It looks like the Republican Party has another candidate to consider this primary season, as Jon Huntsman has officially thrown his name in the mix and announced his candidacy.
The former Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China under the Obama administration joins a crowded field already populated with names like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann. Huntsman is now the second person of Mormon faith to enter the Republican primary field.
His connection to the Obama administration is thought by many to be a hindrance to his campaign, considering the strong anti-Obama feelings held by many Republican voters. Today, in his speech in New Jersey backdropped by the Statue of Liberty, he addressed his service under the current President –
He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better President; not who’s the better American.
You can watch his announcement speech below –
It also appears that up until this announcement, Huntsman did not have a Twitter account. @JonHuntsman only has two tweets currently, the first of which was tweeted out about an hour ago. He also only has about 1700 followers –
Also popping up in the last few hours was @Jon2012HQ, his official campaign Twitter account. This account’s first tweet was a couple of hours ago, and since then it has live tweeted his Presidential announcement.
Huntsman has had a Facebook page for a little while now. He currently has just under 5,000 likes. In comparison, frontrunner Mitt Romney has over 1 million. It’s no surprise that Huntsman jumped aboard the Twitter ship. Social Media is going to be absolutely vital to the candidates, both during primary season and then for the general election. It’s no secret that President Obama is a social media superstar.
In his speech today, Huntsman said that “our challenges are many, and they are urgent. We are a resourceful, ingenious, determined, problem-solving people.” If that is true, we are also a people who loves information in concise packages. We also love connection (or at least the illusion of connection) with politicians and (other) celebrities. Huntsman’s team knows this, and his jump onto Twitter shows that the face of elections has changed. They are truly fueled by social media.