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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
Obama's China Envoy Quitting—to Run in 2012
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.

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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.

(Read more White House stories.)

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