Jon Huntsman has dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney. It’s hard to think of a presidential campaign which got more press attention than Huntsman while never mustering a noticeable level of national support. OK, perhaps Tim Pawlenty’s. But the reality was that Huntsman couldn’t sell moderate, pragmatic Republicanism in a year were extremism is what the base has demanded. Worse, when he tried to mime being a Tea Party doctrinaire, he did so unconvincingly.
Huntsman’s greatest contribution to the cycle was his position around Wall Street reform and breaking up Too Big To Fail banks which is to the left of not only the other Republicans, but President. He called for an investigation of the banks for robosigning and foreclosure fraud, something which a more genuinely populist presidential campaign might have turned into a real means for success.
Huntsman has ended his campaign because he didn’t see a path to victory and didn’t want to prolong the competition which Mitt Romney is clearly going to win. It will be interesting to see if any other contenders drop out on these terms.