Obama's China Envoy Quitting—to Run in 2012
Gibbs: Ambassador Huntsman's future wide open
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2011 4:53 PM CST
In this Nov. 16, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama stands with U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at a town hall style event with Chinese youths at the Museum of Science and Technology in Shanghai.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – The White House confirmed today that it's looking for a new envoy to China, as Ambassador Jon Huntsman leaves to prepare a 2012 bid against his current boss, Politico reports. Huntsman has the support of several prominent GOP operatives, who've formed a PAC in order to begin the financial and organizational work necessary for a 2012 presidential bid. Robert Gibbs says that President Obama still believes Huntsman to be the right man for the job.

However, the ambassador to China needs to “dedicate their full energy and time to that position and we believe that Ambassador Huntsman believes that as well. I have not heard anybody say they know what the future holds” for the ambassador, Gibbs said. Huntsman's run had long been rumored; pundits speculated that Obama nominated Huntsman for the post to head off just such a 2012 bid.