While former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman
is not yet a candidate for president, he’s already drawing scrutiny for a secret past and a campaign flub. The Washington Post
revealed that the former ambassador to China was a sergeant in the Safety Patrol at Westbrook Elementary School in the Washington suburb of Bethesda during the 1971-72 school year.
The Post was tipped off by Chris Mills, now with Haverford College in Pennsylvania, who served with Huntsman. Huntsman lived in the D.C. area when his father took a post with the Nixon administration.
“I was the force’s lieutenant. This means that I outranked our possible future Commander-in-Chief, who was a sergeant,” Mills told the Post. “As maintainer of records and enforcer of standards, I was the glove when the dirty work of Safety Patrol business needed to get done. . . I know where the bodies are buried. And I’m here to report that Sgt. Huntsman was an exemplary Patrol Officer: Shirttail always tucked in? Check. On time and attentive at his post? Check. A velvet hammer in preventing outbreaks of “99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall” during the bus ride to and from the Spring Hill subdivision? Check.”
On a more serious level, senior officials in the Huntsman political operation told the Post that prominent GOP fundraiser FedEx founder Frederick Smith had agreed to support a Huntsman run for president. However, a FedEx spokeswoman said it wasn’t so.
The Huntsman campaign issued an apology for mischaracterizing a brief conversation between Huntsman and Smith. “This error was the result of an overeager staffer,” Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller told the Post. “We sincerely apologize to Mr. Smith for the mistake.”
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