President Obama walks alongside US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham after disembarking from Air Force One upon arrival at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014, on a surprise trip to visit US troops
Just landed : Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit the troops.
President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 14, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya (Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with Mario Orosa, a native Ohioan, before dinner at the Smith Commons Dining Room and Public House in Washington, DC, on October 12, 2012. Orosa was one of the three winners of the final “Dinner with Barack” fundraising contest. The winners are Kimberley Cathey, Mario Orosa and Joe Laliberte (UPI/Pete Marovich)
President Barack Obama, followed by Chaplain Colonel J. Wesley Smith and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, walks towards the podium during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Sept. 14, 2012, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama looks as the remains of four Americans, including US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, are placed in hearses during the transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 14
2:15 ET: President Obama, VP Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attend the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya
Richard Swett (Concord Monitor): Today Jon Huntsman makes his New Hampshire debut as a potential presidential candidate. As someone who served under both a Democratic and a Republican president abroad, I applaud him for setting his Republican Party affiliation aside for two years to serve President Obama in China.
…But I wonder which Huntsman will be coming to the Granite State this week. Already he has been flip-flopping, like all the Republican candidates, pandering to the most extreme views of the Republican base. When these Republican candidates begin their presidential runs, it seems like all the pragmatic and commonsense policymaking they once listed as accomplishments becomes a record from which they try to distance themselves.
….Will the Huntsman who told the Obama administration that he appreciated what the president was trying to do on health care be the one coming to Manchester this weekend? Or will it be a Romney-lite Huntsman who attempts to distance himself from the president’s groundbreaking reforms that will ensure millions of Americans have access to quality affordable health care?
Will the Huntsman who supports a larger stimulus package come to Windham? Huntsman told Politico that the stimulus “probably wasn’t large enough,” and accepted more than $1.6 billion in stimulus money as governor of Utah. Is that what he’ll tell the Windham Republican Town Committee this week?
Will the Huntsman who supports civil unions and gay rights come to Franklin … he may just be the latest candidate in a presidential primary where all the competitors are moving to the right – as quickly as possible. If Huntsman follows this well-trodden path, it will be nothing new and nothing as fresh as the Washington pundits suggest his candidacy to be.
Steve Benen: In the surest sign yet that Jon Huntsman, President Obama’s former ambassador to China, is running for president, the Republican has given up his support for cap-and-trade. He joins Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, who did the same thing before launching their own national bids.
But Taegan Goddard flags an interesting quote from Huntsman on the issue, which speaks to a larger concern. When Time magazine asked, “You also believe in climate change, right?” Huntsman replied:
“I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them.”
…. Reminded how easy it is to always put environmental crises on the back burner behind other priorities, Huntsman added that addressing climate change would put “additional burdens on the pillars of growth,” which is “counter-productive.”
This is, in general, the worst of all possible positions. Much of the right believes climate change is a “hoax” and an elaborate conspiracy cooked up by communists to destroy America’s way of life. These deniers have a simple solution to the problem: ignore it and pretend there is no problem. Much of the left takes the evidence seriously, is eager to address the crisis, and has a variety of possible solutions to the problem, including but not limited to cap-and-trade plans.
Huntsman apparently wants to split the difference — he accepts the evidence and believes the problem is real; Huntsman just doesn’t want to do anything about it.
…he isn’t doing himself any favors by trying to thread this needle. The right will be unimpressed that he believes the science, and the left will be unimpressed that he prefers to ignore the problem for the indefinite future.