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June 04, 2016

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Huntsman thinks the future of the Republican Party is Trump, not the others & he wants a seat at the table.

Alternately, he thinks Trump will fail, but wants to be part of the group that rebuilds the party while sloughing off the Romneyites & Ryanites.

Will's right that that would be how it would play out if Huntsman is rational viewing this as a binary. But given even the sensible Sandoval defected to crybaby, it suggests some form of widespread cowardice/loss aversion. The Presidency brings with it a lot of spoils, though I have no idea what Huntsman thinks he stands to gain under President Trump.

It's also, like, really, really dumb. Because it ruins Huntsman's brand as the last sensible Republican.

Anyway, I always took this set of actions as part of the longer, sprawling rivalry between Huntsman and Romney, one that periodically spawns out of character actions from both sides. I think the first murmurings of support from Huntsman's "No Labels" office came when Romney gave his "Never Trump" speech, so this may be part of that.

I wonder if this is an indication the party elites believe the openly anti-Trump elements of the Republican party will have no influence in its future. Why avoid stink when it's akin to exile. You may as well just join the Democratic Party. Arlen Specter and Jim Webb showed the best case scenario for former Republicans in this era.

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