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Pro-Huntsman effort launches website, offering 2012 clues
CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
CNN Politics political Ticker
February 22, 2011
Washington (CNN) - A political action committee created by supporters of United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman launched a sleek but cryptic new website Tuesday, providing some of the first clues as to how a possible Huntsman presidential candidacy in 2012 would look and sound.
"Maybe someday we'll find a new generation of conservative leaders," is the first message greeting visitors to Horizon PAC's website, which makes no mention of Huntsman but clearly suggests that he would fill a void in the current field of Republican presidential hopefuls.
Aside from the usual tabs soliciting donations and email addresses, the site, previewed to CNN Monday, features a series of vague missives lamenting the state of American politics.
One section is titled "What Happened?": "When did principles evaporate? When was balanced replaced by bloated? Honor by power? Prepared by preening?"
Another passage describes the modern politician as a creature with "a firm handshake" and "a frosty smile," "so often driven by ego alone."
"American can do so much better," the site reads. "Maybe someday."
Horizon PAC has no official connection to Huntsman, supporters of the ambassador and former Utah governor say, but it is essentially a campaign-in-waiting should Huntsman decide to seek the GOP nomination.
Huntsman has told the Obama administration he will resign his post on April 30, and his advisers say a decision about the presidential race will come sometime this summer.
A cadre of veteran political hands led by former John McCain adviser John Weaver is laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign if Huntsman decides to run. The PAC, registered to an address on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, has hired communications staffers, a congressional liaison and a legal counsel.
And befitting the web site's unusual feel, the PAC is being advised by veteran GOP media strategist Fred Davis, the ad man who thrust "Demon Sheep," "One Tough Nerd" and "I am not a witch" onto the American political scene in 2010.
According to its website, Horizon PAC is searching for "candidates who will have a long-lasting impact on America." But in an off-year election cycle with only a handful of candidates on the ballot across the country, the PAC is unmistakably a vehicle for Huntsman should he decide to enter the presidential fray.
"H-PAC is searching for a new type of politician, one that reveres reason, calm, respect, principles, and lasting solutions over anger, divisive words, and preening," a spokesman for the PAC told CNN in an email.