Earlier this week, Jon Huntsman’s campaign fired its New Hampshire state director, Ethan Eilon. In his place is now Sarah Crawford Stewart, who only joined the campaign in mid-August after previously working for Tim Pawlenty’s campaign.
Adding Stewart was seen as a good move for Team Huntsman, but it’s also interesting for one reason that isn’t readily apparent.
The Stewarts are now working for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, But during the 2008 election cycle, Mr. Stewart publicly mocked Mitt Romney’s religion on his political blog, which at the time was called “GreenMountainPolitics1.”
In December 2006, for example, Stewart wrote that “Mitt Romney will hereby be known as ‘Governor Big Love.'” The jab was an apparent reference to the HBO series about a fundamentalist Mormon family that practices polygamy.
In January 2007, Stewart wrote, “I even make fun of Men Of The Cloth, as I know Mitt Romney is. And, let’s be honest, calling Mitt Romney Governor Big Love to tease him about his Mormon faith is funny. It really is.” (RELATED: Huntsman’s jobs plan would repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley)
In another post that included a picture of Romney, his wife, and a women who appears to be a political supporter, Stewart wrote: “This is a picture of Governor Romney and two of his wives. Just kidding. Governor Big Love only has one wife. I think. But seriously, Love is getting ridiculous.”
Stewart tried to qualify some of his blog posts by describing them as “political satire,” but Mitt Romney–Mormonism jokes seemed to be typical and frequent fare for Stewart during the campaign season.
It’s unknown whether Team Huntsman knew it was hiring a firm whose co-founder routinely and openly mocked Mormonism. Neither Christopher Stewart nor the Huntsman campaign has responded to requests for comment.
This isn’t the first time Mr. Stewart’s blogging got him into trouble with a campaign. Earlier this year he was involved in a minor kerfuffle with the Republican Party of New Hampshire’s executive director, who had said openly that we wouldn’t be supporting Tim Pawlenty’s candidacy. Stewart, whose wife was then working for Pawlenty, complained that the party should help all the Republican candidates.
The Pawlenty campaign’s spokesperson, Alex Conant, said at the time: “The views of the independent blogger are his alone.”