Jon Huntsman presents himself as a gentleman. After calling the Herman Cain harassment allegations “bimbo eruptions,” he looks more like a frat boy.
Jon Huntsman stands apart from the other Republican presidential candidates. He’s comparatively moderate on gay rights (he supports civil unions), evolution (he believes in it) and immigration (a border fence would be an American “embarrassment.”)
And Huntsman, the former China ambassador and Utah governor, has the foreign policy and executive chops few of the other White House hopefuls possess. When standing on debate stages, the polished and handsome Huntsman comes off as a gentleman playing a frat boy’s game. But the typically genteel politico veered into the dark side while discussing the Herman Cain affair allegations.
“We’ve got real issues to talk about not the latest bimbo eruption,” Huntsman told the Boston Herald editorial between New Hampshire campaign stops yesterday.
Casually labeling these and three other women “bimbos” perpetuates the idea that all women are over-sexed maniacs who either asked for it or deserved it. They become prowling minxes whose word can’t be trusted.
It’s disappointing to hear a candidate such as Huntsman — typically so respectful and respectable — drop down to the lowest common denominator on this one. And it’s surprising for a candidate whose three daughters are his most recognizable surrogates to be so flippant. If one of his girls were sexually harassed, would Huntsman call her a “bimbo?”
While Huntsman has the right idea about the litany of Cain scandals — there are bigger problems in the world — his breezy disregard for White, Bialek and the three other women suggests he’s more of a frat boy than he lets on.
Update: One of our Facebook friends pointed out that the term “bimbo eruptions” comes from Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign adviser Betsey Wright, who used the term to deflect accusations the then-candidate had affairs. Sure, a woman may have coined it, but it’s still pretty degrading.
Image via Gage Skidmore’s Flickr.