Inside the Beltway: The rediscovery of Jon Huntsman

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It was inevitable. A few curious observers have placed Jon Huntsman Jr. on the ever-expanding list of potential White House contenders, citing his previous presidential campaign-trail experience, foreign-policy credentials and crossover appeal that could possibly counter Hillary Clinton in 2016. Oh, the speculation, the drama. Let the squawking begin.

But consider that Mr. Huntsman, 54, never left the public stage or the speaking circuit and continues his work with No Labels, a four-year-old grass-roots group “devoted to the politics of problem solving and consensus building” that he co-chairs with Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat. The pair, in fact, have just authored a new e-book titled “A Shared Vision for a Stronger America.”


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There are other factors: feel-good consensus talk is very popular with vexed or disenchanted voters. And oddly enough, Mr. Manchin hinted this week that he was tiring of Capitol Hill. Those with wild imaginations can picture this bumper sticker: “Huntsman/Manchin 2016.”

Moving right along, however, Mr. Huntsman already has alluded to the political arena himself, via an upcoming broadcast of “Politicking with Larry King,” to air Thursday on OraTV and RT America. The veteran broadcaster queries Mr. Huntsman on running once again for the White House.

“So you will do it again? You’re thinking about it?” Mr. King inquires.

“I’m a public servant, Larry, and as a public servant, I found that politics is a lot about serendipity, you know. It’s hard to be able to pre-plan where you might find yourself as a public servant. I never thought I would run for governor. I never thought I would be in China as the United States ambassador. Things happen,” Mr. Huntsman replies in the segment.

“So you’re open?” Mr. King asks.

“I’m open, but here’s the deal. You have to be able to create a pathway from point A to point B. I can tell you how I’d get to the finish line from Super Tuesday, but I can’t tell you how I get through those early primary states, having been there and done that once before,” Mr. Huntsman says.

PIGLISCIOUS

Big spenders will draw powerful attention on Wednesday, when Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas; John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona; and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio will join “Pigfoot” — a feisty guy in a pig costume — plus two live pigs to introduce the 2014 Congressional Pig Book, a project of the Citizens Against Government Waste.

The nonprofit organization’s annual expos of pork-barrel earmarks in Congress features a complete database of pork projects and profiles “the most egregious examples from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.”

Men and pigs will gather at a spiffy hotel in the nation’s capital for the big rollout. See the event online at 11 a.m. ET here: Cagw.org.

BEWARE THE WEATHER DOOM

Introduced in the Rose Garden itself, the Obama administration’s third annual National Climate Assessment takes 800 pages to predict weather-related doom and big costs from global warming. But such fare, released with grave handwringing, has met with critics.

The Republican National Committee, for example, has released its own “2014 Midterm Climate” assessment for Democrats. On the list of predictions: weather will be the worst in 20 years, voter enthusiasm is tepid, polls are trending south and the winds of desperation are blowing.

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