If Jon Huntsman's moment in the Republican primary limelight arrives, he will have 46 words and a media-trained woman accusing the nominal frontrunner of groping her to thank. Those 46 words were typed by RedState's Erick Erickson, who, in a 1,665-word prediction that if Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee in 2012, he will bring about the death of conservatism, gave 2.7 percent of his missive to saying something nice (or semi-nice) about Jon Huntsman. The woman was, of course, Sharon Bialek, who accused Herman Cain of making creepy advances on her. And so, on the news cycle clock, it's time for an official "second look" at Jon Huntsman. Erickson wrote just one blog post, you might say. But there's no one left. Just about every other Republican candidate has had his or her chance to be the anti-Romney and then blown the opportunity. Now the candidate whose niche thus far has been "genial dad trying to be cool on Twitter" gets to have his moment, even if we have to use the faintest scraps of evidence to prove it.
Business Insider's Zeke Miller and Michael Brendan Dougherty say Erickson "is a great proxy for the thinking of conservative activists" in pointing to his 46 not-mean words. (For the record, those words are: "Huntsman comes up with the best economic plan of all the candidates ... I’m starting to think I need to walk it back on my rejection of Jon Huntsman. Because I’m starting to think even he would be more faithful in his conservative convictions than Mitt Romney.") Erickson's post is important to the race, Politico's Tim Mak writes, because Erickson is "influential," his site, "one of the conservative blogosphere's most widely read blogs." Mediaite's Tommy Christopher goes even further in explaining this one blog post's significance because Erickson has the power to "tell conservatives what they need to hear without fear of being branded a RINO." Christopher calls Erickson's slightly-pro-Huntsman comments "a backhanded pseudo-endorsement."