The big news of today will likely be that President Obama has set his sights on former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel for his next Secretary of Defense. If so, this would be the President’s second Secretary of Defense that comes from the Republican party. So clearly, Obama has no qualms choosing members of the GOP to be in his close consort, as long as they are qualified for the position. Which is yet more evidence to suggest that his next choice for Secretary of State may be a Republican as well.
As the punditocracy continues to oscelate around possible picks for America’s next top diplomat, it’s helpful to be reminded where one candidate stands. As was penned in an earlier post, much of the experience that Obama seeks currently lies with former Governor Jon Huntsman. He of course has served before the President before as Ambassador to China, but this is no guarantee that the Governor would accept another position with his assumed Democratic rival. But, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, Huntsman left the door wide open to future service in the Obama Administration, even as he was preparing to run for President himself.
Jon Huntsmans says, without a doubt, that he is proud of his service to President Obama and the nation, and that he would do it again. That’s very significant. What’s perhaps even more important about this interview? What Huntsman did not say. He never stated that he outright disagrees with the President’s Foreign Policy, or even with the decision for Federal Stimulus (in fact, Huntsman willingly accepted Federal Stimulus Funds for his state). The facts remain that regardless of which party affiliation he chooses, Mr. Huntsman remains a Moderate, if not sometimes Progressive and politician. Of course it’s possible that the GOP primary process could have affected Huntman’s views on what future roles he’s willing to accept. But he was also quite unapologetic during the primaries, and made a graceful exit from the “bloodbath” quite early. These are the makings of someone that continues to prove a good fit for the Obama Administration, past or future.