I expected Barack Obama to say something about John Jon Huntsman after his presidential announcement yesterday. But I expected him to praise the former governor ambassador, which would be, of course, the worst possible thing Obama could do to poor Jon Huntsman if he hopes to woo conservatives.
Instead, the Obama campaign (and other prominent Democrats) condemned Huntsman’s economic plan, arguing it would “slash our commitment to education,” and a lot of other, presumably, bad things.
Their motive for doing this is confusing.
Do Democrats secretly fear Huntsman, and thus, want to strangle the baby in the crib? (This premise sounds absurd to conservatives, but despite numerous historical examples which would seem to disprove the theory, Democrats seem to legitimately believe a moderate would be harder to defeat.) Or are they trying to boost Huntsman among Republicans by attacking him?
My guess is the latter. Attacking Huntsman doesn’t hurt him — not now, at least. Conversely, praising Huntsman might hurt him among conservative primary voters.
But who knows? Maybe this is all psychological warfare. Maybe Jon Huntsman doesn’t really exist? Maybe Barack Obama invented him…