Jon Huntsman: McCain on Wheels

Jon Huntsman wants you to know he
rides a

dirt bike. On   real
He`s Salt of the Earth. Grease of the Garage.
Dragster on the Dunes. Huntsman`s runnin` and gunnin`
for president. But underneath the

Steve McQueen
costumery, this made-for-cable-TV
Moderate Speed Racer is a creaky old John McCain on

The former Utah Republican governor

Obama ambassador to China
is the answer to an
election-year problem that doesn`t exist. The
in the minds of

Beltway GOP strategists
and liberal media
chin-pullers, is that the Republican Party isn`t
moderate, civil, self-critical or


Huntsman is the latest no-labels
flavor of the month, a straw man of the same people who
have spent the past year

entitlement reformers as senior
citizen-killers, budget hawks as Hitler`s spawn,

border-security activists as racists
, and

leading GOP women

sluts, nuts and bimbos.

Just like the failed 2008 GOP
contender whose consultants are now fueling the Huntsman
bid, McCain 2.0 is a big-spending accommodationist more
in tune with the Democratic elite than with the
conservative rank-and-file. In the shadow of the Statue
of Liberty on Tuesday, Huntsman assailed the current
economic crisis overseen by the Obama administration as
Yet, Huntsman retains nothing but
"respect" for
his former boss in the White House and laments the loss
of "civility"
wrought by
political debates.

This is all you need to know about
the manufacturing of the Huntsman candidacy: Swooning
reporters far outnumbered supporters at the kickoff in
Liberty Park and at a follow-up rally in New Hampshire.
CNN`s enamored anchor

Wolf Blitzer gushed
"Here`s what I
especially liked about Jon Huntsman`s presidential
announcement in front of the

Statue of Liberty
He called for some

in the race for the White House. Unlike several of the other Republican
candidates, he did not open with a blistering assault on
President Obama."

Yeah. Who do all those uncivil
Republicans running against Obama think they
are—opposing the opposition with oppositional rhetoric?
Heaven forfend.

Former McCain mastermind John
Weaver, now a key Huntsman strategist, said this week
the campaign will be
"mellow." More like "marshmallow."
Instead of trashing enemies by name, they`ll keep it
vague and mushy. Huntsman has been buoyed by months of
glowing coverage from left-leaning, dead-tree media,
whose reporters have lapped up his trashing of the GOP
as "devoid
of ideas
" and "a
very narrow party of angry people
See? No names. No nasty. Embrace

the civility

While politely paying lip service
to principles of tea party fiscal restraint, Huntsman
hopes no one remembers how

2,000 Utah tea party activists booed him

April 2009
so corrosively it could have stripped the
paint off a fleet of Harleys.

Utah conservatives raised their
voices at the seminal tea party rally against Huntsman
for championing $1.6 billion in Obama stimulus funds
(Huntsman wanted even more money than that)—and against
GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch and then-GOP Sen. Bob Bennett for
backing the Bush-Obama TARP bailout. The grassroots
message: "Send
them home!"
A year later, voters ousted Bennett from
the GOP primary after four profligate terms in office.
And Hatch is in for the fight of his entrenched
incumbent life.

While state governments across the
country are rejecting or repealing onerous cap-and-trade
environmental regulations, Huntsman is a climate-change
Republican who backed radical emissions limits and green
job fantasies. Just like McCain 1.0 did.

While state governments across the
country follow Arizona`s immigration enforcement model
and Washington repeatedly rejects mass amnesty programs
in the face of 9 percent unemployment, Huntsman supports
the costly


illegal alien bailout
with a wider
"path to
Just like McCain 1.0 did.

While state governments rein in
middle-class entitlement spending and Washington turns
to means-testing, Huntsman turned the SCHIP
government-funded health plan for

low-income children
into a universal health
insurance mandate. McCain 1.0 was for

before he was against it.


Straight Talk Express

out of gas
when his former media paramours

turned against him
—and his gambit to out-big
government the Democrats blew up in his two faces. So it
will be with McHuntsman and his campaign wheels to


Michelle Malkin

is the author of

Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our


for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click


for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of

Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild

and the just-released

Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.