President Obama has named one of the good Republicans, Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah, as ambassador to China. It’s a curious move, but potentially politically shrewd. Huntsman speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and served as a Mormon missionary to Taiwan, He is generally conservative, but his support for environmental protection and civil unions, and his criticism of the GOP’s Congressional leadership, had made him one of the “moderate” contenders for the 2012 nomination along Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (I don’t know what to make of Gov. Charlie Crist running for Florida’s Senate seat rather than the White House). Obama’s move here takes Huntsman out of the 2012 race preemptively, which I can’t help but be a little disappointed by.