Is Christie Just Another Huntsman?

With Republicans once again clamoring for Chris Christie to jump in the 2012 race and save them from the GOP’s unappealing frontrunners, Daniel Larison has a question: Why not just go to Jon Huntsman? After all, Larison writes in the American Conservative, Christie doesn’t offer any of the ideological purity missing in the current field. “It is strange that some party elites are desperately clamoring for a last-minute Christie bid when Huntsman was already available to be turned into the acceptable alternative,” he writes. Over at The New York Times, Ross Douthat takes issue with Larison’s assessment, and encourages him to “watch Huntsman’s wispy and vacuous announcement speech and contrast it with, oh, just about any public appearance Christie has over the past two years.” But Larison doesn’t buy it: “The things that conservatives may find viscerally appealing in politicians also tend to be the things that make them politically toxic to many others.”