WH: Ambassador Huntsman to leave China post
Monday, January 31, 2022 9:01 PM

Related Stories

(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)By PHILIP ELLIOTT and JIM KUHNHENN

WASHINGTON - U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a Republican with potential presidential ambitions, submitted a letter of resignation to the White House on Monday announcing he intends to leave the post April 30, a senior administration official said.

Huntsman, a former governor of Utah, was appointed ambassador by President Barack Obama in 2009. Huntsman's plans have generated considerable attention in political circles because his foreign policy experience could stand out in a crowded GOP field.

Earlier Monday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Huntsman had informed officials of his desire to end his diplomatic assignment. But Gibbs said the White House had no indications that Huntsman would seek to run against the president.

Huntsman, 50, surprised many Republican strategists when he accepted the post in China, considered one of the United States' key diplomatic assignments. A fluent Mandarin speaker from his time as a Mormon missionary, he earned high marks from the Democratic administration but perhaps damaged his own political standing should he seek the GOP nomination in 2012 or 2016.

The early primaries will have a strong role for conservatives and tea party-style activists, and Huntsman could be criticized as a member of Obama's administration - a charge even the president joked might be enough to stop Huntsman before he even starts.

"I'm sure that him having worked so well with me will be a great asset in any Republican primary," Obama said with laughter at the White House last month.

Huntsman's support for same-sex civil unions similarly may leave him viewed as too moderate for some conservative activists who demand orthodoxy.

Huntsman's supporters have been calling would-be staff and allies, trying to assemble a campaign-in-waiting should the former governor seek the White House. Leading the effort is John Weaver, a veteran Republican strategist and one-time senior adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential efforts. Those interested in helping Huntsman win the Republican nomination and then the White House say this is all happening independent of Huntsman, who has not ruled out a presidential run but has done little to tamp down speculation.

Gibbs dismissed suggestions that Huntsman's status as a potential candidate could undermine his role as the administration's representative in China.

"The president and the American people expect that somebody who holds the post of ambassador from the United States to China would dedicate their full energy and time to that position," Gibbs said. "And we believe that ambassador Huntsman believes that as well."

If Huntsman were to run, he would confront the same problems that challenged fellow former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts: their shared Mormon faith. Iowa's caucuses, traditionally the first held, are dominated by conservative Christians who have concerns about casting a vote for a Mormon. That concern prompted Romney in late 2007 to deliver a speech about his faith, similar to candidate John F. Kennedy's address about his Catholicism in 1960.

The same holds true in South Carolina, which is equally as conservative and swayed by evangelical Christians. But without a serious Democratic challenge expected for Obama and a primary that doesn't discriminate by party, Huntsman allies suggest moderate and independent voters could elect to participate on the GOP side of the primary.

The pathway to the nomination, Huntsman's supporters say, starts in New Hampshire and then continues to South Carolina, then Michigan and Nevada, which has a large Mormon population but could split in their support with the Michigan-born Romney, who ran in 2008.

By emphasizing his record as governor and manager, Huntsman could appeal to the large swaths of moderate or independent voters who may fear a nominee from the far right of the party might fail in a bid to unseat Obama.

As China becomes a powerful economic rival to the United States, Huntsman's backers say his diplomatic assignment and knowledge of the Asian nation could serve him well with voters.

Huntsman also wouldn't be the first U.S. envoy to China to seek the White House: President George H.W. Bush served that role under President Gerald Ford.

Huntsman's allies suggest he would stay in Beijing through April, set up an exploratory committee and make an announcement in early summer, perhaps after the close of the second-quarter fundraising records are released in July. By then, Republican primary voters will have had a chance to assess the early entrants in the GOP field and may clamor for another option.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.



Symbol :


Market news:

  • Egypt crowds unmoved by Mubarak's vow not to run Feb 01, 2022 06:04 PM

    • CAIRO - President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he will not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters' demands he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt's soil, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest yet calling on him to go.
    • Mubarak's half-way concession - an end to his rule seven months down the road - threatened to inflame frustration and anger among protesters, who have been peaceful in recent days but have made clear they will not end their unprecedented week-old wave of demonstrations until he is out.
    • The speech was immediately derided by protesters massed in Cairo's central Tahrir Square.
      • Senate report says Iraq is at critical juncture Feb 01, 2022 05:52 PM

        • WASHINGTON - American diplomats and other mission employees may not be safe in Iraq if the U.S. military withdraws its remaining 50,000 troops and leaves the volatile country at the end of the year as planned, according to a new Senate report released Tuesday.
        • The report by the Foreign Relations Committee puts new pressure on a delicate diplomacy between Washington and Baghdad to decide what future role American troops will have in Iraq - if one at all - before they start withdrawing this summer.
        • At least 159 Iraqi citizens and 100 police and soldiers were killed in insurgent attacks in January - the deadliest month for Iraq since September, according to data released Tuesday by security and health ministry officials in Baghdad.
          • Mubarak won't seek new term; go now, crowds shout Feb 01, 2022 05:52 PM

            • CAIRO - President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he will not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters' demands he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt's soil, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest yet calling on him to go.
            • The speech was immediately derided by protesters massed in Cairo's central Tahrir Square.
            • The United States has been struggling to find a way to ease Mubarak out of office while maintaining stability in Egypt, a key ally in the Mideast that has a 30-year-old peace treaty with Israel and has been a bullwark against Islamic militantcy.
              • Colossal storm roars through nation's heartland Feb 01, 2022 05:49 PM

                • CHICAGO - A winter weather colossus roared into the nation's heartland Tuesday, laying down a paralyzing punch of dangerous ice and whiteout snow that served notice from Texas to Maine that the storm billed as the worst in decades was living up to the hype so far.
                • Ice-covered streets were deserted in Super Bowl host city Dallas.
                • The threat of high winds also had Chicago officials contemplating steps they haven't taken in years - starting with closing down the city's busy and iconic Lake Shore Drive because of the prospect of 25-foot waves caused by 60 mph winds washing over it from nearby Lake Michigan.
                  • Obama envoy told Mubarak tenure coming to a close Feb 01, 2022 05:49 PM

                    • WASHINGTON - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's announcement that he won't seek re-election came after President Barack Obama's special envoy told him the U.S. saw his presidency at an end and urged him to prepare for an orderly transition to real democracy, American officials said.
                    • Obama dispatched Wisner to the country amid mounting anti-government protests and demands for the 82-year-old Mubarak to step down.
                    • In a half-way concession to hundreds of thousands of protesters, Mubarak said late Tuesday in Egypt that he would serve out the rest of his term working to ensure a "peaceful transfer of power" and new rules on presidential elections.

                      More news


    Recent Estimates

AnalystFirm NameSymbolEPS Estimate
ABN SkateNFC AMZN$0.88
danPersonal BAC$0.19
samXXXXX JCI$0.54
brobbrinc INTC$0.53