Jon Huntsman is getting mixed reviews for speaking a little Mandarin during the Republican debate. I hesitate to take his words out of context, but here they are: "Ta butai liaojie zhege qingxing" or---for those linguistically-challenged like yours truly---"He doesn't seem to understand the situation." It was a beautifully laser-beam put-down of Mitt Romney who was spouting simplistic bravado about getting tough on trade with China on his first day in office.
The remark had come out of an exchange between the front-running Romney and the former ambassador to China under President Obama. Romney had accused Huntsman of betraying the Republican Party by serving under a Democrat. In response, Huntsman pointed out that his two sons proudly serve in the navy. And then followed with a coup de theatre. "I will always put my country first,' he eloquently avowed.
I don't know whether injecting some Sino-mite in a debate is going to jump-start his campaign for the Republican nomination, but reportedly Huntsman is gathering some steam in New Hampshire. Of course at the moment he remains a long-shot . But you got to like a candidate with high principles. Someone who can stand above what Margaret Chase Smith called the Four Horsemen of Calumny---Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear. Someone who understands that honor and country trump ideology and political party.
Someone who would be worthy to sit in the Oval Office.