Weigel

The Jon Huntsman Juggernaut Staggers

huntsman
Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Jonathan Martin’s deep, deep dive into the problems of Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign is much more fascinating than a study of a last-place candidacy really should be. The proportionate number of former aides who have taken it upon themselves to trash their candidate is staggering. And this isn’t Newt Gingrich we’re talking about – this is a guy whose life in elective office began in 2004. If this thing doesn’t turn around, quitting the Chinese Embassy for a 2012 bid has got to rank up there with Hank Paulson leaving Goldman Sachs, high up in the Annals of Bad Decisions Driven by the Deceptive Glamor of Political Power.

Just as interesting as the profile: Democratic and Democratic-aligned campaigns keep sending it out, to make sure reporters have seen it. Why? Is it just an appreciation for good journalism? Is it that Huntsman must be stopped before it’s too late? At this point, the best Democratic scenario would actually involve Huntsman winning the nomination, irritating the conservative base with his heresies, and inspiring a third party campaign that allows Barack Obama to eke out plurality wins in swing states.

Meanwhile:

Huntsman Corp (HUN.N) shares fell as much as 24 percent on Thursday after second-quarter profit narrowly missed Wall Street’s expectations, hurt by higher costs for the materials it uses to make chemicals.

Oh, come on.