Losing Sight Of Government's Purpose

by Conor Friedersdorf

In Politico, Mike Allen reports on President Obama's ambassador to China, who was always slated to serve two years, and is now pondering a run for president:

If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.

Ponder the outrage of these White House officials. Here is a moderate Republican judged honorable and competent enough by the Obama Administration to appoint him ambassador to arguably the most important country on earth. Since any election comes with the possibility of losing, you'd think White House officials would thrill at the prospect of facing Huntsman, because by their lights he'd be far better for the country than any of the likely GOP nominees. But no. They're professional politicos. So they're outraged, because they regard the decision to run against a former boss as a betrayal, as if something about being named as the best representative for America in China confers an obligation to never challenge the person who asked you to do the job.

Daniel Larison has more.