So veteran 80s cop show character-actor Jon Huntsman is at risk of running as an independent? So wonders the right-wing media, way more so than Huntsman himself—who seems far more interested in questioning how Gov. Rick Perry can run the United States without an advanced degree in molecular biology. Hah! The audacity of something!
Naturally, with most Republican candidates trending to beat Obama in 2012, and some trouncing him, folks are gittin’ kinda worried that Jon Meade Huntsman poses a risk to this plan. Heck, look what Perot did to Bush in 1992! And what he did to Dole in 1996! Or what Nader did to Gore in 2000! And what Yes-lead-singer John Anderson did to
Reagan Carter…well, himself…in 1980!
A Huntsman independency could rob away critical votes from the GOP candidate and re-elect Obama!
Not so fast. In fact, a Huntsman run would very likely help the GOP.
Sure, a percentage point (if we round up generously) of GOP voters would vote for Huntsman. But very likely more Democrats could vote for him, robbing precious points away from Obama.
Think it over: pretend you voted for Obama (as did a lot of people). You really hate Rick Perry. Or Mitt Romney. Or whomever the GOP puts through the primary. Um, and well, you really think Obama has been a dismal flop: the whole Gitmo and Iraq thing, plus he started a fight in Libya, then continued to unimpress through the whole budget debate, and those pesky millionaires are still lighting fires with thousand-dollar-bills to set fire to poor people’s homes. You know, like the girl who somehow agreed to go to junior prom with the dorky-but-cute kid and realizes he is way more dorky than cute ten minutes into dancing and realizes senior prom is a year away, you might actually prefer not to re-elect Obama. Of course, you don’t want to be an instant racist if you vote for Perry. Or Romney.
Enter Jon Huntsman. Yeah, the GOP is sick of him, and he is so not Perry. Nor Romney. And, if you were to vote for him—maybe even on impulse in the voting booth when no one is looking over your shoulder—yeah, you might just ink Huntsman’s name. And when your friends gather for mojitos that night at Samuel and Jacob’s uptown studio with the brick walls and exposed ductwork to listen to smooth jazz, you can smile when they ask if you voted for Obama, as you can say “Pfft. Well, I sure shan’t vote for Perry. Or Romney. Or whatever racist was running.”
Then the election returns come in, and it looks bad for Obama. “It isn’t right,” you say, because the party can’t believe the news. Florida. Ohio. Virginia. Pennsylvania, all glowing red. “Like you, I wanted someone different, someone who wasn’t going to ignore us!” Everyone groans at the returns. Then Nancy, who always has a bit too much Jack and Coke, blurts out “I shoulda voted for Hunchman,” before crashing into a potted yucca in the corner. And you nod, because no one is offended by this, and maybe you could cough and announce you did.