Lately, I've had to come to terms with the fact that Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to China and one of my all-around favorite people, is leaving his post. Jon and I go way back, so it's like I'm losing my best friend here. Sure, Jon has been pretty quiet about our association, what with him being a Republican with an eye on the 2012 Presidential election, but I know what his true feelings are. Yes, even though Jon Huntsman is technically stepping down from his important diplomatic role to potentially run against me and take my job and likely undo a lot of the progress for which I've fought so hard these past two years, I'm certain that he and I will always be the best of friends.
I recall back in college when I first met Jon. Oh, yes, no matter what he may say, Jon and I were totally best buddies in college. He wants to pretend that he's a lot younger than me. He's always been so sensitive about his age. Yeah, back in college Jon and I would crack open a few beers and find ourselves at civil rights rallies and anti-gun demonstrations just about every single week. I know it sounds strange, a self-identified Republican having such a liberal past, but it's totally true.
Jon might cop to the rally-going in college but he'll probably also try to pass it off as a phase, a youthful indiscretion, but that's not exactly accurate. I remember in the 90's when Jon and I would indulge in a little recreational cocaine (who didn't back then?) he would insist on going out to a karaoke bar so he could sing Pet Shop Boys songs. You know, the Pet Shop Boys, those gay guys from Europe who write cynical songs about how much they hate capitalist ambition. They're Jon's favorite. I fully support Mr. Huntsman in all of his pursuits, though I have to admit it'd be strange to hear the synth-drenched notes of "Shopping" coming out of the Oval Office.
I've decided not to take it personally that Jon Huntsman has been trying to distance himself from me lately. The guy's gotta look out for his career, a career that would probably suffer from a close association with a Democratic President who has been signing his paychecks for quite a long time now. That very same career might even benefit from the perception that he betrayed me after so many months of service. But hey, it's just business, right? It's not like the work we do has a major impact on the lives of millions of people and occasionally the way that the leaders of entire nations interact with one another. It's not like shameless careerism has done more to rot away the foundations of the American political system than economic turmoil and shaky foreign relations combined.
But I'm sure Jon Huntsman will do fine in his bid for the Republican nomination. After all, it's not like the playing field is all that brutal this time around. Amid all the lame ducks, Huntsman might just come out a front-runner. That is, of course, unless his constituents really internalize the fact that he has been a close friend and trusted advisor to me for a long time now, that the most important moment of his career thus far has been working alongside me, Barack Obama, the Democratic President.