The Manchurian Campaign

September 14th, 2011 at 11:51 am David Frum | 15 Comments |

| Print

Mitt Romney’s tough-on-China talk has achieved one interesting real-world consequence: Nike chairman Phil Knight has just signed up as an economic adviser to Jon Huntsman.

From a Huntsman campaign press release:

Orlando – Jon Huntsman for President today announced that John Mack will serve as chairman of the campaign’s Business Advisory Council. Other members include Gary Loveman, Phil Knight and Tom Bell.

Recent Posts by David Frum



15 Comments so far ↓

  • Polifan

    I still like Huntsman and am hoping that he gets a chance. He is still the most level headed of the crop and I just think he is stronger than Romney. He should run as an Independent and be the middle man (truth teller).

    People forget that President Obama is liked even though they may not like his policies. I keep waiting for the “truth teller” but 沒有
    Get this man on the ‘Daily Show’ or ‘Stephen Colbert’ and let him show his prior musical talent. Remember Clinton playing the saxaphone? I do.

  • Graychin

    In the latest Gallup poll, Jon Huntsman has the lowest “positive intensity” score of all ten announced and unannounced candidates included in the survey – minus 1%.

    (Positive Intensity is “strongly favorable” minus “strongly unfavorable.” Those polled were either Republicans or Republican-leaning independents.)

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/149423/Perry-Leads-Romney-Gaining-GOP-Favorability.aspx

    “Level-headed” isn’t a good thing to Republicans. That’s a big part of Huntsman’s problem.

    Huntsman’s other great problem is that he is severely charisma-challenged. His lame jokes and Curt Cobain references fall flat. His campaign peaked the day he announced his candidacy.

    But his campaign certainly isn’t floundering for lack of media attention. I have no idea why Huntsman continues to get so much more publicity than Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger, Gary Johnson, and Thaddeus McCotter. Roemer and Johnson are even former governors like Huntsman.

  • nikhil_gupta

    I learned that in the Israel post that you can curse in the comment boards. I am asking all to use this only in extreme circumstances, like the filibuster or something.

    • Oldskool

      Cursing is inherently extreme, so, we should curse as often as we wish? I’m way behind on my own cursing and would really like to erupt sometime soon.

  • Rob_654

    Huntsman can’t possibly win a GOP nomination.

    The guy is clearly FAR to radical – after all he believes in things like “science”, “education” and other radical concepts that just don’t “feel” right to the Republican base any longer…

  • jamesj

    Is this information supposed to imply that Huntsman would be a stooge for big business while Romney wouldn’t?

  • Arms Merchant

    Huntsman’s campaign is on life support. I don’t know why CNN bothered to include him in the last debate. Huntsman was at his most ridiculous at this point:

    “BLITZER: Hold on a second, Governor Huntsman, you also signed legislation in Utah that gave driving privileges to illegal immigrants. Was that a good idea?

    “HUNTSMAN: Well, first of all, let me say for Rick to say that you can’t secure the border I think is pretty much a treasonous comment.”

    “Pretty much” treasonous? WTF??!! What a bold, courageous stand to make!

    And how can comments be treasonous? Has Huntsman heard of the First Amendment?

    What a loser.

    • Polifan

      Okay, got me on the “treason” statement. Zero positive comments, besides Rob_654.

      I am not counting him out. I am thinking in terms of ‘just’ the Republican nod, there are still Independents that are looking for reasonable. Smart is a plus.

    • overshoot

      “Huntsman’s campaign is on life support.”

      Life support would imply that it ever took its first breath.

      The only way I can reconcile Huntsman’s obvious intelligence with this campaign is that he’s betting on a massive backlash against the faction of the party that currently has the bit in its teeth when 2016 comes around.

  • hisgirlfriday

    David, Phil Knight has been supporting the Huntsman campaign since at least June.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/huntsman-finishes-opening-day-with-big-haul/

    I don’t think Phil Knight’s support has anything to do with Romney’s attacks on China of late.

  • PracticalGirl

    I have no idea whether Uncle Phil’s support will do him any good, but I’ll definitely be watching to see how many new campaign “uniform” options Huntsman will be sporting.

  • jg bennet

    That is because he and Knight are free traders & both have factories and or supply chains in China. Huntsman is on the Chinese side when it comes to business not ours. Remember what Jefferson said………………Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

    US: Lawmakers call for footwear tariffs in TPP pact
    12 September 2011

    A group of US lawmakers is calling on trade officials to ensure that ongoing talks on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) do not lead to lower duties on US footwear imports.

    Such a move, they claim, would undermine and possibly even spell the end for the Domestic American footwear industry, which has already seen its production fall by nearly 75% between 1999 and 2007 and more than 28,000 jobs lost from factory closures.

    Led by Mike Michaud, chairman of the House Trade Working Group, the lawmakers have sent a letter to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging that current footwear tariff levels are retained.

    “The footwear industry has been gutted by foreign imports, including those from Vietnam,” said Michaud. “Our trade negotiators need to make sure that this trade deal doesn’t off-shore what’s left of our shoe manufacturers.”

    Nine Pacific Rim nations are formally involved in the multi-lateral trade group, whose latest round of talks took place in Chicago last week. As well as the US and Vietnam, participants also include Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Peru.

    As with the US textile industry, Vietnam is seen as by far the biggest threat in the agreement.

    In 1998, shoes from Vietnam represented less than 1% of American imports and the eighth largest US source of foreign shoes, the letter says. By 2007 that number had jumped to more than 5%, and Vietnam had become the second largest source of shoe imports to the US.

    “A trade agreement that includes Vietnam, and that does not adequately protect domestic footwear manufacturers will only accelerate this trend.”

    Lawmakers also claim that current domestic tariff rates on imported footwear provide some countervailing measures against the “intolerable foreign labour conditions” that have allowed foreign manufacturers to undercut the domestic footwear producers.

    “Higher duties help to level the playing field against Vietnam’s state-owned enterprises and currency intervention policies,” they continue, adding: “They also reduce the likelihood that China would trans-ship underpriced footwear product through Vietnam to the US.”

    Michaud adds: “With high unemployment, it’s critical that our trade policy stops sending American jobs overseas and starts creating jobs on main street.

    “Our trade negotiators must make this trade deal different than the NAFTA-style agreements that have undermined US manufacturing. Our economic recovery depends on it.”

    Separately, trade groups from 25 countries in Africa, South America, Central America and North America have also got together to call for caution in the textile talks concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    In particular they are calling for a final agreement to include a yarn forward rule of origin, strengthened customs rules and special mechanisms to deal with state owned companies and state subsidised companies.

    http://politheo.com/chinaisourenemy.html

    • balconesfault

      “Our trade negotiators must make this trade deal different than the NAFTA-style agreements that have undermined US manufacturing. Our economic recovery depends on it.”

      As well as any long term economic stability for America.

  • beowulf

    Romney has a smart campaign team, he’s tacking right on cultural issues, which gives him leeway with the GOP base to go more populist (that is, liberal) on economics.
    Romney have endorse tariffs on China, building a border fence and has posed as Social Security’s defender in his attacks on Perry. If he wins the nomination, I suspect he’ll attack Obama from the right on cultural issues and from the left on economic ones.

    For example, he could point out the Obama Admin is persecuting Boeing for outsourcing 787 assembly jobs from Washington (don’t mention “State” and listeners hear that as DC) to South Carolina but wouldn’t lift a finger to stop Boeing from outsourcing one-third of the 787′s parts to South Korea, China and other foreign countries.
    Romney could take it to the next level (AFTER locking down the nomination) and claim the mantle of the WWII Keynesianism that ended the Great Depression, After all (per wiki), George Romney “helped start the Automotive Committee for Air Defense in 1940, which coordinated planning between the automobile and aircraft industries. Immediately following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that drew the U.S. into the war, Romney helped turn that committee into, and became managing director of, the Automotive Council for War Production”.

  • gmckee1985

    Huntsman is a non factor.