This week as the top Republican Presidential contenders gathered on a stage in New Hampshire for one of their first televised debates, vying to be the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate, another whose name had been mentioned a lot by insiders confirmed that he will in fact be a candidate.
Jon Huntsman Jr, the former Utah Governor turned U.S Ambassador to China in the Obama Administration told a crowd at a conference on Sino- U.S relations, he will officially launch a presidential campaign on Tuesday June 21.
But a meer announcement set for Tuesday June 21 at Battery Park City with Lady Liberty standing tall in the background (ala 1980 Ronald Reagan); isn’t the only way Huntsman, 51 is spreading the word. Last Wednesday on his personal website, which itself is now a challenge to even find; Huntsman baffled some with a 26 second long viral video ad (posted above) consisting of a motocross rider speeding across the desert on a bike, as the words: “In 6 Days; He did not become famous with his band Wizard” comes across the screen and then goes to black with the words paid for by Jon Huntsman.
What the hell does that even mean?If this ad seems strange it’s because it was actually reportedly produced by the same mind behind the Christine O’Donnell ‘ I am not a witch ad’ of 2010. Then on Friday a follow-up ad was posted.
Ok, well I think I get it now. He is trying to drop a fact about himself with each ad, though he doesn’t mention his name and I still don’t understand the mention of ‘his band Wizard’ a band he was in during his high school years, maybe?
And if you needed further evidence of his strange campaign one needs only look at the website of Horizon’s PAC, Huntsman’s political action committee. Rather then just a request for campaign contributions and the stating of a few political principles meant to lure such contributors in, we get poetry. If one clicks on the More button there appears an ‘about’ section as well as three statements written in what seems to be poetic verse. Here is one of them:
To America? To politics? To our politicians?
What happened to decency? To reason?
What happened to common goals? To calm? To respect?
What happened to actual, lasting solutions to problems?
When were they replaced with anger?
Slammed fists. Divisive words. Winning at any cost?
When did principles evaporate?
When was balanced replaced by bloated?
Honor by power?
Prepared by preening?
What happened? We live the result.
Maybe someday we’ll find a new generation of conservative leaders.
Well-grounded leaders of vision.
Who will bring back America.
Strange? Yes. But does he have my attention? Yes. Not to mention any ad featuring speed, heavy machinery, and an allusion towards professional sports can’t be detrimental to efforts to capture the allegiances of those most enthusiastic about speed and sports, namely blue-collar conservative white male voters. Combine that with the fact that unlike his soon to be fellow candidates he has a resume of considerable foreign policy as well as economic policy, and you might have a candidate that might just be able to be that credible alternative to President Obama both in the primaries as well as the general election.
Whether Huntsman can use his background,and interests, and whether he can connect with people as a candidate remains to be seen. But these unusual hallmarks and other factors will no doubt keep political prognosticators watching.