This “Call me crazy” line is something Huntsman could build a campaign around. Fallows is largely correct in saying that Huntsman’s public positions on these types of things probably means he is shooting for 2016, but not 100% correct. Huntsman still has a shot at being the McCain of 2012, Maverick-y and using New Hampshire as a springboard because of lack of national attention. But he’ll have to, you know, actually bother being Maverick-y at some point, and not just via Twitter.
So here is what I would have done hours ago if I was running the Huntsman campaign: an internet ad called “Crazy”, made to be put onto youtube and picked up virally, not made for paid commercials. Blogs and cable news would play it for free anyways.
It would be a 30 second spot designed to look like, well, a satirical attack ad about how Huntsman is “crazy” to support such positions as global warming, dignity and rights for same sex couples, and other things. If it were cheeky enough it would go viral and endear him as the “not crazy” GOP candidate. The following should be read in the voice of the guy that does all the voiceovers in movie trailers:
Jon Huntsman is so crazy…he believes in equality and dignity for those in same-sex relationships…
Jon Huntsman is so crazy…he believes that there is no chance that Sharia law could be secretly adopted in US courts of law
Jon Huntsman is so crazy…he trusts scientists instead of politicians on matters…of science
Jon Huntsman. What crazy thing will he say next?
Of course, producing such a thing would be a tacit admission that you believe the other candidates are actually “crazy” in their positions, but what the hell, Huntsman needs to take a swing for the fences to become relevant. And the positions of the other candidates are mostly crazy. And I think Huntsman thinks so too.
Once he builds his campaign around what he actually believes instead of what far right wingers want to hear, he’ll finally gain some traction.