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August 07. 2011 7:01PM

Huntsman’s plans: More detail, please

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, spent much of last week in New Hampshire. We followed his travels around the state closely, and we sat down with him for a one-hour interview on Wednesday. After all of that, we know a little bit more about his agenda for governing this country should he be elected President. Only a little bit, though.

Gov. Huntsman has the habit of taking a moment to collect his thoughts before he speaks. He says what he means, and rarely anything else. Not all candidates have such discipline, and it is serving him well, especially on subjects he enjoys talking about.

Get him going on China, international relations, or even some areas of defense policy, and he can show just how much he knows, which is a lot. But outside of that comfort zone, he can be surprisingly vague. His “message discipline,” as the campaign people say, keeps him on point, which keeps him out of trouble. But it also keeps him from elaborating on policy, which is a problem for anyone hoping to win in New Hampshire.

The people of New Hampshire tend to have a good grasp of national politics, and they usually want more from candidates than just a general agenda outline. If Gov. Huntsman doesn’t start explaining his ideas in more depth during his visits here, he will find the next five months more challenging than they need to be.


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