“Huntsman's popular, but no one can tell you why.” —Bob Springmeyer, Democratic candidate for Utah Governor
The Standard Examiner (briefly) reports today on its August 7 editorial board meeting with Bob Springmeyer, the Democratic candidate that is vying to unseat Republican Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
When discussing Huntsman, Springmeyer sounds like Republicans that criticize Obama supporters for being unable to name any significant accomplishment by the candidate other than to win office. “They can never give you anything he's done other than look nice, smile well and have a pretty wife, have an attractive family.”
The St-Ex obviously asked the Governor’s office for a rebuttal. The Gov’s rep cited “(securing) record funding for education, focusing on economic development that has made that funding possible, as well as creating a more competitive business environment and historical reform of our tax code” among the Gov’s accomplishments.
But Springmeyer is right. If you ask the average Utah voter (meaning a Huntsman supporter) what the Governor has accomplished, few of them will be able to name even one single thing. But like Obama supporters, they still like their guy.
I can name a number of things the Governor has accomplished and is planning to accomplish, but I’m not much pleased about most of the things on my list. Don’t count me as a Huntsman supporter.
But from a dispassionate analysis of the facts on the ground, I see no way that Huntsman could fail to win re-election this November in a massive landslide. Utahns might be obliged to dump him if he were to have an extramarital affair or commit murder. But short of that, he’ll still be our governor next year.
Springmeyer essentially told the St-Ex editorial board that if he wins Weber County, he will win the state. To put it politely, this is either political grandstanding or pure delusion. Although Springmeyer was born in Utah County, he apparently seems unaware that it holds most of Utah’s political cards nowadays.
Whether you like it or not, the fact is that the first time most Utah voters will even pay attention to Springmeyer’s name is when they see it on the ballot, if they even bother to look. Two minutes later they won’t be able to tell you what the name of the guy was that was running against Huntsman. For most Utah voters, that race will simply be an exercise in affirmation.
Maybe that seems a little harsh. I’m not saying that I like it. I’m just saying that it is reality.