August News Blahs Mean Jon Huntsman Is Exciting

A rumor is born, furiously debated, and dies in the space of an hour

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At 3:02 p.m. Tuesday, the Jon Huntsman campaign sent reporters an email announcing that he'd make a major announcement Wednesday. It is the job of all public relations people to make everything sound bigger and more awesome than it actually is, but because it was late afternoon in August--famously is the month in which nothing happens in politics--this little email set off a flurry of insta-analysis. What could it mean?

  • The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza immediately speculated it was an endorsement. 
  • Half an hour later, Cillizza tweeted, "The thing that could move needle for Huntsman in FL tomorrow: Jeb Bush endorsement." Could it be? 
  • New York's John Heilemann asked whether Cillizza was reporting or speculating. 
  • (Speculating.)
  • But The Hill's Christian Heinze agreed: "Jeb for Huntsman would be major." 
  • Allahpundit asked Christian Heinze, "C'mon. Is there any chance of this?"
  • "It's not out of the question," Heinze responded. Then, at 3:38p.m. Heinze blogged that it could very well be Jeb, because 1) "You don't say 'major announcement' unless you're doing something really big"; 2) location suggests a Florida politician, narrowing it down to Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Bush; and 3) Scott is unpopular and Rubio said he wouldn't endorse. So, "That leaves Jeb." But Heinze gave himself an out, saying, "I don't think it'll happen, but I can see why it could."
  • The Hill's Michael O'Brien pulled up another bit of evidence: there's only four miles between the locations of Jeb Bush & Assoc. and Huntsman's announcement site.
  • At 3:42 p.m. Politico's Ben Smith reported that Bush's son Jebbie will endorse Huntsman, though Smith isn't sure if that's the announcement Wednesday. 
  • CNN's Peter Hamby tweets, "It's not Jeb."
  • At 4:01 p.m. Politico's Jonathan Martin confirmed it wasn't the former governor, but Jebbie. "That's not terribly surprising given that the younger Bush appeared at Huntsman announcement tour events in Florida. But even if he hadn't, would the support of the former governor's son really count as 'major' news?"
Only in August!
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