Many say 2012 could be another 1964, with Republicans nominating a crazy person like Perry, but I’m not so sure. Of course, if Sarah Palin gets in, which I still doubt (she’s got her big fat contract with Fox), that’s exactly what it will turn out to be. With the issues facing our country so desperately serious, imagining Perry or Palin competing for the presidency against Pres. Obama makes me nauseous, because Palin just might be a better choice than Perry and even contemplating that thought sends me to the smelling salts.

This dynamic is just one reason Jon Huntsman’s interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper hit Republicans like a jolt of electricity. Paul Gigot had a hissy fit, because what Huntsman said not only hit a raw nerve, but has the virtue of being true.

TAPPER: You were one of the only, if not the only Republican candidate, to support the deal to raise the debt ceiling. You called Congresswoman Bachmann’s position a, quote, “crash and burn” approach. Would you trust a President Bachmann to do the right thing with the economy?

HUNTSMAN: Well, I wouldn’t necessarily trust any of my opponents right now, who were on a recent debate stage with me, when every single one of them would have allowed this country to default. […]

Huntsman also said:

The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party – the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science – Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position.

Perry is now leading in Iowa.

The race is pretty close four ways in Iowa but Rick Perry is the new favorite among Republican voters in the state. Among announced candidates he’s at 22% to 19% for Mitt Romney, 18% for Michele Bachmann, and 16% for Ron Paul. Further back are Herman Cain at 7%, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum at 5%, and Jon Huntsman at 3%.

Mitt Romney has been camped out in New Hampshire since 2009, a state he must win.

However, people in New Hampshire have a way of seeing through phonies and poseurs. So, what if they saw through Mitt Romney and rejected the low intellectual patter of Perry, Bachmann and the rest?

Jon Huntsman was also against Pres. Obama’s Libyan gamble and he also wants a swifter withdrawal from Afghanistan. Of course, his tax and policy on women’s freedoms are abysmal, but most people will be looking to the economy, which is moored in our relationship with China. Huntsman has more international game than any other Republican in the race.

Will voters in New Hampshire see through the Republican bench to Jon Huntsman, giving the serious Republican a shot? He’d sure bring back some intellectual mojo that’s dipped into ignoramus territory since the Tea Party faction took the House.

Obama versus Huntsman, now that would be a presidential debate worthy of our great country.