Peggy Noonan for the Wall Street Journal: The Enigma of Jon Huntsman

June 24th, 2011

Wall Street Journal

The Enigma of Jon Huntsman

Will civility, compromise and Chinese experience attract GOP voters?

JUNE 24, 2011, 10:07 A.M. ET

The GOP field is sorting itself out, which is to be expected. What’s surprising is that so are Republican voters. The early rise of Mitt Romney, the second-place showing of Jon Huntsman (behind Ron Paul) at the recent Republican Leadership Conference, and a Gallup poll last week saying 50% of Republicans and independents who lean Republican favor the candidate with the best chance of beating President Obama, suggests GOP voters on the ground don’t want to pick anyone the moderate Democrat down the block wouldn’t support.

It’s still early, but that makes it even more interesting. It’s at this point in a presidential race that obstreperous and passionate movements and candidacies would normally be rising. It’s later and with time that a certain soberness, a certain inherent moderation normally take hold. But Republicans at the moment seem prematurely settled, even as they watch, judge and figure out whom to support. Read More…