Stephen Guy Hardin / June 24, 2011

Huntsman Fakes One for the Gipper

President Obama’s former ambassador to China, Utah’s former Governor, Ralph Lauren’s former photo shoot double and the third most powerful Mormon in America, Jon Huntsman, has entered the fray for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

During his official campaign announcement the former governor pledged to make the “hard decisions” that are required to deal with America’s debt. Governor Huntsman also vowed to make every effort to appear to be a conservative until the day after he is elected president.

“I’m a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America,” Huntsman said, speaking before a surly crowd of reporters, photographers and media consultants with the Statue of Liberty used as a prominent stage prop.

In a less than subtle attempt to transpose the emotional presence of President Ronald Reagan onto his soon to be still born campaign, Governor Huntsman chose the exact location of President Reagan’s 1980 campaign announcement to stage his media event. Though unlike President Reagan, Mr. Huntsman required the use of the Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan Yellow Pages to ensure he could be seen over the top of the podium.

Yellow Pages, indeed.

Posing in front of his campaign banner, which at first glance was reminiscent of a Tommy Hilfiger label, Governor Huntsman twisted himself into a veritable pretzel in his efforts to channel the ghosts of great conservatives past.

Quoting passages from Ronald Reagan speeches with the same level of sincerity that Barack Obama uses when he reads passages from The Constitution to one of Reverend Wrights Sunday School classes, the former governor and garage band aficionado tweaked the timber of his voice as he bemoaned the state of America under the administration of his friend and mentor, Barack Obama.

“For the first time in our history, we are passing down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got,” Huntsman said. “This, ladies and gentlemen, is totally unacceptable and totally un-American.”

“We must make hard decisions that are necessary to avert disaster,” the former governor said, as he brushed back his gray locks and fixed the spellbound bevy of photographers with the infamous Huntsman stare that made him a household name in Utah.

But I digress.

Tough talk from a governor who, though popular in Utah, was known for his moderate policies and cool motocross costumes, indeed, until recently, Obama’s man in China has been an outspoken admirer of the furthest left president since FDR and his potential Democrat opponent in 2012, at one point even complimenting the president,

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”  Oops, that was Joe Biden’s quote about Obama. Well, Joe Biden or Jon Huntsman, same difference, eh?

Though, to be fair, every GOP candidate and candidate in waiting from Newt to Mitt to Michele to Sarah is attempting to channel the spirit of the greatness of Ronald Reagan. Its politics as usual and just another day in the Republican Party primaries as Huntsman fakes one from the Gipper.

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