By Marc Caputo
With cellar-dwelling poll numbers and a campaign shake-up to boot, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman plans a “major announcement” today: The endorsement of Jeb Bush Junior.
Chances are the endorsement won’t do much – in part because endorsements seldom make much of a difference.
But that’s especially true in the case of Huntsman, who has weathered a staff shakeup that leaves the campaign with more negative press clips than momentum.
“Jon Huntsman has a LONG way to go to win in FL nevertheless nationwide,” Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster who worked on Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign as well, said in an email.
“His campaign apparatus appears ready to implode and his strategy is eerily reminiscent of Giuliani’s from 2008 — and we all know how well that worked out for Rudy. The polling data shows Huntsman stuck in the national and state-specific polling. That means endorsements aren’t likely to change Huntsman’s trajectory, only a radical campaign makeover will.”
One source of tension in Huntsman’s campaign is consultant John Weaver, who placed many of the Huntsman staff in place and calls most of the shots behind the scenes. Those whom he didn’t hire he would scream and curse at, according to campaign sources and published reports in Politico and the Daily Caller as they chronicled the departure of three staffers and the trail of hard feelings in Weaver’s wake. Read more…