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Topic: Huntsman

Reasons for Huntsman’s Flameout

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race will come as a shock to almost no one. There are many reasons for Huntsman’s flameout, but one of them can be found in this June 2011 profile in Esquire magazine.

For [John] Weaver and the rest of the team, Huntsman’s intelligence and foreign-policy experience, combined with his strong record of fiscal conservatism and social semimoderation (he supports civil unions for gay couples and believes climate change is an urgent issue), made him the ideal candidate to shake up a Republican field that Weaver calls “the weakest since 1940.”

“There’s a simple reason our party is nowhere near being a national governing party,” Weaver told Esquire. “No one wants to be around a bunch of cranks.”

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Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race will come as a shock to almost no one. There are many reasons for Huntsman’s flameout, but one of them can be found in this June 2011 profile in Esquire magazine.

For [John] Weaver and the rest of the team, Huntsman’s intelligence and foreign-policy experience, combined with his strong record of fiscal conservatism and social semimoderation (he supports civil unions for gay couples and believes climate change is an urgent issue), made him the ideal candidate to shake up a Republican field that Weaver calls “the weakest since 1940.”

“There’s a simple reason our party is nowhere near being a national governing party,” Weaver told Esquire. “No one wants to be around a bunch of cranks.”

The field may well have been the weakest since 1940. But consider this: in this historically weak field Huntsman had no real influence on the race, he never gained traction, and he never became a top-tier candidate, which tells you almost all you need to know about the former Utah governor.

Oh, and one other thing: When your top political adviser goes around referring to Republicans as a “bunch of cranks,” don’t be surprised if voters return the favor.

Jon Hunstman certainly has a more serious command of the issues than, say, Herman Cain. And his economic proposal was impressive enough. But it wasn’t nearly enough. People cast votes for people, not simply for plans. The former ambassador to China ran a poor campaign from beginning to end (speaking in Mandarin to a GOP audience has never been known to work terribly well). He came across as supercilious. He never articulated anything approaching a compelling vision for his campaign. And he leaves the campaign having said more negative things about his GOP rivals than he said about President Obama.

Huntsman and Weaver should be able to look forward to their newest posts: as political contributors to MSNBC. They’d fit right in.

 

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Handicapping New Hampshire Expectations

After months of campaigning, the Republican candidates face the voters in New Hampshire today. Though there’s little doubt Mitt Romney will finish first, there is plenty of uncertainty about his margin of victory and the order of finish. After being buffeted by harsh attacks in recent days, Romney’s hopes of maintaining his frontrunner status depends on a big win in New Hampshire. Though South Carolina is more of a do-or-die situation than New Hampshire for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, a better or worse than expected performance will heavily impact their chances of surviving in the race. As for Jon Huntsman, the New Hampshire primary is his one and only shot at making a run at Romney. With that in mind, here is our handicap sheet for the expectations for each of the candidates:

Mitt Romney: He’s taken a pounding from his rivals in the last few days, and the “like to fire people” gaffe may also hurt him. Nevertheless, the last three New Hampshire polls show him ahead by anywhere from 17 to 24 points and getting 33 to 41 percent of the vote. That’s good news for the candidate, but the bar for Romney is set very high here. Anything less than 35-40 percent of the vote and a 10-point margin of victory will be construed as a defeat. On the other end of the spectrum, a Romney vote of over 40 percent with a lead of more than 15 percent in a six-candidate race will have to be seen as a sign of strength that will help give him the momentum in South Carolina to try for an unprecedented sweep of the first three states to vote. This race is Romney’s to lose, and New Hampshire is the state where he needs to start to prove his inevitability is no myth.

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After months of campaigning, the Republican candidates face the voters in New Hampshire today. Though there’s little doubt Mitt Romney will finish first, there is plenty of uncertainty about his margin of victory and the order of finish. After being buffeted by harsh attacks in recent days, Romney’s hopes of maintaining his frontrunner status depends on a big win in New Hampshire. Though South Carolina is more of a do-or-die situation than New Hampshire for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, a better or worse than expected performance will heavily impact their chances of surviving in the race. As for Jon Huntsman, the New Hampshire primary is his one and only shot at making a run at Romney. With that in mind, here is our handicap sheet for the expectations for each of the candidates:

Mitt Romney: He’s taken a pounding from his rivals in the last few days, and the “like to fire people” gaffe may also hurt him. Nevertheless, the last three New Hampshire polls show him ahead by anywhere from 17 to 24 points and getting 33 to 41 percent of the vote. That’s good news for the candidate, but the bar for Romney is set very high here. Anything less than 35-40 percent of the vote and a 10-point margin of victory will be construed as a defeat. On the other end of the spectrum, a Romney vote of over 40 percent with a lead of more than 15 percent in a six-candidate race will have to be seen as a sign of strength that will help give him the momentum in South Carolina to try for an unprecedented sweep of the first three states to vote. This race is Romney’s to lose, and New Hampshire is the state where he needs to start to prove his inevitability is no myth.

Jon Huntsman: Huntsman has gone all-in in New Hampshire and anything less than a relatively close second place there will finish him. Polls show him currently in third with 11 to 16 percent support with a mini-surge, but he needs to do far better than that. If Huntsman can get to 20 percent, that will be considered a stunning upset, and he will be the subject of a lot of positive spin. But even if enough Democrats and independents choose to vote in the GOP primary for his sake, it’s hard to see where he goes from there, since the prospects for a similar showing elsewhere are slim and none. Odds are, he falls far short of that goal and New Hampshire is the effective end of his campaign.

Newt Gingrich: Despite the support of the most influential newspaper in the state and a late infusion of money and negative advertising about Romney, Gingrich is stuck in the second tier here with polls showing him only with anywhere from 8 to 12 percent of the vote. At this point, nobody expects much from Gingrich, so getting as much as 15 percent and third place would be considered a moral victory and possibly breathe some life into his sinking campaign. Second place would get him back in the conversation as a viable candidate. But above all, he needs to avoid a fifth place finish in a race where only five candidates are actively contesting the state (Rick Perry is concentrating his faltering hopes on South Carolina). Finishing last among those who showed up will convince many still thinking of voting for him in South Carolina to switch to Rick Santorum or Perry.

Rick Santorum: After his amazing showing in Iowa, Santorum has hit a speed bump in New Hampshire where his lack of money and organization has left him with little hope for another upset. Last Wednesday, in the heady aftermath of his 8-vote loss in Iowa, there was some talk of him riding that momentum to second place in New Hampshire, but the polls show him stuck at 10-11 percent, fighting with Gingrich for fourth. Santorum’s minimum goal should be to stay ahead of Newt. Doing so and especially beating him by five or more points is what he needs to convince wavering South Carolina conservatives that he, and not Gingrich or Perry, is their last best hope to stop Romney. Had he chosen not to compete in the state, he might have avoided the comparison but having done so, Santorum, like Gingrich, needs to avoid a fifth place finish which would erase a lot of the momentum he got from Iowa.

Ron Paul: The libertarian extremist is in second place in all the polls and with anti-war/radical Democrats and independents free to vote for him this is another state where a good showing is within his grasp. A close second for Paul would give most Republicans heartburn and allow Democrats to spend the next month talking about the radicalization of the GOP. But even that won’t give Paul a chance for the nomination. On the other hand, should he slip to third, he will cease to be the object of much conversation and, though he will stay in the race, mark the end of his relevance in 2012.

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Echoing Bain Attacks Could Backfire

On Friday, Joseph Rago warned in the Wall Street Journal that Newt Gingrich’s planned attacks on Mitt Romney suggested that the former Speaker’s temper might lead him to commit a strategic blunder:

Mr. Romney’s political ruthlessness seems to inspire this kind of personal loathing among his opponents, John McCain and Mike Huckabee being notable exemplars from 2008. But the larger political question is how, exactly, Mr. Gingrich will choose to conduct his war. As Speaker, he was volatile and erratic, claiming upon his resignation in 1998 that he couldn’t tolerate “mindless cannibalism” in the Republican caucus. The irony is that a more measured and restrained case would likely be most effective against Mr. Romney — painstakingly highlighting his record, as Mr. Gingrich’s rivals did in Iowa — but that isn’t always Mr. Gingrich’s M.O.

Rago looks prescient, as Gingrich has decided to attack Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, in the process painting both Romney and the process of creative destruction as moral failures. Yet Gingrich is doing more than just echoing the drum circles of Occupy Wall Street. He has apparently convinced the other GOP candidates to follow down this path.

Mark Halperin quotes Jon Huntsman–playing off this awkward verbal miscue from Romney–as saying that “Governor Romney enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs.” Rick Perry, for his part, offered: “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out.”

The urge to pile on a faltering frontrunner is irresistible, surely. But as Jonathan noted earlier, any Republican nominee will be painted by Obama as these candidates are painting Romney now. The desire to resist being hammered by their own words in a general election alone should be enough to convince these candidates to avoid attacking Romney from the left.

But it also won’t work; conservatives are already groaning at having to defend Romney from his rivals. In Gingrich’s case, it’s more understandable, since Romney blitzed the Iowa airwaves with attacks on Gingrich’s record. But both Huntsman and especially Perry have records to run on that contrast in their favor with Romney’s. Perry, in fact, jumped into the lead as soon as he announced his candidacy in part because he has a record as governor that would make any Republican national office seeker green with envy. And Perry’s campaign manifesto was the most libertarian of anyone outside Ron Paul.

Perry’s record remains his best chance at drawing back in the voters he lost earlier to candidates who are no longer in the race. Huntsman, meanwhile, has been trying to fend off accusations he’s too liberal for the GOP base. Neither will be well served going forward by joining in Gingrich’s fit of pique. It isn’t presidential, and they’ve got better things to talk about.

On Friday, Joseph Rago warned in the Wall Street Journal that Newt Gingrich’s planned attacks on Mitt Romney suggested that the former Speaker’s temper might lead him to commit a strategic blunder:

Mr. Romney’s political ruthlessness seems to inspire this kind of personal loathing among his opponents, John McCain and Mike Huckabee being notable exemplars from 2008. But the larger political question is how, exactly, Mr. Gingrich will choose to conduct his war. As Speaker, he was volatile and erratic, claiming upon his resignation in 1998 that he couldn’t tolerate “mindless cannibalism” in the Republican caucus. The irony is that a more measured and restrained case would likely be most effective against Mr. Romney — painstakingly highlighting his record, as Mr. Gingrich’s rivals did in Iowa — but that isn’t always Mr. Gingrich’s M.O.

Rago looks prescient, as Gingrich has decided to attack Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, in the process painting both Romney and the process of creative destruction as moral failures. Yet Gingrich is doing more than just echoing the drum circles of Occupy Wall Street. He has apparently convinced the other GOP candidates to follow down this path.

Mark Halperin quotes Jon Huntsman–playing off this awkward verbal miscue from Romney–as saying that “Governor Romney enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs.” Rick Perry, for his part, offered: “I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out.”

The urge to pile on a faltering frontrunner is irresistible, surely. But as Jonathan noted earlier, any Republican nominee will be painted by Obama as these candidates are painting Romney now. The desire to resist being hammered by their own words in a general election alone should be enough to convince these candidates to avoid attacking Romney from the left.

But it also won’t work; conservatives are already groaning at having to defend Romney from his rivals. In Gingrich’s case, it’s more understandable, since Romney blitzed the Iowa airwaves with attacks on Gingrich’s record. But both Huntsman and especially Perry have records to run on that contrast in their favor with Romney’s. Perry, in fact, jumped into the lead as soon as he announced his candidacy in part because he has a record as governor that would make any Republican national office seeker green with envy. And Perry’s campaign manifesto was the most libertarian of anyone outside Ron Paul.

Perry’s record remains his best chance at drawing back in the voters he lost earlier to candidates who are no longer in the race. Huntsman, meanwhile, has been trying to fend off accusations he’s too liberal for the GOP base. Neither will be well served going forward by joining in Gingrich’s fit of pique. It isn’t presidential, and they’ve got better things to talk about.

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What Is Huntsman’s Next Move?

Jon Huntsman’s closing argument in New Hampshire has been a one-word mantra: independent. He has stressed both his independence from Republican orthodoxy and his oft-repeated appeal to independents. He will no doubt be touting Gallup’s announcement this morning that a record number of voters now identify as independents.

And though his main rival in New Hampshire is the frontrunner Mitt Romney, his attempts to contrast himself with the former Massachusetts governor ironically leave him making the same argument Romney has all along: he can beat Barack Obama. The good news: in CNN’s last poll before the Iowa caucuses, Romney cleaned up on the electability question, then won the caucuses. The bad news: to Iowans, Huntsman barely registered on the electability question.

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Jon Huntsman’s closing argument in New Hampshire has been a one-word mantra: independent. He has stressed both his independence from Republican orthodoxy and his oft-repeated appeal to independents. He will no doubt be touting Gallup’s announcement this morning that a record number of voters now identify as independents.

And though his main rival in New Hampshire is the frontrunner Mitt Romney, his attempts to contrast himself with the former Massachusetts governor ironically leave him making the same argument Romney has all along: he can beat Barack Obama. The good news: in CNN’s last poll before the Iowa caucuses, Romney cleaned up on the electability question, then won the caucuses. The bad news: to Iowans, Huntsman barely registered on the electability question.

This means that although Huntsman’s argument–that voters should support him in the primaries because he can win the general election–is worth something to GOP voters, he has either not reached or not convinced nearly enough voters to catch Romney.

So while a second-place finish in tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary is possible, where would Huntsman go next? It’s difficult to imagine him seriously competing in South Carolina, but Florida would seem to be a more hospitable state for his brand. Yet Quinnipiac tells us this morning Huntsman is at two percent in the state. The better question, then, may not be where Huntsman goes, but when. Here’s the key paragraph from the Times story:

Others at the Hampstead event said they did not think Mr. Huntsman had a shot at winning this year’s primary or even placing second or third. But several said they hoped he would draw enough support to be a strong candidate in 2016.

It was widely noted at the time that Obama’s decision to ask Huntsman to serve as his ambassador to China was in large part to take a perceived strong candidate out of the 2012 race. With the New Hampshire primary a day away, even Huntsman’s supporters seem to think he’s succeeded in doing just that.

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Rivals Attack Romney, But to No Avail

At last night’s debate, there were surprisingly few direct attacks on Mitt Romney. This morning, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum finally went after him, but neither was able to land a knockout punch:

Santorum began the morning’s attacks, accusing Romney of abandoning Republicans in Massachusetts by “bailing” from a difficult 2006 reelection campaign. When Romney cast his decision not to run for a second term as a selfless choice – saying he engaged in politics as a “citizen,” not a longtime official – Gingrich pounced. …

But the bad blood between Romney and his foes resurfaced before the debate was out, as Gingrich again went on the offensive – this time accusing Romney of duplicity in distancing himself from negative ads run by a super PAC funded by his “millionaire friends.”

Romney once more avoided a deer-in-the-headlights moment, though his speech was uncharacteristically halting as he explained that he wouldn’t support any attack ads that were inaccurate.

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At last night’s debate, there were surprisingly few direct attacks on Mitt Romney. This morning, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum finally went after him, but neither was able to land a knockout punch:

Santorum began the morning’s attacks, accusing Romney of abandoning Republicans in Massachusetts by “bailing” from a difficult 2006 reelection campaign. When Romney cast his decision not to run for a second term as a selfless choice – saying he engaged in politics as a “citizen,” not a longtime official – Gingrich pounced. …

But the bad blood between Romney and his foes resurfaced before the debate was out, as Gingrich again went on the offensive – this time accusing Romney of duplicity in distancing himself from negative ads run by a super PAC funded by his “millionaire friends.”

Romney once more avoided a deer-in-the-headlights moment, though his speech was uncharacteristically halting as he explained that he wouldn’t support any attack ads that were inaccurate.

Romney’s response to Gingrich’s attack on a pro-Romney super PAC was mystifying – he first said he never saw the PAC’s anti-Gingrich ad, and then went on to recite it blow-by-blow. But he managed to keep his composure,and came out of the dustup without any serious damage.

The question many observers have been asking is why are Romney’s rivals treating him so lightly? At the Daily Caller, Matt Lewis raises an interesting possibility:

Some of the candidates, by now, know they cannot win. As such, they have little incentive to attack Romney. (Perhaps he will give them a position in his administration if they help him? — Why ruin that? Or maybe he would counter-attack them and make them look bad if they criticize him? …. Or maybe they just want to be thought of as “nice”?)

Meanwhile, the candidates who think they can win — Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — probably believe their best shot at the nomination is to finish second in New Hampshire. And while going “negative” in a debate may hurt Romney, it would also tarnish their reputation, as well.

Lewis’s take makes sense. Perry isn’t hitting Romney because his past attempts to do so have blown up in his face (the convoluted “flip-flop” attack, for example). Whether Perry’s staying in the race because he actually believes he can compete seriously in South Carolina, or whether he’s simply to redeem his national reputation after multiple embarrassments, he has little incentive to go after Romney. The possibility of a future appointment may not even factor into the equation.

As for Huntsman and Paul – could they really be pulling punches with Romney because they’re gunning for administration positions? There’s notoriously bad blood between Huntsman and Romney, and Paul doesn’t have a shot at an appointment.

But at least Huntsman isn’t afraid of sparring with Romney once in awhile. Paul’s unwillingness to attack the frontrunner is actually the most confounding out of all of the candidates. He actually turned down an opportunity to criticize Romney this morning when it was explicitly presented to him. Paul’s polling second in New Hampshire, so why is he spending his time punching down at Santorum and Gingrich, who are both polling at single digits? It makes no sense.

Beyond that, Santorum and Gingrich are going to have to start turning their guns on each other at some point soon. Gingrich is fading in South Carolina, but not fast enough that Santorum can rest easy. Meanwhile, Gingrich can’t allow Santorum’s recent burst of popularity to propel him to the top of the polls there. Of course both of them have to attack Romney – they’re locked in a three-man race with him in South Carolina right now – but one of them will also have to definitively capture the not-Romney title. That means they’ll have to take the gloves off pronto – and with Santorum’s recent fundraising boost and Gingrich’s $5 million cash infusion, they now have the money to do it.

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Flotsam and Jetsam

How to kill a senate candidacy: Alex Giannoulias has his bank seized by the Feds. “Whether the issue remains a central one in the race is yet to be seen, but today is surely not a happy day in the Giannoulias camp. GOPers will have a reason to celebrate this weekend.” I think that seat is gone for the Democrats, unless they can pull a Torrecelli.

How to kill cap-and-trade: “The bipartisan climate bill to be unveiled Monday isn’t dead on arrival but it’s not likely to be taken up this year — and not before an immigration bill comes to the Senate floor, according to Democratic aides.”

How to kill the recovery: “Vast tax increases will be inevitable under President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint, the nation’s largest business groups complained on Friday.The groups blasted tax increases on businesses and wealthy individuals and families in the budget in a letter to members of the House and Senate, while warning that escalating public debt threatened the underlying economy.”

Kill the slams on the tea partiers! “House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Thursday he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a mistake when they called anti-health care protests ‘un-American’ last year.” Maybe he figured out these people are voters.

Naturally the Iranian Lobby — NIAC and Peace Now — want to kill sanctions against the mullahs.

Obama is doing more to kill off civility in public debate than any president since Richard Nixon. Charles Krauthammer on his Wall Street speech: “The way — and he‘s done this before — he tries to denigrate, cast out, and to delegitimize any argument against his. And here he’s talking about that it’s not legitimate even to suggest that the bill he’s supporting might encourage a bailout. It’s certainly possible [to] argue [that] because of the provisions in the ball, and one in particular, where the Treasury has the right to designate any entity — private entity – as a systemic risk, and then to immediately, even without Congress approving and appropriating money, to guarantee all the bad loans. That is an invitation to a bailout. Now, the president could argue otherwise, but to say that to raise this issue is illegitimate is simply appalling.”

Obama continues to kill off the freedom agenda and democracy promotion: “Just this week word came that the administration cut funds to promote democracy in Egypt by half. Programs in countries like Jordan and Iran have also faced cuts. Then there are the symbolic gestures: letting the Dalai Lama out the back door, paltry statements of support for Iranian demonstrators, smiling and shaking hands with Mr. Chávez, and so on. Daniel Baer, a representative from the State Department who participated in the [George W. Bush] conference [on dissidents’ use of new media tools], dismissed the notion that the White House has distanced itself from human-rights promotion as a baseless ‘meme’ when I raised the issue. But in fact all of this is of a piece of Mr. Obama’s overarching strategy to make it abundantly clear that he is not his predecessor.”

Making some progress in killing off business with Iran: “Two giant American accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young, disclosed this week that they no longer had any affiliation with Iranian firms, becoming the latest in a string of companies to publicly shun the Islamic republic. Following a similar decision by KPMG earlier this month, that leaves none of the Big Four audit firms with any ties to Iran. In recent months, other companies have announced that they would stop sales, cut back business or end affiliations with Iranian firms, including General Electric, Huntsman, Siemens, Caterpillar and Ingersoll Rand. Daimler said it would sell a minority share in an Iranian engine maker. An Italian firm said it would pull out after its current gas contracts ended. And the Malaysian state oil company cut off gasoline shipments to Iran, following similar moves by Royal Dutch Shell and trading giants like Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura.”

How to kill a senate candidacy: Alex Giannoulias has his bank seized by the Feds. “Whether the issue remains a central one in the race is yet to be seen, but today is surely not a happy day in the Giannoulias camp. GOPers will have a reason to celebrate this weekend.” I think that seat is gone for the Democrats, unless they can pull a Torrecelli.

How to kill cap-and-trade: “The bipartisan climate bill to be unveiled Monday isn’t dead on arrival but it’s not likely to be taken up this year — and not before an immigration bill comes to the Senate floor, according to Democratic aides.”

How to kill the recovery: “Vast tax increases will be inevitable under President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint, the nation’s largest business groups complained on Friday.The groups blasted tax increases on businesses and wealthy individuals and families in the budget in a letter to members of the House and Senate, while warning that escalating public debt threatened the underlying economy.”

Kill the slams on the tea partiers! “House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Thursday he and Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a mistake when they called anti-health care protests ‘un-American’ last year.” Maybe he figured out these people are voters.

Naturally the Iranian Lobby — NIAC and Peace Now — want to kill sanctions against the mullahs.

Obama is doing more to kill off civility in public debate than any president since Richard Nixon. Charles Krauthammer on his Wall Street speech: “The way — and he‘s done this before — he tries to denigrate, cast out, and to delegitimize any argument against his. And here he’s talking about that it’s not legitimate even to suggest that the bill he’s supporting might encourage a bailout. It’s certainly possible [to] argue [that] because of the provisions in the ball, and one in particular, where the Treasury has the right to designate any entity — private entity – as a systemic risk, and then to immediately, even without Congress approving and appropriating money, to guarantee all the bad loans. That is an invitation to a bailout. Now, the president could argue otherwise, but to say that to raise this issue is illegitimate is simply appalling.”

Obama continues to kill off the freedom agenda and democracy promotion: “Just this week word came that the administration cut funds to promote democracy in Egypt by half. Programs in countries like Jordan and Iran have also faced cuts. Then there are the symbolic gestures: letting the Dalai Lama out the back door, paltry statements of support for Iranian demonstrators, smiling and shaking hands with Mr. Chávez, and so on. Daniel Baer, a representative from the State Department who participated in the [George W. Bush] conference [on dissidents’ use of new media tools], dismissed the notion that the White House has distanced itself from human-rights promotion as a baseless ‘meme’ when I raised the issue. But in fact all of this is of a piece of Mr. Obama’s overarching strategy to make it abundantly clear that he is not his predecessor.”

Making some progress in killing off business with Iran: “Two giant American accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young, disclosed this week that they no longer had any affiliation with Iranian firms, becoming the latest in a string of companies to publicly shun the Islamic republic. Following a similar decision by KPMG earlier this month, that leaves none of the Big Four audit firms with any ties to Iran. In recent months, other companies have announced that they would stop sales, cut back business or end affiliations with Iranian firms, including General Electric, Huntsman, Siemens, Caterpillar and Ingersoll Rand. Daimler said it would sell a minority share in an Iranian engine maker. An Italian firm said it would pull out after its current gas contracts ended. And the Malaysian state oil company cut off gasoline shipments to Iran, following similar moves by Royal Dutch Shell and trading giants like Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura.”

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