Here are a some excerpts.
His latest stroke of brilliance his is appointment of Gov. Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China. Huntsman had begun to make noises about the possibility of running for President in 2012. He is one of the most popular governors in the nation. He was an early supporter of John McCain’s run for President (a major blow to fellow LDS member, Mitt Romney) and McCain could have easily turned his entire operation over to Huntsman, giving him instant national infrastructure reach. Huntsman also has piles and piles of money (by some measures more than Romney) to fund a serious operation for a presidential run.
All that came to a screeching halt when Obama tapped Huntsman for Ambassador to China. Yes, the argument can be made that Huntsman would have been ill-suited for the Republican primary process, but so was McCain, and he ended up the nominee. Huntsman would have put enormous counter-pressure on Romney because he would be better funded, “more” LDS (Huntsman is from Utah, not Massachusetts; he has not flip-flopped fundamental Republican positions), and none of the disadvantages of being a child of politics (his father has never admitted being “brainwashed” by the U.S. military).
Obama and his advisors have bought into the idea that if the Republican Party is going to survive and regain power that it needs to promote “moderate” leaders. It is why the Democrat talking point has been to claim that Rush Limbaugh is the head of the party. It is their calculation that a principled, conservative party is a dying breed. In Huntsman, Obama and his political advisors saw a real threat, a “big tent” Republican.
So Obama did what any good street-fighting Chicago pol would do — he co-opted his potential rival.
In short, Obama did himself a favor by appointing Huntsman as Ambassador to China. He took a potential opponent out of the mix, and got one of the most qualified people in the nation as Ambassador to China.