Jon Huntsman Appointed Ambassador to China
by Charles Lemos, Fri May 15, 2009 at 08:29:09 PM EDT
The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Utah Governor and GOP moderate Jon Hunstman will resign from office to accept a nomination to become the ambassador to the People's Republic of China. Governor Huntsman who is fluent in Mandarin previously served as the US Ambassador to Singapore.
Sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune that an announcement is scheduled for Saturday. Huntsman is in Washington, D.C., but calls to his spokeswoman and various staffers were not returned Friday night.
Huntsman, who had been mentioned as a potential Republican contender for the White House, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush as ambassador to Singapore -- he was the youngest ambassador in over a century --- and later was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Deputy United States Trade Representative. He was unanimously confirmed to both positions.
He speaks Mandarin Chinese and he and his wife, Mary Kaye, have adopted a daughter from China.
Huntsman had been scheduled to travel to China next week as part of a delegation of Western governors visiting the nation to discuss climate change, alternative energy and clean air technologies.
That trip was canceled due to concerns by some of the governors over the swine flu outbreak.
Huntsman will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert who would serve through 2010, at which time a replacement would be elected until 2012.
While Huntsman's name has often been bantered about as a possible GOP contender for the Presidency in 2012, I suspect that his chances in 2016 are stronger and this appointment in the long run bolsters his national security and international affairs credentials. It's a good move for Huntsman politically.
More from the New York Times.