April 12, 2013 | 163 comments
February 4, 2013 | 68 comments
January 23, 2013 | 69 comments
January 22, 2013 | 30 comments
January 17, 2013 | 68 comments
A pre-mortem on the candidate who broke the 12th Commandment of politics.
Would conservatives support a presidential bid by David Petraeus?
The Iraq surge architect isn’t a candidate. But for years prominent conservatives from Rep. Peter King to Andrew Breitbart have touted the soldier-scholar as a dream conservative candidate to take on Barack Obama.
The question is, if Petraeus had run, would his service in the Obama administration — first as head of U.S. Central Command, then as Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan and now as CIA Director — have counted against him?
It’s safe to say conservatives wouldn’t have re-purposed the old “General Betray-Us” moniker for the man who has become one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors on national security and intelligence matters. By serving the president, most people understand, Petraeus has been serving the country.
But serving one’s country has been seen as a negative factor in former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s bid for the Republican nomination. Huntsman served as the Obama administration’s ambassador to China from August 2009 until May 2011. That service, and the way in which he ended it, is a major reason why his candidacy has floundered.
Though he doesn’t always talk like one, Jon Huntsman is a conservative.
He combines many of the best qualities of the other Republican candidates. He has the deep policy knowledge of Newt Gingrich, the business background of Mitt Romney, and the record of conservative governance of Rick Perry. And his pro-life credentials, both personally and professionally, are as impressive as those of Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul.
What’s more, Huntsman’s foreign policy background is unmatched in the Republican field. He held foreign policy positions in the administrations of the last three Republican presidents.
All this helped to make Huntsman a perfect choice to be America’s top diplomat in China. And by all accounts Huntsman, who speaks Mandarin fluently, did an exemplary job in China. He earned high marks from former ambassadors, China experts, human rights activists and business leaders.
Unlike other Obama administration officials, Huntsman wasn’t afraid to praise Chinese dissidents or criticize the communist government, especially for its human rights violations.
You might think these things would have endeared Huntsman to conservatives. And they probably would have, except that he did them as a representative of the Obama administration.
If Republican primary voters know anything about Huntsman it’s that he worked for Obama — and for most that’s all they need to know. As a commenter on the conservative blog freerepublic.com wrote about Huntsman’s acceptability as a GOP candidate, “Nope. He worked for Obama. Nope. Nope. Nope.”
Huntsman realizes how his service has been received by Republican voters, telling the Washington Post last month, “I crossed a partisan line when I went to serve this administration, which as an outgrowth of my personal belief that you always put country first. People looked at that and they concluded that I had committed an egregious sin, and they then just sort of glossed right over us and went on to the next candidate.”
Huntsman didn’t help himself by breaking one of the cardinal rules of modern American politics. Ronald Reagan popularized the 11th Commandment of politics: never speak ill of another Republican.
Huntsman broke what could be called the 12th commandment of modern Republican politics: never speak well of a Democrat. But Huntsman didn’t speak well of just any Democrat. He complimented the three Democrats most loathed by Republicans: Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?