It was no surprise to see Jon Huntsman drop out of the GOP primary yesterday. Despite a third-place showing in New Hampshire, his campaign never really got off the ground.
In fact, he was the only one of nine candidates – unlike Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney – who was never, not even briefly, at the top of the pack.
And Republicans should be asking themselves: Why not?
That’s what’s significant about Huntsman’s departure from the race. Not his endorsement of Mitt Romney. But his party’s rejection of their best candidate.
I disagree with Jon Huntsman on many issues. But he’s got an impressive record as businessman and political leader. He’s smart, he’s photogenic, he’s articulate, he’s a strong campaigner. There’s no doubt that he would have been the strongest candidate against President Obama.
But there’s no room for that kind of thoughtful, reasonable, moderate person in the Republican Party anymore.
Today, Barack Obama is breathing a sigh of relief because Jon Huntsman is no longer in the race.
And, some day soon, Republicans will regret it.
That’s my parting shot for today.