The best GOP presidential candidate just quit the race

The one man who should stay in the race for the Republican presidential nomination is the one who just left it — Jon Huntsman.

Ironically, the reason he's leaving — to try to end the bitter divisions in the race — is further evidence that he is worthy, perhaps more than the whole lot of them, of the nomination. Or as Jim Rubens, a New Hampshire supporter, told Politico before Huntsman withdrew: "This guy is sane, he's capable of dealing with the world stage."

You really have to wonder whether the rest of the Republican candidates indeed have all their marbles, the way they're slicing each other up and handing President Barack Obama's re-election campaign plenty of ammunition to use against whichever GOPnominee emerges bloodied from the scrum. It's been a pathetic display of egos on parade.

The polls tell us that Americans want a calming president, someone who can "work with the other side to get things done." They're sick of stalemates and the rigid ideology from both sides that have ground government to a near halt. They're looking for someone who has accomplished the important stuff, like controlling runaway budgets; not a naif who moved almost directly into the White House from the dark precincts of the Illinois Legislature. They want someone genuine, authentic and principled, not someone who bends with the wind and follows the crowd.

As a two-term governor of Utah and most recently as Obama's ambassador to China, Huntsman has done all of that.

Continue reading on the Chicago Tribune op-ed page.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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