During his second term as Utah governor, Jon Huntsman accepted an appointment as Ambassador to China from President Barack Obama. Huntsman has given Obama notice that he will resign, and a run for President in 2012 seems likely.
Jon Huntsman, Jr. is the son of billionaire businessman Jon Huntsman (the founder of Huntsman Corporation). He served as a staff assistant in Ronald Reagan’s administration, served as Ambassador to Singapore under George H. W. Bush, served as Utah’s Governor from 2005 to 2009, and served as Ambassador to China from May 2009 to the present. [Source: Jon Hunstman, Jr. – Wikipedia. Downloaded 1/31/11 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.]
It was reported today that Huntsman has given notice to President Barack Obama that he will resign as ambassador, after about two years of service. The former co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign seems poised to run for President himself in 2012. [Source: Nichols, Hans. “Huntsman Said to Be Planning to Resign as Ambassador,” Bloomberg.com, 1/31/11, downloaded from: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-31/jon-huntsman-is-said-to-be-planning-may-resignation-as-ambassador-to-china.html]
Assuming that Jon Huntsman is, in fact, quitting his Ambassador post so that he can run for President, he joins a crowded field of Republican Presidential hopefuls. It will be interesting to see if Huntsman’s run for the Presidency is hampered by his LDS (aka, Mormon) faith in the same way that Mitt Romney’s campaign was hampered in 2008. It will also be interesting to see if he can distinguish himself as the best economic choice, given strong economic rivals that might include Mitt Romney and Donald Trump.
It should also be noted that we do not yet know that Jon Huntsman is going to run for President. It is possible, in fact, to read his resignation as Ambassador to China differently. Maybe he is quitting out of dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s handling of China affairs. China recently unveiled a stealth fighter and continues to manipulate its currency (which worsens the U.S. trade deficit), so there is plenty of room to object to Obama’s action or inaction relating to China.
Still, the most reasonable interpretation of Jon Huntsman’s resignation as Ambassador to China is that he is gearing up for a 2012 Presidential run; it should be an exciting race.
Jon Hunstman, Jr. – Wikipedia. Downloaded 1/31/11 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Huntsman,_Jr.
Nichols, Hans. “Huntsman Said to Be Planning to Resign as Ambassador,” Bloomberg.com, 1/31/11, downloaded from: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-31/jon-huntsman-is-said-to-be-planning-may-resignation-as-ambassador-to-china.html