Huntsman 2012 – The Hip Choice?

This article on the nascent Huntsman campaign is the first one I’ve read that actually makes a credible case for how Huntsman could win a presidential race. After reading it, I’m still not sure he’s running this time around, and there seems to be some possibility he might wait until 2016, but his political strategy appears to be that he intends to pitch himself as (you ready for this?) the cool republican.

Huntsman, it turns out, has some street cred. He dropped out of high school. He played in a rock band. He rides motorcycles. He’s straight-up badass, yo. At least that appears to be how his campaign wants to present him. The question remains, though, whether this is a winning strategy for a Mormon, republican, former-governor from Utah who just finished up a stint as the U.S. Ambassador to China in a democratic administration. It’s obviously intended to capture the youth vote, but it risks alienating conservatives, who (let’s face it) are the bedrock of any republican campaign. It does do one thing very well, however: it differentiates him from Romney, who tends to alienate people by coming across as far too polished and straight-from-boardroom for some tastes.

Your thoughts? Can a Mormon candidate be successful by being hip and cool?

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