In May, before he actually got into the 2012 race, Jon Huntsman said he wouldn't fuel his campaign with his own considerable fortune: "If we were to get in the race -- no self-financing. Unless you can raise it legitimately, you're not going to win," Huntsman explained. That was a little more than a month before he contributed $2 million to his campaign in June. Fine, maybe the campaign needed a little start-up money, but that was it -- Huntsman informed supporters that he wouldn't personally give anymore. But Friday, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports that Huntsman had to fork over $500,000 of his own money to make payroll.
The concession comes as Huntsman reshuffles more staffers; his top finance guy is out after fighting with Huntsman's prickly chief strategist John Weaver over spending, National Journal's Chris Frates reports. "The big boys, the bundlers of the world are not writing checks for a guy who's running at 1.5 percent," one of Huntsman's own supporters told Frates. Martin notes that though Huntsman entered the races with lots of buzz and splashy photo-ops, he hasn't budged in the polls, thanks to his "his mild manner and moderate positioning."
Huntsman is taking over the position held by Tim Pawlenty before he dropped out of the presidential race last month: the guy who's fun to kick while he's down, the celebrity whose mockability accelerates as his career decelerates. Of course, Tim Pawlenty slowly drifted downward from top-tier presidential contender to hopelessly doomed candidate, everyone started calling him "nice." Why? Because beta males are nice; winners are lean and mean.