To get a bit of an indication of how quickly the Huntsman-to-China maneuver came about, consider that I talked to the Utah governor barely three weeks ago, and he was unvarnished in his criticism of Obama’s China policy:
Rolling Stone: As you look to foreign policy, has Obama made it difficult for Republicans to differentiate themselves?
Gov. Huntsman: … You’ve got some gaping holes [in the administration’s foreign policy]. For example, our most important relationship in the world is China. There’s nothing going on there right now. And what about the most important policy offering we can make to those like-minded countries in the world, who are dedicated to democracy and openness — it’s trade. I haven’t heard a thing about our trade agenda. It’s completely been a blackout. Again, we’re right at the 100 day mark, so we’ll give the administration time to see where in fact they go, but there are a lot of pieces to the foreign policy puzzle that have been left out.