Does anyone else remember back in the days of NH where despite his unchallenged talents as a father we concluded that Jon Huntsman’s by his appearances on Colbert or on this Week:

Let’s make it clear, Jon Huntsman is not running for the Republican nomination for president. He is running for a permanent place as the “goto former GOP presidential candidate” on every MSM show during the general election and beyond.

You will never go broke or lack face time on national television as a member of the GOP willing to hit republicans in general and the right in particular. Glenn Reynolds put it best:

Or Stacy McCain’s comments on him:

Huntsman was always every liberal’s favorite GOP candidate — the folks on MSNBC loved him — and that was demonstrated conclusively last week:

According to exit polls, Huntsman only won a handful of demographics in New Hampshire: Democrats, those who oppose the Tea Party, and voters who are generally satisfied with the Obama administration.

Well much to the surprise of nobody expect perhaps Doug Mataconis comes this news:

According to very credible sources, Huntsman has accepted a speaking slot at the Democrat convention in Charlotte next month.

and apparently he isn’t going alone

If the information is accurate, it does provide a telling context for Jon Huntsman Sr.’s out-of-the-blue attack today on Mitt Romney’s taxes and rumors that he is the “source” for Harry Reid’s wild allegation over those taxes. And let’s not forget that one of Huntsman’s daughters recently announced that she would switch to the Democrat party.

I presume if true he will be un-endorsing Romney and Endorsing Obama.

It’s an amazing sequence:

1. Create a faux republican as a candidate to try to pull Romney left

2. Create a faux image of said candidate as credible push him as a real contender in a state where democrats can vote in the GOP primary

3. Create a faux scandal concerning Mitt Romney’s taxes, taxes that the IRS has seen, taxes that nobody is calming.

4. Have said faux candidate condemn Romney over said scandal

5. Use said scandal to get speaking spot at the convention that no democrat in a tough race wants to appear at.

And if the con isn’t enough to pull down Romney then he can still be the goto “Republican” to critique the new president for the next four years.

All that’s let is for him to reveal dark secrets of Mormonism and the transformation will be complete.

Last thought, if John Huntsman is the best card the Obama campaign has, they’re worse off then I thought.

Update: Two Huntsman daughters are denying the speaking business, it would be nicer if it was the man himself, but I’ll take the ladies at their word. Are they also denying the report that he’s calling for Mitt to release more tax returns too, saying Romney:

“won’t be fair with the American people,”

Just asking.

—————————————-

The DaTechGuy Fundraiser continues, your support is most welcome:

For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.




Let’s make it clear, Jon Huntsman is not running for the Republican nomination for president. He is running for a permanent place as the “goto former GOP presidential candidate” on every MSM show during the general election and beyond.

DaTechGuy 8-23-11

I didn’t get into my house from Blogcon Charlotte until after 7 p.m. so I didn’t hear about this story from Buzzfeed until this morning:

Former Republican candidate Jon Huntsman took a battle axe to his own party, comparing it to China’s Communist Party and criticizing it’s standard bearer in a wide-ranging interview at the 92nd Street Y Sunday night.

Stacy McCain who was not at blogcon but is undoubtedly preparing for my proposed From Reporter to Blogger session for next year did see it and promptly posted this:

One might call Jon Huntsman a “useful idiot,” but this would immediately prompt the question, “What actual use did he serve?” He never had any “path to the nomination,” and his faux campaign existed only to garner glowing coverage from the liberal media, to hog up time in televised debates, and to enrich the ruthless campaign consultants who somehow managed to convince him he had a chance.

So here we are in April, three months after he endorsed Romney and pleaded for “party unity,” and Chumpsman is publicly trashing the GOP? Once more we must ask: “What the f–k was that all about?”

Stacy Stacy Stacy, what it was all about is what it was always all about for the MSM:   having a person with the title “Former GOP presidential candidate” before his name available to trash the GOP on cable television. He is to be what Dede Scozzafava was meant to be for the MSM if she won in NY:

The moment Dede votes with Pelosi that bill becomes “bi-partisan” by definition. The fact that it is only one republican will make no difference, the MSM will trumpet it as “bi-partisan”. When ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBCBET wants to talk to a republican on an issue SHE will be the one they call. She will become the face of the republican party that will be pushed and lionized. She will be the reason why “conservatives need to back off”.

The reality of all of these things will not matter, the media will push them as if it was true

That is and has from the start been why the Jon Huntsman candidacy took place. The MSM pushed (tricked?) him into the race, and lionized him for hitting his party (particularly social conservatives) they promoted him at every turn and included him in debates when he didn’t even meet their own criteria. Despite a “I’m a conservative” ad blitz the people who actually voted for him in NHwere Obama voters It was no accident that after his 3rd place in NH he ran to the left for fundraising.

That alone would seem to be a reason not to have him at a GOP fundraiser but there was a specific breaking point as Buzzfeed reports:

Huntsman, the former Utah governor and once President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to China, expressed disappointment that the Republican Party disinvited him from a Florida fundraiser in March after he publicly called for a third party.

And that prompted his “GOP=China” response.

Morning Joe pumped his line in the 6 p.m. hour and in the 8 p.m. hour and had Huntsman on live to be sure that no matter what hour you tuned into the show, you would get the full “Jon Huntsman hits the GOP” experience or as I put it: The GOP would be a great party if it wasn’t for all those damn republicans…

I’m an advocate of open primaries I think we have to do away with these exclusionary conventions and caucuses

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

You know our national elections would be a lot less exclusionary if we let all foreigners living abroad vote too, for that matter MSNBC lineup would be more inclusive if they allowed the general public by vote to decide who gets a show and who doesn’t.

What Jon Huntsman forgets that the GOP was formed as an anti-slavery party, if you choose to join the GOP in 1856 you understood this was the case. Today the party stands for things, lower taxes, smaller government it also strongly opposes abortion. A party is not just a club remember the words of Grover Cleveland:

What’s the use of being elected or re-elected if you don’t stand for something?

If your only priority is power then it’s a different story. So as long as Huntsman is hitting the GOP he serves the purpose of the left and have a MSM platform available to him.

That’s what is going on, nothing more or less.

Word is that Jon Huntsman is pulling out of the race to endorse Mitt Romney today. I saw this re-tweet my Melissa Clouthier on the subject:

Ya think? The meme of Dede Scozzafava Jon Huntsman: candidate of the MSM. Has been out there for quite a while:

Let’s make it clear, Jon Huntsman is not running for the Republican nomination for president. He is running for a permanent place as the “goto former GOP presidential candidate” on every MSM show during the general election and beyond.

Remember back in October when he talked about his Colbert appearance:

Colbert is not even a pretend republican. His whole shtick is being what liberals think republicans and conservatives are.

As I’ve said before, Jon Huntsman is running to be the goto republican on ABCCBSNBCCNNMSNBC to critique the GOP after 2012.

now Colbert outpolls him.

While Huntsman’s overall record isn’t bad , he decided that the MSM and not the GOP base, would be the people he would play to. Somebody should have told him that just might be a problem in a GOP primary. As the poem goes:

Young Jon Huntsman, when his campaign first began,
Said: Those conservatives are crazy, man;

Then in New Hampshire, all the ads you could see,
Proclaimed: Nobodies more conservative than me!

Now he’s fundraising left, and Mitt’s voice you can hear:
“At least my flip-flops took a couple of years.”

Now if Jon Huntsman has an actual interest in running again in 2016 he will have to start mending fences with the conservatives he eschewed, but his withdrawal today is at least a nod to reality and in that sense he is at least one step up on governor Perry.

Exit question: What does it say about the State, South Carolina’s largest paper, when 24 hours after the they endorse a candidate he pulls out?

Update: Some commentary around the Net, Byron York:

As he began his campaign, Huntsman hired as his chief strategist John Weaver, the man who ran the 2000 John McCain presidential campaign in which McCain went almost out of his way to alienate Republican voters while trying to appeal to independents. It was an early sign Huntsman might have a problematic relationship with the Republican base.

Last summer, Huntsman invited photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures of him for a spread in Vogue, which accompanied a fawning profile by liberal journalist Jacob Weisberg. The article set out in large ways and small how Huntsman didn’t quite fit in on the Republican campaign trail. For example, this is how Weisberg described Huntsman visiting a diner in a small South Carolina town: “Surveying the motley crowd with an ironic expression, he begins, ‘All I can tell you is that I never thought I would be making an appearance at Mutt’s BBQ.'” Huntsman was never a candidate who could seem completely at home at Mutt’s, or with motley crowds.

Sounds so Basil Faulty, we’d have a great hotel if only for these guests.

Ed Morrissey at Hotair:

Jon Huntsman wasn’t a “pragmatic centrist who could reach out to Democrats.” He governed in Utah as a conservative in a state controlled by the GOP, but talked like a centrist who despised conservatives. Huntsman’s expensive and embarrassing flop really isn’t much more complicated than that.

twice:

Republicans got the clear message from Huntsman and the campaign that the candidate really didn’t like Republicans. Huntsman didn’t hide his disdain during the debates, and Weaver made that an explicit message for the campaign:

I get the real feeling Ed doesn’t care for John Weaver

Doug Mataconis

As I’ve noted in other posts. I think it’s likely true that his campaign made a mistake in failing to adequately reach out to conservative pundits who may have been sympathetic to him. At the same time, of course, it’s fairly clear that many conservatives rejected Huntsman merely because he accepted an Ambassadorial position under a Democratic President,

That’s a fair point, he was hit for serving which was a false issue. The American Spectator’s W James Antle III expands on it.

They didn’t seem to understand that serving as ambassador to China was a less compelling “country first” storyline than John McCain’s war record or that the president for whom Huntsman was ambassador — one Barack Obama — raised the bar for Huntsman in proving his conservative credentials.

The first rule of Boxing is Never lead with your left. Jon Huntsman did and was knocked out before the 3rd round.

Camp of the Saints
:

The only thing I will miss are his lovely looking daughters.

His daughter are wonderful ladies, the type of girls I hope my sons take home (if they were Catholic and Italian they would be PERFECT!)

and of course Stacy McCain who nailed it long ago:

Blitzer would never question the legitimacy of Huntsman’s candidacy for the simple reason that CNN anchor is a leading member of Huntsman’s most important constituency, the media. . . .

Huntsman was always every liberal’s favorite GOP candidate — the folks on MSNBC loved him — and that was demonstrated conclusively last week:

According to exit polls, Huntsman only won a handful of demographics in New Hampshire: Democrats, those who oppose the Tea Party, and voters who are generally satisfied with the Obama administration.

Update 2: More commentary Granite Grok

Here in NH, Huntsman’s early attempts to cast himself as a redneck man of the people, and a Harley enthusiast, came over as hopelessly fake, especially after a scheduled ride at Manchester Harley Davidson was abandoned due to light rain.

You better believe that hurt

The Western Experience:

After the New Hampshire primary, Huntsman had two choices to make, stay or go. His third place finished was spun as an accomplishment but as a strategy, it was a failure. Huntsman staked all in New Hampshire and still finished third far behind Romney and short of Paul’s second place finish. Huntsman felt he had nothing to lose by seeing if a third place finish was enough to add a jolt to his chances in South Carolina. A very unlikely prospect as he discovered. If the more moderate voters of New Hampshire rejected him there was very little chance that the more conservative voters of South Carolina would consider him.

Yeah I only know one Massachusetts resident who recently moved to SC

If you missed my interview with Abby Huntsman it’s here:

What a fine young lady! Huntsman may have failed as a presidential candidate this time but he certainly measures up as a father.

Might I be so bold as to suggest to those supporting Huntsman as he withdraws that Rick Santorum is a more principled choice than Mitt Romney?

11:24 a.m. It’s official campaign is suspended, Romney endorsed. Why not end the campaign rather than suspend if you are endorsing?

Wasn’t it just 1 week ago that we were seeing ad after ad in NH telling us how Conservative Jon Huntsman was:

Joseph Bentivegna, an ophthalmologist and moderate, expressed some surprise at the relatively high quotient of former Democratic donors at the Republican presidential fundraiser. “I know there are a lot of Democrats here, and I don’t understand that,” he said before taking out an envelope full of copies of an article headlined “Catastrophic Health Care, For All.” He said the Republicans were nuts for wanting to repeal what they call “Obamacare.”

I’ve heard of turning on a dime, this is turning FOR a dime. Huntsman is running in the wrong primary.

There was a famous Civil war poem concerning Lincoln that I think deserves a re-write for Huntsman:

Young Jon Huntsman, when his campaign first began,
Said: Those conservatives are crazy, man;

Then in New Hampshire, all the ads you could see,
Proclaimed: Nobodies more conservative than me!

Now he’s fundraising left, and Mitt’s voice you can hear:
“At least my flip-flops took a couple of years.”

After finally ending my Gonzo period at 12 noon with 3 hours of sleep (during which fingers Mallow said I only snored for 15 minutes) I grabbed Stacy McCann back in Hollis and we are now at the Derryfield Restaurant where the Rick Santorum “party” etc is going on.

I’ve parked myself in the filing area along with Stacy where I’ve talked to the Owner, he says the guests are polarized either far left or right. I asked if anyone has been talking about Huntsman, and you would think I was talking about Emmanuel Kant at a football game.

In my Under the fedora piece I’ve already predicted the line 1. Romney, Paul, Huntsman, Santorum but things I’ve seen since convince me that Santorum might move up a spot, in fact I’ve actually made a bet with Michael Graham on 96.9 that will involve me winning a dinner if Santorum manages to finish 3rd or better.

Expect updates after I eat some of this first-rate food!

Update: Captain Ed is next to me along with two charming young reporters from CBS and the Washington Post the mood in the place is cautiously upbeat. In the TV reporter area all are awaiting more solid news and chowing on the buffet laid out, a mistake since the primary menu is just so damn tasty.

Only $2.99 Mon - Sat from 4-7!

With 7% in the order is Romney, Paul Huntsman Gingrich and Santorum thus far per USA today. Would love to see where those numbers are coming from.

Update 2: Romney wins, to nobody’s surprise but consider this. the media market for NH is Boston. Only Massachusetts residents know Mitt better than New Hampshire voters and with that knowledge less than 2 in 5 GOP voters were willing to support him if these numbers hold up.

Update 3: Exit polls show Romney winning all demographics except for Democrats (Huntsman 41%) Independents (Paul 31%) and 17-29 (Paul 46%) One important point. A significant point that will make a huge difference in Republican Primaries that involve….Republicans. Santorum and Paul tie for second actual republicans.

Update 4: Further coverage on twitter by Ed Morrissey and Stacy McCain

Update 5: Santorum just spoke repeating this themes of manufacturing and faith. As the numbers continue to come as I watch Rick and Newt continue to trade 4th & 5th place I can’t help but think that his position on SOPA was the difference between a solid 4th and a long night waiting for the count to finish.

Update 6: Roxeanne comments on her site:

Having learned absolutely nothing about nominating electable moderates to represent the conservatives of America in the general election, the people of New Hampshire have happily handed a second primary win to Mitt Romney.

Of all the people I spoke to who supported Mitt Romney in the state only two did not give the “best chance to beat Obama” reason for their vote.

One of the themes we have seen pushed by the MSM in general and Morning Joe in particular has been the candidacy of Jon Huntsman. All day on Morning Joe they highlighted polls that suggested a surge for Jon Huntsman.

As I have discovered from first hand experience, if the election was based on one’s offspring, Gov Huntsman would be right up there as his daughters that I met are a credit to him as women of character and poise.

And there are reasons why Jon Huntsman should do better, Huntsman has made it a point to do a lot of media with the MSM (he didn’t neglect talk radio row here either) and Governor Chris Christie made it a point to hit him (with a shot I thought was uncalled for) suggesting that Mitt Romeny’s team felt the need to throw an elbow his way.

Polls are a source of data but independent of them there is a simple measure to see how a candidate is doing, the media.

As all the various polls are available to all the media, naturally all the media would be aware of the situation and act accordingly. So lets look at the two events:

When Governor Huntsman arrived at the Pub he greeted various voters.

He was popular with the crowd and many of the democrats there expressed an interest in his candidacy. I was sitting near a family of 4 who declared themselves Huntsmen fans.

When the interview was done he worked the room, and seemed well received by the Morning Joe squad.

In the final 45 minutes of the show Rick Santorum arrived.

A panel was prepared to meet him

This was may initial take

And I managed to score a question as he left.

Looking at the two interviews both were substantive with Senator Santorum’s perhaps slightly more difficult but looking at the appearances as a whole there were two critical differences that stood out.

One favored Huntsman, the crowd was clearly more favorable to him, both by their reaction and by my speaking with them. There is no question that in a two man race consisting of this room, Huntsman had it won. Considering their partisan mix of the room that was no surprise

There is an even more pronounced partisan split in the media, but even with said split there was quite a difference in coverage. While Rick Santorum arrival’s was preceded by a bunch of additional press and pressed by that same media when he left Jon Huntsman’s comings and goings were unimpeded by flocks of extra media.

Now maybe it’s just me but if Jon Huntsman was surging to the point where he might possibility pass Ron Paul, let alone Rick Santorum, wouldn’t you expect at least one media outlet to dispatch a crew to be there to cover him? Wouldn’t they want to be the guys with the shows that everyone else missed?

I would think they would, but they didn’t.

Polls are a useful tool, but when you want to judge the reality of a proposition, always watch behavior first.

Although I had picked Huntsman to finish 3rd and Santorum 4th I’ve made a bet with Michael Graham last night. If Santorum finishes 3rd, he owes me a dinner at the Border. If he doesn’t I how him dinner at Ken’s steak house.

One never knows for sure but I’m feeling pretty good about that bet after seeing the press difference today.

Update: Here is exactly what I’m talking about from PJ media:

THIRD HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: He can’t…appeal to the evangelicals and that’s like a significant voter bloc. Because he’s not like a Bible-thumping Christian, you know.

SECOND HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: I get some Democrats who ask me, you know, why isn’t Huntsman a Democrat?

THIRD HUNTSMAN SUPPORTER: Yeah, like he practically is, almost.

The prosecution rests.

That was the line from Rick Santorum as he was absolutely swarmed by press, and voters at the Hillsborough county event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

After the Ron Paul event Stacy & I headed to the Hotel which was loaded with local republicans,

Stacy McCain always seems to find tables like this

Press

The press swarms Newt

And some familiar faces

Michael Graham at the Hillsborough county event

The absolute change in the fortunes in fortunes for Rick Santorum meant that when he came in, he was absolutely mobbed to the point where he almost couldn’t move.

santorum swarmed at the Hillsborough county event

But he made time for the Granite Grok folks who had made time for him when other reporters weren’t interested

Santorum signs an autograph while appearing on Granite Grok

In addition to local republicans several candidates took the stage, the first was Newt who’s appearance was brief as he had a town hall later that evening

There were no shortage of Newt Fans in attendence

Buddy Roemer was the Next presidential candidate to take the stage

Buddy Romer gives his stump speech

He made a spirited attack on big money in politics but didn’t seem to get a lot of traction with the crowd. However in my opinion even less was gained by former governor Sununu speaking for Mitt

Fmr Gov Sununu for Mitt Romney

I never saw a sitting governor more ignored, the crowd kept talking as if he wasn’t there, then again considering he claimed Romney fought Gay Marriage in Massachusetts perhaps such mendacity received its proper reward.

Meanwhile Stacy as usual got some attention from the ladies or was it the other way around?

That reaction to Santorum was what I’d been hearing a lot in the last few days.

Rand Paul spoke for his father and spoke well.

He was kind enough to give me some of his time:

He’s a lot shorter than I’d thought he’d be but he stands tall on ideas and principles

Rand Paul makes the case for his father

and made a strong case for the Paul candidacy.

Jon Huntsman’s daughters were also present,

Not only beauty but fine young ladies as well

Stacy McCain who advised them to not become Megan McCain introduced me to them and Abby was kind enough to allow an interview

Jon Huntsman may not impress me as a candidate much but seeing the way his daughters carry themselves he has certainly impressed me as a father. These are young women to be proud of, the type of women I want my sons to bring home.

For a press junkie of course part of the fun is seeing and meeting folks and today was the day

Grok, Graham and Stacy

I met Mark Steyn for the first time.

He talked to me just before I spoke to the Huntsman girls, it turned into an impromptu coffee klatch

What political fan would not want to be here? And if you weren’t here the Granite Grok crew were livestreaming.

I will follow up this post with interviews and speeches that I simply don’t have time to throw in now later in the day or in a new post, and for those Ron Paul fans out there, I do have more interviews from the Nashua event that I will be posting on as soon as I can.

Of course we will be playing some of this on DaTechGuy on Daradio today at 10 a.m. on WCRN with Stacy McCain, Granite Grok and Roxeanne Deluca listen live at wcrnradio.com or tweet #daradio

OK we’ve gone through months of debate and speculation today we find out exactly what the people in Iowa think.

The polls suggest a good finish for my candidate and I’d love to predict a win for him, but I would not be surprised if he finished anywhere in the top 3.

What will happen? At the risk of looking a fool here is what I think:

1. Paul: I think Ron Paul’s time has actually come, his message of fiscal conservatism has been a “voice crying out in the wilderness” has now moved into the mainstream, and he has built an organization for a decade and this is paying off now. No amount of bad weather will slow them down. I don’t care much for his message of 1930’s isolationism but there are those who do. I don’t think the newsletters will hurt him as much as his son the senator will help him in this state and no matter what you think of him nobody can doubt he means what he says.

2. Romney: A caucus is all about organization and Romney has the organization in spades. His campaign is well-funded and organized and with a large payroll. Like Ron Paul his people are going to show but for a different reason. When all is said and done and the candidates are gone the Romney organization will be in a position to reward friends and oppose foes. It’s like having a Union steward making sure that members show up to an event, or else. Romney is playing a game of attrition and Iowa is step one. It will all be a question on how his finish is spun and believe me his team spin for any finish has already been written.

3. Santorum: He has risen at exactly the right time and if the surge continues he could finish higher. He has a strong record but also the wisdom that comes from defeat and seeing where the people are. His quiet old-fashioned campaign is naturally appealing and his surge is late enough that attacks on him not only won’t have time to get traction but the attacks of his dead child as they mocked his crying daughter six years ago are going to backfire spectacularly. As Stacy McCain notes:

Yeah, it’s her: The Santorum kid who gave me that quote was the same girl who cried so helplessly on national TV that night in 2006 during her dad’s concession speech. I’d forgotten all about that, until I saw the picture. Then I remembered how the video clip had been played over and over on the news, and also on late-night comedy shows while people mocked the way Sarah and her family cried. And I remembered my wife saying how bad she felt while watching that little girl, hugging her doll, and crying for the whole world to see.

Conservatives are in a fighting mood and the memory of late night liberal comics hitting Santorum’s little girl will get them rolling up their sleeves.

4. Gingrich: Newt remains a powerful symbol of GOP success, he has taken the second beating of this campaign and is still standing. He is the single best talker and debater in the party and his telephone town halls are not only creative but effective. People have hit him for saying “I’m not going to win” but I think this year speaking realistically pays off.

5. Perry: His best sound bite came 72 hours too late to make a difference but he still has money and is the sitting governor of a state that is doing great in a bad economy. His main problems are #1 The initial snub of Iowa, #2 Those awful debate performances #3 And the suspicion that he was behind attacks that finished Cain. Unlike other candidates a 5th place finish won’t harm him because as the Governor of Texas people will still need to be on his good side and he strikes me as a man who remembers who was with him and who was not.

6. Bachmann: She deserves better than this but the reality is she has crashed and burned since winning the NH debate several months ago and the defections of both her superpac and her lead man in Iowa are devastating. A break here or there and she and Rick Santorum would be in the opposite positions. I would not be surprised to see her on a Romney Ticket if he wins the nomination and I would approve of such a choice.

7. Huntsman: Only the most loyal Iowans will take time out from picking corn to choose this candidate but in fairness he hasn’t tried to attract them. The irony is if he didn’t come out of the box hitting conservatives he might have done a bit better.

The big question is: Will Bachmann drop out? I doubt it for two reasons:

1. There is a NH debate Saturday and she will want to use it as a last chance.

2. It is in Mitt Romney’s interest for her to still be in play till at least Florida, particularly if Santorum does very well so expect Romney’s people to make sure she has to money to maintain life support to take votes away from Perry and Santorum if he really grows.

The biggest winner of all? Cokie Roberts of ABC who predicted a Santorum win back in November.

Update: Eye of Polyphepus. puts Paul 3rd and bumps Romney and Santorum up a spot but agrees with me otherwise. The right sphere agrees with Polyphepus on the top 3 but Puts, perry 4th, Bachmann 5th Newt 6th and Huntsman last.

Update 2: Stacy McCain asks the $64,000 question at Hotair and the Spectator that will be repeated after tonight.

How can Gingrich and Perry’s advocates claim that they are credible alternatives to Romney, if they can’t even beat a low-budget underdog campaign like Santorum’s? And what does it say for the vaunted superiority of those other campaigns that they failed to realize Santorum was moving ahead here until it was too late for them to respond effectively?

The first requirement for electability is to win elections.

Update 3: The final stake through the heart for Bachmann comes from Sarah Palin:

“As for Michelle Bachmann. She has a lot to offer, also, but I don’t think it is her time this go around. And I believe that unless she, too, wants to spend her own money or borrowing money and perhaps go into debt. Which heaven forbid, you do that to your family? Perhaps she is one, too, who would start saying ‘supporters of mine, why don’t we coalesce around one of the other candidates and let’s move together as a team to get that right primary candidate chosen?'” Sarah Palin said on FOX News today.”

…is Morning Joe pushing Huntsman ads again in order to bring Romney’s numbers down in New Hampshire.

Update: How much do these guys hate Gingrich. They just quoted a Mark Steyn piece on NRO favorably.

Whoa, hold up there. What exactly is so conservative about the Newt Gestalt? When Romney dared him to return his Freddie Mac windfall, Gingrich responded by demanding that Mitt “give back all of the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain.” That’s a cute line if you’re a 32-year-old Transgender and Colonialism major trying to warm up the drum circle at Occupy Wall Street, but it’s very odd coming from the supposedly more-conservative candidate on the final stretch of a Republican primary.

And they didn’t even comment on the Transgender and Colonialism major line. That’s serious.

For several months we have seen the spectacle of the media promoting first a Jon Huntsman candidacy for president

We have seen him handicapped ahead of others who now lead.

When Huckabee decided not to run they talked Huntsman. He went on Comedy central where the GOP is mocked.

We’ve seen the him touted by as proof of what is wrong with republicans in Vogue and be the source of a Democratic Highlight reel.

We saw Dave Wiegel talk of his his disdain for House Republicans and his seeking the GOP nomination by courting non-republicans.

Though all the media praise, however his poll numbers just didn’t match the hype but that didn’t stop the MSM from pushing him and having him on their shows. All of them touting him as a “sensible conservative” alternative to Mitt Romney.

Now the numbers are slightly different. The media does not see a “nameless not-Mitt” at the top of the heap, they see Newt Gingrich an experienced pol of long standing who for all his faults is a skilled and able in the art of political warfare.

Given that situation and given the media history of the last several months, the I’m sure the Huntsman campaign expected yesterday’s event to be huge. The Media’s favorite Republican Jon Huntsman taking on the ultimate liberal boogyman mano a mano in New Hampshire, the state where Hunstman has put all his eggs in the basket.

It should have been perfect for the MSM, Huntsman looked presidential:

The crowd was good

It drew press:

And not only did Huntsman came across as strong, knowledgeable and a viable GOP alternative…

…but it was full of substance, that which he media supposedly craves.

Yet this morning I didn’t see any clips on MSNBC, I didn’t see any commentary of Huntsman standing up to Newt. I heard a lot of talk about people voting for Ron Paul 3rd party if Newt wins but nothing.

Governor Huntsman must have been scratching his head this morning. Where was the coverage? Where was the attention that the adoring media has showered upon him in the past? Cripes Hot air covered it more than Morning Joe.

Why this answer is this story.

After dodging the question twice in two days, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman appeared to shut the door on running as a third-party candidate for president, if he doesn’t become the Republican presidential nominee.

“I’m not running as an independent. I’m not running as an independent,” Huntsman told reporters after a town hall meeting this morning. “I don’t know how many times I have to say that.”

This is the first time Huntsman appeared to completely rule out a run outside the Republican Party, and it’s his most definitive answer to date. Previously, the former ambassador to China seemed to leave the option open, saying he was running in the GOP and planned to win the Republican nomination.

Governor Huntsman seems like a nice fellow and is likely more conservative that he lets on, but he was played by a Journo-listic MSM that convinced him there was a demand for his candidacy. When he came into the race he was used as a stalking horse for the entire GOP field. He could count on all the air time he wanted as long as he was hitting his fellow GOP candidates. And even as he failed to catch fire beyond a high single digit in New Hampshire he could count the MSM to give him some air time.

Not anymore.

The race has changed, damaging Mitt Romney is no longer the priority. Mitt has to be propped up, nurtured and saved. The left understand as it always did Mitt is the weakest possible candidate to face Obama in 2012, not only for the White House but for congressional candidates too. Jon Huntsman is a candidate designed to take votes from Mitt and damage him, but they MSM don’t DARE let Mitt die, not if it raises Gingrich.

Huntsman’s performance yesterday does nothing to make Newt less popular, but would certainly impress potential Mitt voters. A month ago when Newt wasn’t on top that might be fine, today, it doesn’t serve his purpose.

Now that there is no chance for him to be a 3rd party candidate for liberal republicans who dislike Obama’s policies to vote for there isn’t even that reasons to have him come. The only other alternative is for him to play the Stephen Schmidt position as a “former GOP presidential candidate” on a panel. There is a reason Morning Joe was talking Ron Paul today.

Jon Huntsman is an intelligent and accomplished man and if by some miracle he is nominated I will have no problem voting for him over Obama but as far as the MSM is concerned I believe they think he’s outlived his usefulness and he may only now be figuring out that his friends in the press have been taking him for a ride.

So let this be a lesson for any future person thinking of running for the GOP nomination someday in the future. The MSM is not and will never be your friend and if you think otherwise then you have no business running for president.