Narcissistic- And Defeated
In retrospect (hindsight always being 20/20) it shouldn't have been a surprise.
The primary in New Hampshire, though it won't redound much to Mitt Romney's benefit in South Carolina, was a significant victory for the front runner. Not only did he coast to victory but was rewarded by the voters who gave Ron Paul a second-place finish.
Paul, despised by the establishment of the GOP, finished ahead of Jon Huntsman, who is not despised by the party establishment- and probably, aside from Romney, would be its top choice.
But Huntsman was not the top choice, or even the second choice, of New Hampshire voters despite spending more time in the state in the past few months than any other candidate, as graphically depicted (immediately below) by Talking Points Memo.
And that, despite the far-right field and this earlier post of mine, probably speaks well of the individuals who went to the polls last Tuesday. For no other candidate in a presidential debate of either party has regaled us with the Mandarin version of "He doesn't seem to understand the situation" (embedding of video disabled by request).
We get it, Jon. You're the smartest guy on the stage. Not only can you speak a language foreign to the vast majority of Americans but in so demonstrating, you were able to charge that your rival doesn't "understand the situation."
Not wrong- and not, as is quite likely, insincerely exploiting the justified fears of Americans about the growing power and threat of Mainland China- but not aware of what Huntsman is aware. Apparently unbeknownst to the former Utah governor and ambassador to China, getting elected President involves far more than demonstrating that you are the best educated and most traveled candidate of them all, notwithstanding Barack Obama's ascension to the office.
Currency manipulation, prohibitive tariffs on some U.S. goods, cyber spying, rapid militarization, and threats to Taiwan all are of concern to this nation. And to our people, even these pale in significance to the jobs that are being lost to the Mainland. These, significantly, have been greatest as a share of total employment in- wait for it- New Hampshire. The Economic Policy Institute (their map, immediately below) notes that from 2001 to 2008, 16,300 jobs (2.35% of total state employment) were ripped away from Granite State residents. And that was as a result of trade imbalance, irrespective of Third World Chinese labor practices.
Into this, and in a nation still mired in a serious economic slump, the slow disintegration of the middle class, and declining mobility, steps Jon Huntsman and his impressive facility with Mandarin Chinese. It was, admittedly, a fine slap in the face but nothing that qualifies him for the presidency. To the 83% of New Hampshire voters who rejected the most worldly of candidates, congratulations; to that candidate himself, goodbye- and please don't come back in four years.
Into this, and in a nation still mired in a serious economic slump and beset by the slow disintegration of the middle class and declining mobility, steps Jon Huntsman and his impressive facility with Mandarin Chinese. It was, admittedly, a fine slap in the face but nothing that qualifies him for the presidency. To the 83% of New Hampshire voters who rejected the most worldly of candidates, congratulations; to that candidate himself, goodbye- and please don't come back in four years.