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The folks in Ogden like Jon Huntsman

July 08, 2011|By Lloyd Waters

Last week my karma had me on a plane headed to Ogden, Utah.

Why exactly a lad expounding the concept of karma would be headed into Mormon country was a little puzzling, but I never miss an opportunity to look at the world with an engaging mind.

I have to tell you, the flight out was a little rocky in places and my coffee, served by a smiling stewardess, was swirling around in my cup quite vigorously at times.

I always like to get a window seat, and as the plane was shaking with some serious rocking that would probably have delighted Jerry Lee Lewis, I remembered instead the "Twilight Zone" movie and took a quick glance out the window to make sure some little man wasn't  pulling at the wing while we were traveling through  the thick clouds.

As I arrived in Ogden, the temperature was passing 90 degrees. I made it to the hotel which was situated  just below the Wasatch mountain range.  A beautiful sight for sure.

While perspiration moisten my brow, I glanced at the mountain peaks and admired the snow-capped mountains from a cooler part of my spirit. It was an intriguing picture.  It was almost 100 degrees where I stood, but my inner self embraced the cool snow that dotted the high mountain crevices.    

One of the simple wonders of life, I thought. I took a picture and sent it to my daughter on my phone.

I took a stroll down historic 25th Street, which led me to a Union Station museum that paid tribute to the history of the railroad that made Ogden a booming town at one time.

As I settled in for the evening, I walked over to MacDool's Irish Pub located in a nearby hotel. I have a fondness for Irish pubs.

It's always pretty easy to strike up a conversation about politics with a bunch of Irish, so I thought I would ask a simple question to some of the locals.

"Who do you favor in the Republican primary," I asked, "between Mitt Romney and ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr.?"

The answer was almost unanimous — Jon Huntsman Jr.

"Why would you select Huntsman over Romney?" was my next question.

Some of the answers I received went like this:

"Huntsman was a very good governor;" "He is a popular fellow;" "He reduced taxes in Utah by some $400 million."

First elected in 2004 with 57 percent of the vote, he was re-elected in 2008 with 78 percent of the vote.  

In doing a little further research it was revealed that Utah under his leadership was voted the "Best Managed State in America" by the Pew Research Center. He also worked as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

He resigned his position as governor in 2009 to accept a job offer by President Obama  to become Ambassador to China.

Huntsman and his wife Mary Kaye have seven children, including two girls who were adopted from China and India respectively.

Huntsman was an Eagle Scout and has a long history as a member of the Latter-Day Saints church. He spent two years as a Mormon missionary to Taiwan and his father is a businessman and philanthropist of the Huntsman Corporation.

As I sat there and listened to the local folk rally around their candidate of choice, I asked them, "Do you think he has a chance of winning the party's nomination?" "He would do a good job as President," was the answer I got back.

While musing over the lively debate, an old saying came to me from Plato's Republic:

"Mankind will never see an end of trouble until ... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power ... become lovers of wisdom."

America seems to be searching for someone with a little wisdom. Maybe Jon Huntsman Jr. is that candidate.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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