Will Jeb Bush Endorse Jon Huntsman Tomorrow in Coconut Grove?
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's campaign has promised that the struggling presidential candidate will make a major announcement tomorrow at, of all place, Scotty's Landing in Coconut Grove. Our first instinct was that he'd be announcing his exit from the race, but that seems unlikely. Word is now that he'll be announcing a major endorsement, and, of course, whenever a Republican teases the idea of a major endorsement to be announced in Miami it usually means Jeb Bush.
Huntsman left his post as Utah's governor when he was appointed by President Obama as ambassador to China. He then resigned that post to announce he'd be putting his hat in the ring to take on Obama in 2012, but his campaign has hit many a snags. A Politco story last week detailed major drama within his campaign staff.
In the latest Gallup Poll, he receives just two percent. He's positioned himself as one of the most, if not the most, moderate members of the GOP primary contenders and has chosen to concentrate his efforts in Florida by opening his campaign headquarters in Orlando. Yet he's failed to make much headway even among Florida voters.
All of that made us think he'd perhaps be calling it quits tomorrow. Especially as Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to enter the field. Though, it was announced this morning he's brought in a new senior adviser to try and sort his electoral funk.
So what's this major announcement? The buzz is a possible Jeb Bush endorsement. Bush of course lives a short while away from Coconut Grove in Coral Gables. Jeb Bush Jr. meanwhile offered his endorsement to Hunstman in June, and a former Jeb-aid, Nikki Lowrey, now works for the Huntsman campaign.
With Rick Scott's popularity proving something of a disadvantage, and Marco Rubio saying he'll stay neutral, a Jeb Bush endorsement is perhaps the biggest prize in Florida.
Yet, Politico seems to suggest that the announcement could be a formal recognition of Jeb Bush Jr.'s endorsement. Though that would hardly qualify as anything major. CNN's Pete Hamby also tweets that it's definitely not Jeb.
So if not Jeb Sr. then who? Maybe a Diaz-Balart or two? Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? Good Lord, he couldn't be thinking about dragging Charlie Crist into all of this? Make no mistake, if Huntsman promises a surprise "major announcement" during a pivotal week in the race and trots out Jeb Bush Jr., it just might be the kind of thing that cements his entire campaign as a sad joke.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.