Jon Huntsman is the Democratic National Committee's latest BFF, although that last "F" is likely to expire in a few short years.
As Politico reports, the DNC found itself, via email, praising the GOP candidate's sanity, so vividly demonstrated yesterday morning on ABC's "This Week." If you missed his appearance, you missed two exceedingly rare phenomena: 1) the aforementioned conservative sanity and 2) a complete campaign makeover, live, and on the air.
Huntsman was in full offensive mode, seriously joking that "If we were to talk about [Romney's] inconsistencies ... we'd be here all afternoon"; coldly warning that Rick Perry is "on the wrong side of science" -- a Neanderthalic side, which puts the party "in a losing position"; and, on Bachmann's $2 gasoline, he played the lighthearted psychiatrist in observing, "I don't know what world that comment would come from."
To be sure, while Huntsman's was a campaign makeover, it was scarcely a politics makeover. Asked about the Iowa debate's "10:1" hand-raising episode, Huntsman dismissed his positive participation as a response to a "nonsense" question. When then asked why he would vote affirmatively to a nonsense question, he merely repeated the "nonsense" line, which was of course nonsense. Had Huntsman wanted to refashion politics to the same extent he was remodeling his campaign, he would have answered, simply: Look, some friends in politics -- such as the occasional "pander" -- really are forever.
Will any of this help Huntsman in 2012? Absolutely not; nor is any such immediacy intended. As ensuing "This Week" guest Frank Luntz correctly noted, Huntsman is "mainstream America" but currently not "mainstream Republican." The former ambassador's idiosyncratic sanity may be salmon-like this year and next, but Huntsman is pre-apocalyptically staging a post-apocalypse coup. He is fervently praying for a Perry nomination -- a rock-bottom party madness whose inevitability is not inconceivable; to be followed, ineluctably, by a GOP fireball of historic proportions. Yet no Perrylike Phoenix will arise from the party's ashen breeds in 2013, for the insurgent Huntsman -- the 2016 frontrunner -- will have decisively proved his point.