Jon Huntsman, Jr. standing with his father, Jon Huntsman, Sr.
So much for the liberal media’s love affair with moderate onetime GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Utah’s former governor was mostly on his way to slipping into a cozy life of corporate stipends. But events interfered with his quiet exit:
First, Huntsman got caught between the right and left-leaning papers of record. The New York Times implicated the former ambassador to China and his family as the source of a juicy (and apparently untrue) tidbit in a scandal about the spoiled son of a Communist Party luminary and his red Ferrari. Then, The Wall Street Journal fired back in a story debunking the Times’ debunking, simultaneously tying Huntsman to right-wing media magnate Rupert Murdock and his newspaper’s harassment of a Chinese witness (It's not good to be too friendly with the evil empire when you want to keep the rest of the mainstream media enthralled).
And then his daughter/spokeswoman/Manhattan-trust-fund “journalist” Abby Huntsman Livingston tweeted a new career idea for Dad: Run for mayor of the Big Apple. “Why not?”
Instead of fawning, New York’s media intelligentsia shot down Livingston’s trial balloon with typical snark. New York Magazine noted that neither of Huntsman’s houses are in Manhattan and finished by speculating that the daughter “perhaps misses the spotlight.”
Salon was worse.
“Jon Huntsman should definitely run for mayor of New York, because I never tire of watching Jon Huntsman get rejected by voters,” wrote blogger Alex Pareene. “The best part of a Jon Huntsman campaign is when his well-heeled supporters very sincerely and tragically argue that the fact that no one wants to vote for Jon Huntsman is a sign that the Republic itself is in peril. They would get so sad and melodramatic when he got 10 percent of the vote.”
As proof Utah’s one-and-a-half term governor wouldn’t fit in in New York’s moderate GOP circles, Pareene proceeded to list all the red-blooded conservative ideas Huntsman backed during his short-lived run for the White House—including Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget, repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations and his opposition to gay marriage. For good measure, he called Livingston, “one of his annoying daughters.”