morning in speaking about Huntsman, it’s eerily similar to another once beloved Republican presidential candidate: John McCain. In fact, it sounds like they’re giving him the Obama ’08 treatment. See if this terminology sounds familiar: “handsome”,”reminded him of John F. Kennedy”, “so articulate”, “I really like this guy”. The plurality of the U.S. has moved away from that nomenclature, but MSNBC and most liberals go with what they know: optics and messaging. Above all else, liberals love their heroes handsome. In order to sell what social liberalism pushes, the buyer would need to be distracted and seduced by the messenger first.

Huntsman, in conservative circles, is clearly the uncool kid at the party, so it seems even more awkward to see MSNBC and CNN pushing him on Republicans as if a Huntsman speech is some kind of a happening. No one cares about Huntsman except for MSNBC and CNN.

2. The media will telegraph to each other who they fear. If a candidate makes a news editor nervous, they’ll manufacture a narrative ripping into the candidate and look to burn him or her in the 24-hr news cycle. How is Gingrich’s account at Tiffany’s anyone’s concern? Wealthy people acting wealthy is a concern for class-conscious Marxists, not most Americans. And if the media heads want to cut the candidate off at the knees, they’ll ignore the candidate as much as possible (see how MSNBC effectively muted the John Edwards campaign during the ’08 election).

3. MSNBC had a story in the morning about Herman Cain, who officially threw his hat into the ring over the weekend, having financial difficulties. This storyline is to paint Cain as unserious and practically bankrupt; as if he’s some vagrant on the streets with empty pockets. The truth is that in the short-term he’s quite dangerous to the undistinguished, establishment candidates who are charisma-challenged (e.g. Romney, Pawlenty, Santorum). With the field narrowing Cain’s presence will have more weight. Imagine future debates and visualize Herman Cain on a dais with the other candidates. Cain can’t help but stand out from the pack, and as he’s allowed more access to people directly, he will connect with more and more voters. The person who could blunt Cain’s shot at traction is Michelle Bachman. She packs a good bit of chutzpah herself, and has the same Tea Party flavor as Cain.

Cain’s only handicap in the short term, aside from money, is that the early races are in two states that may be more friendly to the establishment brand candidate. The Republican electorate is in a Tea Party mood, but Iowa and New Hampshire are two states that may buck that trend. The front-runner going into the Southern states may not be the Tea Party favorite. One area of weakness for Cain is the appearance that he’s uninformed on foreign policy. Typically his answers amount to, ‘There’s a good bit of classified information there, so I couldn’t tell ya'”. If Cain gains traction in upcoming polls, look for one of the candidates to go after the foreign policy angle on Cain.

An interesting parlor question would be who will end up garnering more support in Iowa: Herman Cain or Jon Huntsman?

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