If the sexual harassment allegations torpedo Herman Cain’s campaign, which of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination will benefit? Surprisingly, the phoenix to rise from the scandal’s ashes could be Jon Huntsman.
The former Utah governor said he is feeling some momentum.
“I’ve been getting whiplash watching everybody rise and fall,” Huntsman said Tuesday in Miami, according to The Miami Herald. “I think without question people are giving a second look.”
So far, a lot of voters have not given Huntsman a first look. The former U.S. ambassador to China and Singapore has not moved past the single digits in national polls.
On the other hand, many of the contenders with higher name recognition have already hit a wall.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is seen by many as having the best chance to defeat President Barack Obama, and yet he’s been accused of flip-flopping and voters have not warmed to him.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry performed poorly in debates. Rep. Michele Bachmann had some early success in Iowa, but faded quickly. It remains to be seen whether Cain can move past the harassment allegations.
Political observers say Newt Gingrich could also benefit if the Cain train derails, but the former House speaker’s past history of infidelity could harm him. Huntsman, meanwhile, is scandal free.
Huntsman has been getting attention for his Web ad, “Scared Mittless.” He and his three daughters — who became a YouTube sensation with their spoof of Cain’s bizarre “Smoking” ad — are scheduled to appear on Sean Hannity’s Fox show this week. And Huntsman said a cameo on “Saturday Night Live” may even be in the works.
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson wrote in his RedState blog
that he might have to take notice of Huntsman.
“I’m starting to think I need to walk it back on my rejection of Jon Huntsman. Because I’m starting to think even he would be more faithful in his conservative convictions than Mitt Romney,” Erickson said.
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