A Good Way to Announce a Presidential Candidacy

Jon Huntsman, a guy with an impressive resume, announced on Tuesday that he is running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Whether the former governor of Utah and ambassador to China stands a chance is only a guess.

But, if you believe that civility should infuse the process by which we elect a president in the United States, his announcement speech ought to bring some encouragement.

Among other things, he said of the incumbent, President Barack Obama:

He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.

Both Democrats and Republicans, in their ways, tend to question the patriotism and the love for the Constitution of their opposition. 
Patriotism, contrary to Samuel Johnson, is only the second-to-last refuge of scoundrels. Their last refuge is loudly and incessantly accusing political opponents of lacking patriotism. 
All this mutual demonizing obscures the fact that there are patriotic Americans on both sides of the partisan kabuki dance. 
Kudos to Huntsman for refusing to play the “I’m-more-patriotic-than-you-are” card.

[I cross-posted this at my personal blog, where I almost never blog about politics these days.]

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Author: MARK DANIELS

  • ShannonLeee

    I saw the announcement. He came off very creepy. He needs more work. I am not sure if now is his time. He needs a lot more work.

  • DLS

    Lamar Alexander toured the nation playing the piano and wearing flannel shirts. He would say, “Bob Dole has the old ideas. Pat Buchanan has the wrong ideas. I have new ideas.” Time after time I would say to myself, “What new ideas?” His campaign did not last long.

    This guy’s campaign probably won’t, either. What’s this silliness about trying to be “nice” or “civilized”? Is this guy as out of touch as Obama often has been, or is he another elitists putting down populism (which is mainly center-right)? And when the Left has been vicious? He also looks and sounds like just another TV-faced politician. He shouldn’t last. He may not make it to Super Tuesday (though every respectable Dem or GOP candidate ought to campaign until then; as with Obama, it can be surprising).