Having talked to a bevy of top Republicans for my GOP meltdown piece in the latest issue of the magazine, I can tell you that there was only one prospective presidential candidate who made any damn sense, and Obama has just coopted him, naming Utah governor John Huntsman Jr. as ambassador to China.
Like many of Obama's best moves this makes sense both on policy and political levels. Politically, it appears to remove the charismatic and sensible Huntsman from the 2012 arena. On a policy level, the choice elevates a fluent Mandarin speaker with ambassadorial experience in Asia and a deep interest in trade issues into a pivotal post charged with engaging America's most important "frien-emy."
Well played Mr. President.