Washington Post op-ed suggests Huntsman for Speaker of the House

Posted at 11:48 PM, Dec 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-27 01:49:21-05

An op-ed piece published Wednesday in the Washington Post suggested former Utah governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. for the position of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Norman J. Ornstein, who the Post describes as a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, also suggested Indiana governor Mitch Daniels for the position - which will be hypothetically vacated by the incumbent John Boehner.

"What if Boehner doesn’t survive? Go to Article I, Section 2: The Constitution does not say that the speaker of the House has to be a member of the House. In fact, the House can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the post," Ornstein wrote.

Kirk Jowers, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, calls Ornstein one of the most respected writers in Washington and says the op-ed was a "big tip of the hat" to Huntsman.

"[Ornstein] was trying to look at an out of the box solution to our fiscal cliff and so many other problems," Jowers said.

Huntsman, a self-described traditional Republican, spoke to FOX 13 News about the fiscal cliff in an interview Tuesday.

"If there's less believability in the short-term future of our economy, then you're going to have people who aren't going to hire. They're not going to invest in business expansion for fear that the economy is going to move in the wrong direction. And that's a vote of no confidence. And that would be a horrible thing if Congress was not able to get their act together such that they could kind of steer this economy in a direction that speaks to jobs and economic rejuvenation," Huntsman said.

Huntsman's spokesman Neil Ashdown said the former governor "would be an excellent speaker" and that "with his leadership, he could structure a deal in Congress and with the President to avoid the fiscal cliff."

Jowers said Huntsman, qualified as he may be, won't replace Boehner.

"I think there's zero chance that anyone would ever be selected outside of the House of Representatives. And so, no slight to Huntsman or Daniels or anyone else you could think of, they just simply won't do it. It's their body, it's their House and they'll pick one of theirs to be speaker," Jowers said.

The House will vote on its speaker position on January 3.