Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has announced that he's ending his Presidential bid. Good. Now the race can get 100% wacky.
Huntsman was a favorite among moderates, people from Utah, and Billy Bob Thorton fans. His three very pretty and very funny twentysomething daughters became media stars promoting their father's candidacy. He had traveled extensively and didn't act ashamed about knowing stuff beyond what regular people might learn from watching Fox News. He was a refreshing voice of semi-reason during debates characterized by Mitt Romney simmering with robo-rage, Rick Perry embarrassing himself, Ron Paul going on and on about how if you just let all the animals out of the cages, the zoo will eventually reach a state of peace and prosperity, Herman Cain shouting numbers, Michele Bachmann adding the word "Obama" as a prefix for everything she doesn't like ("Obama traffic jam" "Obama cramps"), Newt Gingrich coming dangerously close to smirking his face skin right off, and Rick Santorum using the word "family" as a code word for "horrifying totalitarian body control." And there's Huntsman dropping a dad-ism! Huntsman even garnered the endorsement of a major South Carolina newspaper with just a week and change to go before the primary. But it wasn't enough.
The former Ambassador to China put all his eggs in one basket by basing his campaign out of New Hampshire— and he finished third. He was polling in single digits in both South Carolina and Florida. Time to pack it up and leave this whole "leading America" business to those who are so ridiculous that they defy parody. At his family's urging, he's dropped out and thrown his support behind Mitt Romney, a man who he actually kind of doesn't like very much.
On a more serious note, Huntsman's departure means that there is now only one candidate remaining in the running for the GOP nomination who has not signed the Personhood Pledge, a promise to fight to promote the rights of zygotes over the rights of the women who contain the zygotes. Although Mitt Romney hasn't signed it, he says he supports personhood and Mississippi's failed personhood amendment. But, then again: Mitt Romney says a lot of things. Huntsman also supported civil unions for gay couples and believed that global warming is a real thing that exists, which is in line with scientific consensus but totally out there for a 2012 Republican. He promised to run his campaign as a respectful, positive, issues-focused venture. Boo to that, say fans of nutbaggery.
"Non nutty" doesn't resonate enough with today's GOP primary voters to keep them interested. Maybe the sex is better with politicians who are totally off their rockers. Maybe it's more exciting to open the paper every morning unsure of whether you'd read about the possible future leader of the free world. Maybe Republicans want a candidate who makes them feel better about themselves. At any rate, it's time to stop trying to make "Huntsman for President" happen. It isn't happening.