Sunday, September 11, 2011
I read a few articles and saw a few clips of the most recent Republican primary debate, and suddenly remembered that Jon Huntsman is in the race as well. He is very lacking in drama and one of the most interesting candidates considering his fluency in Chinese, and of course none of this has helped him in the standings as he now stands at about 1% or 2% in the polls. Being appointed as Ambassador to China by the Obama administration certainly doesn't count as a plus in the current political climate, and his position on Afghanistan and Iraq (bring troops home from there) plus his "pledge to not make pledges" stance instead of the pledge to not raise taxes one among others the other candidates took is not helpful either. Here's one example of him talking during the debate.
After that the next question was: how easy is it to find examples of him speaking Chinese? The answer is: very easy. Jon Huntsman 中文 gives us this video right at the top. Fast forward to 4:10 minutes in to hear him talking the most in Chinese.
At 4:10 he says he studied right from the time he woke up when he was living in Taiwan and after two years got pretty good...then goes on to say something about how he visited the mainland for the first time in 1984, some two decades ago, when he had a position with the White House (Reagan administration).
And checking his bio it seems he was in Taiwan for the first time in the late 1970s on a two-year Mormon mission. Fluency among Mormons overseas is something I've come to expect as they always seem to excel at the language of the country they are in. In fact, the first non-Japanese person I ever spoke to in Japanese at length was a Mormon too.