November 24, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Is Huntsman too normal to be the Republican nominee? What would he do on stem cells?

A week ago Jon Huntsman launched his campaign to be the next President of the United States (POTUS).

The rumblings going around is that Huntsman, Obama’s former ambassador to China, is too smart and too normal to get the Republican nomination for POTUS. Huntsman even got an early and unexpected endorsement from Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.  In particular, Reid voiced his preference for Huntsman over Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney (we profiled Romney’s potential stance on stem cell research if elected POTUS here).

Huntsman is reportedly one exceptionally sharp guy and, cover your ears, a moderate on many issues. What I’ve heard is that Huntsman is shockingly normal. So if Huntsman were elected POTUS, somehow clearing the seemingly insurmountable hurdle of the Republican primaries dog and pony show, how would he act on science-related issues such as NIH funding and embryonic stem cell research? I think Huntsman would be a friend to science and I bet he would support embryonic stem cell research. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, anti-stem cell folks are nervous about Huntsman because in the past he supported embryonic stem cell research and refused to be bullied by virulent anti-science and anti-choice organizations. If those people don’t like Huntsman, then I like him.

Huntsman’s family has a long tradition of supporting research efforts and founded the prestigious Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake.

I think if Huntsman got the GOP nomination, Obama would be worried, but I don’t expect that Huntsman will politically survive the craziness of the Republican primaries. However, I could be wrong, but if Huntsman becomes our next President I’d be far less worried about the impact on science than if any other Republican were elected.


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