Peter Nicholas of The Wall Street Journal is playing dumb. He played it straight when When Politico’s Mike Allen asked Obama campaign manager Jim Messina “which Republican would have had the best shot at beating your boss?” and Messina said Jon Huntsman.
“We were honest about our concerns about Huntsman,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said at a Politico breakfast event Tuesday. “I think Huntsman would have been a very tough candidate.” This is like praising the last player at the end of the bench.
Obama appointed Huntsman as ambassador to China in 2009. Mr. Messina, who was working in the White House at the time, said he helped Mr. Huntsman win Senate confirmation. “As someone who helped manage his confirmation for Chinese ambassador, he’s a good guy,” Mr. Messina said. “We looked at his profile in a general election and thought he would have been” a formidable candidate.
Huntsman spent most of 2011 soliciting the votes of the cast of "Morning Joe" and trashing conservative voters -- and this would have driven conservative turnout in a general election? It's more likely a third-party alternative would have taken a chunk of the usual GOP vote.