Saturday, May 16, 2009

New US Ambassador to China is Former LDS Missionary Here

The Salt Lake City Tribune reports:
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. will resign from office to accept a nomination to become the ambassador to China.

Sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune that an announcement is scheduled for Saturday. Huntsman is in Washington, D.C., but calls to his spokeswoman and various staffers were not returned Friday night.

Huntsman, who had been mentioned as a potential Republican contender for the White House, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush as ambassador to Singapore -- he was the youngest ambassador in over a century --- and later was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Deputy United States Trade Representative. He was unanimously confirmed to both positions.

He speaks Mandarin Chinese and he and his wife, Mary Kaye, have adopted a daughter from China.
The article's inset notes:
Political history: Elected in 2008 by a record margin to a second term as governor; chairman of the Western Governors Association; deputy U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush; ambassador to Singapore under President George H. W. Bush (at the time the youngest ambassador in more than a century); worked on campaigns of President Reagan, Bob Dole and George W. Bush and backed John McCain in 2008; legislative intern for Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Hobbies: Mountain biking, playing piano, reading.

Other tidbits: Went on LDS mission to Taiwan; speaks Mandarin Chinese; hates air conditioning -- family has to sneak it on at night.

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Gilman Grundy said...

ARRGGGHHHH! The lame black-tie-black-trousers-black-bicycle brigade with their awful badges identifying them as "Elder Sammy-Lee Collins" or some other Hicksville USA name (question for you piss-weed, 'elder' than who?). The smug looks on their faces that comes from having lived an insanely boring life that they want to inflict on other people. The sheer annoyance that comes from having whatever perfectly innocent activity it is you were engaged in put on hiatus by a ring at the door from people who you would rather tear out your eyeballs with tweezers than speak to. The god-damned Mormon missionaries!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure they're all very nice back home in Ogden or Provo or whatever factory line they come off of, but they are little better than a plague on Taiwan. The only converts they seem to get are single women of a certain age, which is not surprising given the fact that Mormonism was basically made up by a man who was every bit as much a con-artist as L. Ron Hubbard. Although, at least Hubbard didn't use his undoubted talents to invent an excuse for people to engage in racism, misogyny and bigamy.

無名 - wu ming said...

i will be interested to see where he falls on cross-strait issues, and where his interests and worldview ultimately lie. if nothing else, having someone who has lived in taiwan and can speak mandarin is a huge improvement over the usual patronage job for political donors model.

given his age, that would have put him on his mission in the 80s.

Anonymous said...


Yes... Mormon missionaries engage in many activities that are based on the contrivances of men... but why be so selective in targeting Mormons? You should attack every other public figure who believes in Jesus, God, gods, demons, angels and anything that is not supported by science.

I think this is an interesting choice... despite the fact that this man once and may continue to believe... like people of faith do... in "unicorns"... he may be less willing to please China. He and Steve Yates may also have a few things to talk about.

Let's wait and see what king of game he plays and be less concerned with his beliefs which are no more strange than any other Jesus cult.

Adam said...

Ahhh...I was looking forward to your post on Huntsman and his new job. I'm biased (as a Utahn and a former missionary), but for me this choice reinforces the faith I have in the Obama administration. Huntsman is a terrific leader, a wonderful person, and a pretty damn good musician.

Huntsman has made more than a few good moves in Utah, some of which showed that he doesn't have to flow with the mainstream of his faith.

It'll be interesting to see how he handles this new position, and how his views on Taiwan come out in the wash.

FOARP, it really ain't all that bad. My life was never boring back in Utah, and I didn't go around converting single women...Next time you see one of those guys, just tell them to piss off. They won't hold a grudge. Trust me.

Michael, get up here to Hsinchu when you get a chance...a free meal and beverage awaits.

Readin said...

Hopefully the guys has the clean living and morals, plus the knowledge that Taiwan isn't part of China. That makes me guardedly optimistic.

Had this been a Republican appointee I would be thrilled that they had apparently chosen to go with a social conservative (focused on right and wrong and thus likely to favor Taiwan) rather than a business conservative (focused on money and how much they can get for selling Taiwan to China).

But as an Obama appointee I have to wonder. How many LDS vote Democrat, and if this guy does, then why?

Anonymous said...

Top ten reactions:

10. What, Evan Mecham was busy?

9. I'm holding out for a JW, they can kick the Mormons' asses.

8. Wake up and smell the coffee, America!

7. If China can be sealed to Taiwan for time and eternity, then eventually it will have a whole planet all to itself.

6. I'd rather have a unificationist who doesn't unify, than a splittist who doesn't split.

5. Does this mean Taiwan has Free Agency?

4. All the Taiwanese people want is tight cellphones, comfortable LV purses, and a warm place to play video games.

3. Missionaries becoming diplomats--is this like nits becoming lice?

2. Like Polygamy Porter, you can't have just one...China!

1. Hail, the new "elder" statesman!

Roy Berman said...

Readin: This guy is a Republican, as most Mormons are. But he's also well known as very "centrist" i.e. far to the left of where most Mormons lay politically.

I also stopped by hoping Michael would have some insight about this guy, but I guess it's still early. Hopefully in the near future people will dig up some past comments that indicate how he may actually feel about Taiwan's status relative to China.

reeb said...

I'm not sure if this means anything, just pointing it out fyi:

[b]His family business, Huntsman Chemicals, had revenues of around $10 billion (£6.6 billion) last year and has extensive interests in China.[/b]

Two other notes: I find it interesting that many of the people coming to power are all post-boomers, born in 1960 and 1961. (Obama, Geithner, Huntsman, several others)

(In my mind, 1959 was the last year of the boomers. Why? Because if you were 18 in 1977 and joined the military you qualified for the GI Bill, which meant free college. (born in 1959).) If born in 1960, you got nothing.)

Secondly, I have zero (ZERO) faith in Obama. He is a bought and paid for tool of the banking syndicates and has already sold out the American people. As it stands, he is as much a traitor as Lien Chan and all the KMT ass kissers. There is still some hope that he will do the right thing (force insolvent banks into bankruptcy, audit the FED, clawback the trillons stolen by bankers, outlaw dirivitives so the bond market doesn't collapse, jail all financial thiefs, get out of Iraq, Afgan and Pakistan (except to secure loose nukes), support Taiwan, support American industry, deny Isreal any further support, etc. etc. etc.), but I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

Such a heavyweight pick for ambassador to China I think may be a way of saying Obama doesn't want Hilary running US China policy.