Jon Huntsman Resigns, Staying In Job Through April 30

Jon Huntsman resigns; may run – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

Obama should fire him immediately. Staying in the job until May will only confuse things in Beijing.

But Obama will let him serve through the spring. As the Politico article states:

White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.

So there you have it. Huntsman betrays the President in front of the Chinese but the White House is too focused on politics to have anything but a dithering, milquetoast reaction. The story of this administration…

UPDATE: I have started a thread on this topic on Quora. Here are some of my comments:

You have to consider how the Chinese will see this and how it will affect the relationship…Obama is letting political considerations get in the way of this relationship, at a time when we are struggling to regain momentum and trying to capitalize on whatever good will was created during the Hu-Obama summit.

Huntsman can no longer be an effective envoy, no matter how talented and ethical he may be…The Chinese will now play to him and Obama, as a way to hedge his possible election as President in 2012.

You can follow me on Weibo @billbishop and on Twitter @niubi.

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9 thoughts on “Jon Huntsman Resigns, Staying In Job Through April 30

  1. Huntsman has served his country well and has given notice of his intention to exercise his right to participate in the democratic process ergo, he must be fired?

    Look at this through the lens of traditional courtly intrigue. It’s a classic Chinese tale of a faithful upright official being hounded by corrupt officials who fear he may topple them and set the land to right once more.

    America needs less competent and submissive officials?

  2. Huntsman has served his country well and has given notice of his intention to exercise his right to participate in the democratic process ergo, he must be fired?

    Look at this through the lens of traditional courtly intrigue. It’s a classic Chinese tale of a faithful upright official being hounded by corrupt officials who fear he may topple them and set the land to right once more.

    America needs less competent and submissive officials?

  3. The Chinese have been expecting his departure for some time now, I’m sure. He’s dropped plenty of hints to high-level contacts at social functions, not to mention the team of Chinese intel officers tasked with monitoring, analyzing, and conjecturing on everything from Huntsman’s political plans to what he had for lunch.

    As for a replacement you need someone who: 1) Has sufficiently high political standing to give the Chinese face; 2) Can be effective on the N. Korea issue; 3) Is equipped to handle the trade/economic side of the bilateral relationship. A bonus would be picking someone well-versed in the “art” of diplomacy, in Foreign Service operations, and someone who has a personal relationship with both Hillary Clinton and Obama. From the U.S. domestic political point of view, you need a solid, Obama-supporting democrat. Why not offer the job to Bill Richardson?

  4. The Chinese have been expecting his departure for some time now, I’m sure. He’s dropped plenty of hints to high-level contacts at social functions, not to mention the team of Chinese intel officers tasked with monitoring, analyzing, and conjecturing on everything from Huntsman’s political plans to what he had for lunch.

    As for a replacement you need someone who: 1) Has sufficiently high political standing to give the Chinese face; 2) Can be effective on the N. Korea issue; 3) Is equipped to handle the trade/economic side of the bilateral relationship. A bonus would be picking someone well-versed in the “art” of diplomacy, in Foreign Service operations, and someone who has a personal relationship with both Hillary Clinton and Obama. From the U.S. domestic political point of view, you need a solid, Obama-supporting democrat. Why not offer the job to Bill Richardson?

  5. Shanghai Scrap » Chinese New Year Hiatus – Offline until Feb. 8

  6. Not really sure on your reasoning here. On the contrary, I can see him having even more pull with the Chinese than before; who wants to slight the potential future president of the United States?

    • That is the point. the US has one president at a time. The Chinese may hedge by playing to the current one-Obama-and the possible 2013 one. That is not how the US should conduct its foreign policy.

  7. Not really sure on your reasoning here. On the contrary, I can see him having even more pull with the Chinese than before; who wants to slight the potential future president of the United States?

    • That is the point. The US has one president at a time. The Chinese may hedge by playing to the current one-Obama-and the possible 2013 one. That is not how the US should conduct its foreign policy.

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