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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Huntsman’

USA | Någon som minns den mandarintalande, motorcykelåkande, (relativt) liberala presidentkandidaten Jon Huntsman?

Henry Payne 17 januari 2012

Vem vet om han funderar över att göra ett nytt försök att bli republikanernas presidentkandidat. Svaret han ger när Andrew Goldman intervjuade honom för The New York Times är alltför vagt för att indikerat någonting överhuvudtaget.

So if you’re running for president in 2016, you probably have to start laying the groundwork now, right?

Can you imagine we’re even talking about this? It’s mind-numbing that within 24 hours, people want to start talking about 2016.

[…]

All along, it was speculated that you would have been a formidable opponent for Obama, but you didn’t have a prayer in the primaries. Do you think the Republican primary system is broken?

People aren’t turning out for primaries because they work for a living, and those who do turn out are professional activists. Today, if you have somebody who ultimately gets through the obstacle course, they’re going to lack the one ingredient in such need today: authenticity.

[…]

Obviously you’ve thought a lot about it. What went wrong?

When the decision was made to refuse any pandering — because my wife would have left me if I had done any of that — you pretty much disarm yourself. On top of that you have people like Michael Moore, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter coming out and giving you kudos as a sane Republican. That doesn’t play so well in the primary phase of Iowa or South Carolina.

The New York Times referred to you during the campaign as “an early favorite of the pundit classes.” Did you read that and think, I’m toast?

That’s the first dagger to the heart.

You also cooperated with a big Vogue profile with photographs by Annie Leibovitz. Didn’t you anticipate that might smack too much of the cultural elite?

But who’s going to turn down Annie Leibovitz? When she comes knocking, of course you’re going to invite her in, and we did pay a price for that.

Läs mer: Jacob Weisbergs omtalade ”Jon Huntsman: The Outsider i Vogue (med foton av Annie Leibovitz).

Bild: En “editorial cartoon” av Henry Payne (17 januari 2012). Fler på GoComics.com.

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DEBATT | Inför deras första debatt har Barack Obama och Mitt Romney gått inför att skapa låga förväntningar kring deras egen debattskicklighet.

Strategin går naturligtvis ut på att överraska väljarnas med att de gjorde bättre ifrån sig än väntat när det väl är över.

“Governor Romney he’s a good debater, I’m just okey”, poängterade t.ex. Obama under ett kampanjevent i Las Vegas under förra söndagen.

Och Romney spelade samma spel i en intervju med Fox News i vecka som gick.

”I don’t know how to raise or lower expectations,” sade Romney. ”The president is a very eloquent, gifted speaker. He’ll do just fine. I’ve never been in a presidential debate like this and it will be a new experience.”

James Fallows, nationell korrespondent på tidskriften The Atlantic, har tittat närmare på debatternas betydelse för utgången av ett presidentval och de två kombattanternas olika styrkor och svagheter.

Mitt Romney is far less effective as a big-speech orator than Barack Obama, and in many other aspects of campaigning he displays what appear to be laboriously studied moves rather than anything that comes naturally. But debates are and have been his strength. He grew up enjoying “big, boisterous arguments about everything around the dinner table,” according to his campaign strategist and main debate-prep specialist, Stuart Stevens. “He loves the dialectic of arguing the different sides, and he’s most uncomfortable when no one is disagreeing with him.” He will enter this fall’s encounters with very recent, successful experience in a very wide range of formats and challenges.

In none of the Republican-primary debates was Romney judged the big loser; in many he was the clear winner, and as the campaign wore on, the dominant image from the debates was of a confident Romney, standing with a slight smile on his face and his hands resting easily in his pockets, looking on with calm amusement as the lesser figures squabbled among themselves and sometimes lashed out at him.

Civics teachers won’t want to hear this, but the easiest way to judge “victory” in many debates is to watch with the sound turned off, so you can assess the candidates’ ease, tenseness, humor, and other traits signaled by their body language. By this standard, Ron Paul, with his chronically ill-fitting suits, often looked cranky; Rick Santorum often looked angry; Rick Perry initially looked pole­axed and confused; Jon Huntsman looked nervous; Newt Ging­rich looked overexcited—and so on through the list until we reach Mitt Romney, who almost always looked at ease. (As did Herman Cain, illustrating that body language is not everything.) Romney looked like the grown-up—the winner, the obvious candidate—with or without sound. “He is as good as it gets in debating,” former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who was the first major contender to drop out of the Republican race, told me. “He is poised, prepared, smart, strategic—tactical, too.”

[…]

Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise.

When the subject is one he’s prepared for, he rarely falters. When it’s not, or when an exchange goes on longer or in a different direction than expected, many of his ad-libbed responses turn out to be mistakes (“I’ll bet you $10,000!”). Thus the Romney team has the impossible challenge of trying to imagine every question or attack line that might come up in debates with Obama, while the Obama team tries to imagine what Romney’s might have missed. This kind of chess game is always part of debate preparation, but it is unusually important this year, because the gap between Romney at his best and at his worst is so wide.

[…]

“The history is that challengers tend to profit, particularly in the first debate,” David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, told me in June. “Just the act of being on the stage with a president is an elevating thing.” This sounds like a small matter, but through the years, analysis of debate reactions has shown that the public takes a candidate more seriously after seeing him, for the first time, on equal footing with an incumbent president.

[…]

In this year’s debates, Barack Obama’s most inspiring and powerful message as a candidate will no longer be available to him. Four years ago, “Change we can believe in” suggested that things could be different and much better with him in charge. Now even his most fervent backers doubt how much better things are likely to get in a second Obama term. His critics put the same point more harshly. “This time, the president won’t have the luxury of making stuff up and speaking aspirationally,” Tim Pawlenty told me on a campaign swing through Pennsylvania with Romney in June. “He actually has to defend his record and attach facts to it.”

One more factor is working against Obama in the debates. When the economy is bad and an incumbent is beset, the challenger’s task is simplified. He doesn’t need to belabor the case against the incumbent. Reality has already done that; everyone knows what’s wrong with the president they have now. All the challenger has to do is say: “Look me over. I’ll be okay in this job. You can feel comfortable with me.” This is what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, and Bill Clinton in 1992. Meanwhile, the incumbent has to work twice as hard, in order to make two arguments at once. He must prove something about himself: that, while battered, he’s still energetic, visionary, and up to the job. He must also prove something about his opponent: that he is bad for the country, unready, and overall worse.

And he must do all this without seeming defensive or tense; while appearing easily in command to those who see images without hearing words; and, in Obama’s uniquely straitjacketed case, while avoiding the slightest hint of being an “angry black man.”

[…]

If economic trends are bad enough—or, improbably, good enough—to turn the election into a runaway, we might look back and say that the debates didn’t matter. But in what gives every sign of being a close, bitter, expensive, and mostly negative contest, the way these men interact onstage could make a major difference.

Övrigt: Se även Fallows video “Romney the Debater: His Strengths and Weaknesses”. Inför valet 2008 gjorde Fallows en liknande analys som ovan i essayen ”Rhetorical Questions”. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är The Atlantic, september 2012.)

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USA | Än har Mitt Romney inte vunnit. Söndag natt hoppade Jon Huntsman av och gav Romney sitt stöd. Men i South Carolina knappar Newt Gingrich in.

The Economist ägnar stort utrymme åt Romney i sitt senaste nummer. I den längre artikeln ”Towards the coronation” skriver man:

Almost 60% deem Mr Romney an “acceptable” nominee, according to Gallup, a polling firm, a higher proportion than any of his rivals. Strikingly, he received the blessing of both moderate and conservative Republicans in equal proportion. Most soundings show Mr Romney running better against Mr Obama than any of the other candidates—a fact not lost on primary voters.

Some right-wing pundits worry that Mr Romney will fail to excite the party’s base, and thus depress turnout on election day. But elections are won among swing voters, and he holds far more allure for them than any of his rivals. He is strongly supported, too, by the politicians who will be running below him on the ticket if he wins the nomination. Mr Romney has more backing among Republican congressmen and governors than all the other candidates combined.

Anyway, Mr Romney probably does not need to thrill voters to beat Mr Obama. When an incumbent president is running, says Charlie Cook, a political analyst, the election normally turns into a referendum on his performance, as long as his opponent is “colourless and odourless”. If so, the meticulously anodyne nature of Mr Romney’s campaign may be its greatest strength.

Se även: Ledaren ”America’s next CEO?”. Artikeln ”Mitt Romney marches on” och Schumpeter-krönikan ”Romney the revolutionary”. (Tidskriftsomslag och artiklar från The Economist den 14-20 januari 2012.)

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USA | Mitt Romney tog hem New Hampshire med 39,3 %. På andra plats Ron Paul (22,9 %) och på tredje plats Jon Huntsman (16,9 %).

Romney blev därmed historisk. Han är den förste republikanske presidentkandidaten som inte innehar presidentämbetet – ”non-incumbent – som ändå lyckats vinna både Iowa och New Hampshire.

Och nu börjar kriget om South Carolina.

I artikeln ”Ads bombard South Carolina airwaves ahead of primary” har Alana Semuels i Los Angeles Times tagit sig en titt på den positiva och negativa politisk reklam – inte minst kampanj videos – som väljarna möts av.

När det gäller s.k. ”attack ads” skriver Semuels:

Romney’s super PAC, Restore our Future, is repeating an anti-Newt Gingrich ad that also ran in Iowa, which begins, “Ever notice how some people make a lot of mistakes?” and goes on to detail Gingrich’s “mistakes,” such as working with Nancy Pelosi and attacking Mitt Romney. Anti-Gingrich ads helped dampen support for the candidate in Iowa, where he finished in a disappointing fourth place.

Newt Gingrich is running a new ad, “Changed?” released Tuesday, that criticizes Romney’s abortion policies when he became Massachusetts governor. Starting with a still of Romney’s face, it asks what happened after Romney changed his position to oppose abortion rights, then accuses him of appointing a judge in favor of abortion rights, expanding access to abortion pills and signing a healthcare bill with government-funded abortions. “Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney. He can’t be trusted,” the ad concludes.

An ad paid for by Ron Paul attacks Rick Santorum as a corrupt free spender who opposed a right-to-work act and voted to raise the debt ceiling. In colors of black, white and red, it quotes criticism of Santorum from newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, saying that Santorum has “a record of betrayal.” It accuses him of collaborating with union leaders and being one of the “most corrupt” members of Congress.

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INTRESSANTASTE ordväxlingen var mellan Mitt Romney och Rick Perry. Detta var första gången Perry deltog i en debatt med de övriga kandidaterna.

Se mer: Debatten – del 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Deltagare Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Herman Cain och Jon Huntsman.

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JON HUNTSMAN och Mitt Romney anses ha störst chans gentemot Barack Obama. Inte konstigt att de då inte har mycket gott att säga om varandra.

De två har en förvånansvärt likartad bakgrund. Båda är rika, båda är f.d. guvernörer, båda har haft framgångar inom näringslivet och båda tillhör mormonkyrkan. Men man skall inte förledas tro att de har mycket gemensamt politiskt.

John Heilemann, i tidskriften New York, skriver:

“The Republican nominee is going to need a track record that speaks to job creation and economic expansion,” says Huntsman, who before heading to Beijing was the governor of Utah, where he was credited with just such achievements. “Romney, good man that he is, didn’t have that record in Massachusetts.” Is Huntsman among those who consider Romney a phony and a flip-flopper? “Look at the record. You know, you show up once, you’re a liberal; you show up the next time, you’re a conservative; you show up the next time, you’re a moderate. It shows a fair amount of recasting and reinventing at a time when people are looking for authenticity.” And Huntsman is more authentically conservative than Romney? “Right. Worked for Reagan when somebody was criticizing him. Pro-life when somebody wasn’t. Pro–­Second Amendment when somebody wasn’t. You can draw your own conclusions.”

Neither Romney nor his aides have yet to utter a harsh word about Huntsman—on the record, that is. But privately, their scorn for him is withering and total. Huntsman’s bid, they say, is a vanity candidacy, with zero logic or rationale behind it. He has no base in the GOP and absolutely no hope of building one; as an Obama appointee seeking to lead a virulently anti-Obama party, he is terminally toxic.

[…]

“They came to prominence as governors in a way that is interesting because they’ve switched personas,” says BYU political-­science professor Quin Monson. “Huntsman was a very conservative governor and then moderated as he got ready to leave office and was looking toward the national stage. Romney did the exact ­opposite: To shake the mold from Massachusetts, he had to portray himself as more conservative.”

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget är New York den 8-15 augusti 2011.

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ÄN FINNS DET liv i Jon Huntsman. I kampanjvideon jämförs Mitt Romney med Barack Obama. Romney vars ”record is sadly similar to that of Obamas”.

I anslutning till videon på YouTube skriver man:

If Governor Mitt Romney’s record is any indication, his economic plan will markedly raise fees and corporate taxes, block the adoption of a flat tax, let the Bush tax cuts expire and strangle small businesses with new, onerous health care regulations. It was precisely those anti-growth policies that gave Gov. Romney the distinction of leading a state that was 47-of-50 in job creation and suffered a mass population exodus to greener and economically freer pastures — New Hampshire among them.

The Daily Caller reported that despite Gov. Romney’s confident rhetoric, his job-creation record was worse than one of his predecessors: Michael Dukakis.

In stark contrast to Gov. Romney, Gov. Huntsman offered a jobs plan that the Wall Street Journal called ”as impressive as any to date in the GOP presidential field.” But more importantly, Gov. Huntsman’s plan reflects what he did in Utah. His record of tax cuts, free-market health care, and pro-growth policies created an environment that made Utah #1 in the nation in job growth.

When it comes to job creation, the records of Governors Huntsman and Romney offer voters a clear choice: #1 vs. #47

Videon poängterar också att Hunstmans ”character” är en tillgång. Förhoppningen är att hans softare, mer nertonade och mindre konfrontatoriska stil, skapar bättre förutsättningar att besegra Obama. Signalen är att han kommer att ha lättare att locka till sig  demokrater och independents än övriga republikanska presidentkandidater.

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