John Huntsman is dropping out and endorsing Romney after one of the more puzzling campaigns in recent memory.
I can not understand how Huntsman failed to gain any traction with the GOP. His record as governor was staunchly conservative. As I tweeted last night, he not only had a plan to deal with “too big to fail banks”, he seemed to be the only candidate — Republican or Democrat — who realized that “too big to fail” was even a problem worth addressing. I realize his more pragmatic foreign policy — eschewing a trade war with China or a real war with Iran — didn’t go over well. But … everyone else had a turn as the “not-Romney”. The GOP electorate gave serious consideration to loonies like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump. It took a good look at Newt Gingrich before remembering that he was Newt Gingrich. It took a good look at Rick Perry before he began losing debates with himself.
I think the blame has to go squarely on … this may sound crazy … Huntsman himself. He never seemed positioned himself for a serious run. He seemed to think that getting glowing reviews from the media was enough. Rick Santorum, whatever else you might say about him, worked his ass off in Iowa to drum up votes. Ron Paul, whatever else you might say about him, energizes his base with frequent speeches and memorable debate performances. Huntsman didn’t seem to realize that he had to get more than just media endorsements. He had to also get votes.