November 30, 2012
By Lisa Riley Roche
SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is poised to play a key role in No Labels, a national organization that promotes bipartisanship, a move that some see as all but ending his political career as a Republican.
“This does pretty much cut the last plausible ties between him and the Republican Party,” said Matthew Wilson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The move makes another Huntsman run for the White House as a Republican all but impossible, Wilson said. Huntsman has been seen as a possible contender in 2016, after dropping out of this year's presidential race.
“Realistically, you would have to see going in that direction has pretty much foreclosed a presidential run,” Wilson said. “I just don't think it's in the cards for him to be president.”
University of New Hampshire political scientist Dante Scala agreed that Huntsman may not have a political future as a member of the GOP now that he's aligned with No Labels.
“I think it spells dead end,” Scala said. “For someone to say, 'I'm going to choose no label over the Republican Party label,' tells you all you need to know.”
One of Huntsman's campaign advisers in New Hampshire, Peter Spaulding, said he's not sure what to expect from the former candidate's association with an organization critical of both parties....