So who’s a “serious” candidate? Politico this morning:
Jon Huntsman formally launched his presidential campaign on Tuesday….
“I don’t think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for president,” Huntsman told the crowd of 100 gathered at a pavilion jutting out into the Hudson River….
AP, May 21, 2011:
Herman Cain has run a pizza chain, hosted a talk radio show and sparred with Bill Clinton over health care. He’s never held elected office. Now the tea party favorite wants to be president.
“In case you accidentally listen to a skeptic or doubting Thomas out there, just to be clear … I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m not running for second,” he told a crowd at Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday. Chants of “Herman” erupted from the crowd of thousands in downtown Atlanta….
Ah, but Huntsman almost certainly had more reporters in tow, so that’s all that matters, right? What do you think this is — a democracy?
You can actually hear the wingnuts cheering Cain lustily about 50 seconds into the video of his announcement:
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By contrast, here’s the Huntsman announcement video, which reveals the emperor’s-clothes fact about Huntsman that no one seems to want to talk about: he’s an extremely boring, uncharismatic speaker.
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It’s as if his features are just so goshdarn chiseled that the press can’t quite reconcile his hunkiness with dullness. (There was a little of that about a decade ago with Bill Bradley. He was an ex-jock! How could someone who was an ex-jock possibly not inspire a crush or a man-crush in everyone? But, in fact, he was a wonky, uncharismatic bore.) Huntsman is basically Tim Pawlenty with more money, slicker handlers, and better bone structure. That’s still not good enough, and wouldn’t be good enough even if there weren’t that little problem of candidacy-killing apostasies.
Speaking of which, what’s all this about?
“We are about to pass down to the next generation a country that is less powerful, less compassionate, less competitive and less confident than the one we got. This is totally unacceptable and totally un-American,” Huntsman said.
“Less compassionate”? He wants to be the GOP nominee for president and he used that freighted word?
I think the average Republican primary voter would agree with what Glenn Beck said to Rush Limbaugh in May 2009:
“…this compassionate conservative movement has got to die a violent death.”
(Cross-posted at NMMNB.)