I could not believe the abject display of tongue-bathing NPR and CNN was giving the Huntsman campaign announcement yesterday evening. Are they capable of this sort of calculated sabotage, or are they so utterly detached from the attitudes and emotional temperament of the conservative side of the country that they honestly can't anticipate the reactions of the average GOP primary voter, and think that a disloyal former ambassador - whose main policy positions in the Obama era (cap & trade, the stimulus) are vehemently despised by libertarians and TEA Party types - will somehow find a constituency?
Look, his social conservative credentials - pro-life, pro-gun rights - are going to be crippled by two other factors:
1) *Everybody* is pro-life this time 'round, unless Giuliani makes another pass at being rejected.
2) *Everybody* is pro-gun rights this time 'round. It's not as if this is policy rocket-science, especially with the Gunwalker scandal brewing.
He'll split the anti-war, isolationist vote with Ron Paul. At this point, the way to distinguish yourself from the pack is to be *pro* interventionist - I'm not saying that there's a vast majority of primary voters who *aren't* tired of the Terror War, but everybody else seems to have been flirting with war-fatigued voters.
He *won't* attract religious social conservatives because of the whole Mormon thing - I'm not saying that it's a dealbreaker, but it isn't exactly a selling point, either. They'd fall in behind the nominee, Mormon or not, but they've got their own tribal candidates - Bachmann, Cain, Pawlenty, Santorum, or maybe Perry. Romney is supposed to bring in the secular fiscal conservatives, except that the RomneyCare thing has pretty much crippled him among those who pay attention. Which basically leaves the Rockefeller liberal rump, if there are any remaining above ground... I guess Huntsman is the Rockefeller Republican candidate. That gets him, what, a dozen or so primary voters?