Yes, I’ll say it: Jon Huntsman is the only Republican (currently vying for his party’s presidential nomination) that could even remotely stand a chance of defeating Barack Obama. There is no doubt in my mind that every other candidate, each of which are wracked with crippling character flaws, will be utterly trounced by Obama’s (There’s So Much More To Do!™) billion dollar war machine.
Why is this? Huntsman has two qualities that matter this election cycle: A) he is actually sane and B) independents like him. As a bonus, some Democrats think they can work with him, which is important given the disturbing level of animosity that currently exists between the two parties. Huntsman is a rare bird in that he has served under both Republican (Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43) and Democrat (Obama) presidents and has shown his loyalty is to the United States; not just a single political party.
This is a marked contrast to nearly everyone else in the field, all of which are frothing at the mouth to go to war with everyone that is not a Bible-thumping evangelical Christian. (When will the Republican party learn those dolts will ALWAYS vote for the GOP, because there is nowhere for them to go…)
As for credentials, Huntsman has most of his competition beat hands down. He has served on several corporate boards, was the youngest ambassador to a foreign power (Singapore) in the last hundred years, a U.S. Trade Representative, an extremely popular governor and has extensive experience dealing with (and serving as U.S. ambassador to) China, the second largest (not to mention fastest growing) economic power in the world, our largest trading partner and the largest holder of our foreign debt.
As governor of Utah, Huntsman had soaring popularity. The Cato Institute’s Fiscal Report Card on Governors routinely scored him with a B, on par with Rick Perry and always above Mitt Romney. He lowered corporate taxes, helped generate a mountain of new jobs, tried to create one of the largest school voucher programs in the U.S. and a health care system whose costs are controlled via market pressures instead of government mandates.