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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Jon Gone: Instant punditry ...

Above: Jon Huntsman bows out.

The online punditry still likes Jon Huntsman, even as he bows out of his run for the White House.

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[The State, South Carolina's largest newspaper, even endorsed him in its Sunday editorial. Oops.]

His point that the campaign is a nasty place is underlined by the fact that a lot of what's being said is that Huntsman's failure to catch fire with the Republican electorate is the result of his trying to talk sense to a constituency that wants no such thing.

- Jon Huntsman's irrelevant exit - Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast

Jon Huntsman’s candidacy was based on a delusion. He staked his aspirations on the misbegotten hope that some significant segment of the GOP base craved a civil, responsible, empirically grounded conservatism. ...

- Why Jon Huntsman failed - E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post

... I still think there is an audience in some future GOP for the Huntsman mix of positions: conservatism on economics, realism on foreign policy, and an open-minded and modern-sounding moderate conservatism on cultural questions – what my friend Bill Galston has called "tolerant traditionalism." But this wasn’t the year, and Huntsman wasn’t the guy.

- Tribalism killed Huntsman - Andrew Sullivan, The Dish

... What you see in the rejection of Huntsman is the Republican body rejecting a sanity transplant. Based on unreason and hatred of the other half of America. It's irrational and degenerate. But it's what they have, sadly, become. ...

- Huntsman: The candidate who couldn't - Beth Reinhard - The National Journal/Atlantic Wire

... His decision to bow out instead of continuing to siphon (a few) votes away from the likely nominee, Mitt Romney, suggests he is leaving the door open for another bid for public office or political appointment. That he would endorse Romney after months of showing such little regard for him amounts to a humbling swallow of political reality -- and suggests even greater disdain for the other candidates in the race. ...

- Huntsman left the race before he was in it - Daniel Ruth, The Tampa Bay Times

... It all started out with so much promise for Huntsman. He looked like a president. He had the resume of a president. He talked like a president. And the conventional wisdom argued he was probably the smartest pol in the presidential race. Given the Republican penchant this election cycle to populate its presidential field with the cast from Animal House, this was a campaign doomed from the start. ...

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