Republicans have been frantically searching for the candidate who can beat Barack Obama, but as their favor has shifted from one "not-Romney" to another—Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain, now Gingrich—their best chance has been right here all along: Jon Huntsman. Huntsman has been overlooked and derided as a "Republican in Name Only" since he entered the race, writes John Avlon for CNN. But take a look at his record, and you'll find a history of "cutting taxes, reforming government, improving the business climate, and balancing the budget." In fact, the White House is "apparently most worried about running against Huntsman."
So it's a good thing the "conservagencia" is finally starting to give Huntsman some respect. CNN contributor Will Cain, RedState.org editor Erik Erickson, and even George Will have been arguing for Huntsman recently, and he'll have "a chance to shine" tonight in a New Hampshire debate with Gingrich. Huntsman may not offer the heat of some of the other candidates, but in him GOP voters "just might finally find the perfect marriage of ideology and electability for which they have been looking." Click for Avlon's full column.