Birthplace: Palto Alto, California
Education: University of Penn., B.A. 1987
Profession: Public servant, businessman
Political Experience: Ambassador to China (2009-2011), Governor of Utah (2005-2009), Deputy U.S. Trade Ambassador (2001- 2003), Ambassador to Singapore (1992-1993),
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asia & the Pacific (1990-1991), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Trade Development Bureau (1989-1990),
Utah State Director for the Reagan-Bush Campaign (1984), Staff Assistant in the Reagan White House (1982-1983)
Spouse: Mary Kay Cooper Huntsman
Children: Mary Anne, Abigail Huntsman, Elizabeth, Jon III, William, Grace Mei and Asha Bharati
Campaign Headquarters: Orlando, Florida
Twitter: twitter.com/JonHuntsman and twitter.com/Jon2012HQ
It’s easy to see Jon Huntsman in the Oval Office. It is tougher to see how he gets there. Huntsman has an excellent resume. He served in the Commerce Department and as ambassador to Singapore under George H.W. Bush. He was a solid governor of Utah and was a staffer in the Reagan White House. When Barack Obama reached out across party lines to name him ambassador to China, Huntsman gained valuable experience with a country whose importance increases every year.
But Huntsman’s service in China for Obama has raised the eyebrows of more than a few conservatives. So has Huntsman’s penchant for trying to cultivate a non-partisan image. There have been more than a few moderates who have run for the Republican presidential nomination on their resumes. The tactic did not work for George H.W. Bush in 1980 or Lamar Alexander and Richard Lugar in 1996.
Still, Huntsman has a chance. He has to hope that his fellow Mormon Mitt Romney, the current frontrunner for the nomination, slips. If that happens -- and it is certainly not out of the question -- Huntsman will pick up some support. Huntsman has also been lucky that Tim Pawlenty, who often seems to be following the same strategy but with different tactics, has foundered so far in the campaign.
Eschewing the early Iowa caucus, Huntsman has a lot riding on the Florida straw poll. He has based his campaign in Orlando and has some of the best and brightest Republican strategists from the Sunshine State on his team. But Huntsman cannot abandon the early states to let it all ride on Florida, which did not work for Rudy Giuliani in 2008.
Huntsman is a serious man with a load of serious experience. If he can win the Presidency 5 straw poll, he can start to show Republicans that he is also a serious contender for the White House.
-- Kevin Derby, Assistant Editor, Sunshine State News