HUNTSMANMandelNgan:Getty

Al Giordano sees more beneath the surface:

That they announced this shortly after Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele gaffed his way into another controversy, this time regarding the evident anti-Mormon bigotry in Evangelical Christian circles, is nothing less than political poetry. Steele said, on Bill Bennett's radio show, "Remember, it was the base that rejected Mitt because of his switch on pro-life, from pro-choice to pro-life. It was the base that rejected Mitt because it had issues with Mormonism..."

The appointment of Huntsman is thus, politically, a slam dunk. When GOP primary voters inevitably reject Romney once again in the 2012 primaries and caucuses outside of the Mountain West, the resentment - already boiling after last year's adventures in presidential politics - among rank-and-file Mormons that the party to whom they've given so much still doesn't really want them in the Master's house rather than the servant's quarters, will sting. Meanwhile, another of their prominent citizens will likely still be Obama's man in Beijing, proof that somebody in American politics isn't dissing the LDS and its members. And in key swing states like Nevada and Colorado, LDS members are legion.

Some said Obama was crazy, back in 2007 and 2008, to reach out to what conventional wisdom thought was an impenetrable GOP base... Crazy, like a fox.

(Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty.)