Ole Holsti: Huntsman in pinstripes

December 10, 2012 

Huntsman in pinstripes

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's forthcoming retirement has generated a controversy about her successor. President Obama should consider Jon Huntsman Jr. He is a Republican, but many Democratic presidents have selected distinguished Republicans for top foreign policy positions.

After the fall of France in 1940, FDR fired his isolationist secretaries of war and Navy and replaced them with Henry Stimson and Frank Knox. Harry Truman chose John Foster Dulles to negotiate the peace treaty with Japan in 1950. JFK selected Robert McNamara and Douglas Dillon to head the Pentagon and Treasury Department. Obama appointed Robert Gates as defense secretary.

Huntsman’s excellent service as ambassador in Beijing and governor of Utah, as well as his sensible views on many controversial issues, make him a fine candidate for secretary of state.

Ole Holsti

Department of Political Science, Duke University

Durham

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