Impressed with Jon Huntsman, a N.H. Independent Struggles Over His Vote

COMMENTARY | I have been interviewed by The New York Times, the Philadelphia News and foreign reporters as I attend events during the New Hampshire primary season, and I told them all that I believe Jon Huntsman is the best qualified person to be president.

Ironically, just after the Times interview, I met Huntsman as I walked into a hotel lobby. I told him about it and what I said to the Times reporter, adding "but who knows if they'll print it."

They didn't. The journalist wrote I was thinking of voting for Huntsman or Newt Gingrich, a candidate I loathe. Being tagged as a potential Gingrich voter made me physically ill.

Do the Right Thing

When I reached the age of 18, I went down to city hall to register to vote. I was proud when I announced my party affiliation as Democrat to the registrar. Never in my political life have I thought of voting for a Republican for president until I met Huntsman.

Considering myself a progressive, I registered as an independent after the November 2010 elections when I could no longer tolerate Barack Obama, whom I consider a center-right tool of Wall Street. Though I broke with the party, the pull is still strong.

An independent in New Hampshire can take the ballot of either party, But it's a tough thing. If I vote Republican, I will registered as one until I go back to city hall to change my registration. And that is something I have never been.

Though we differ on many issues ideologically, I honestly believe Huntsman has the best stuff. Seeing him in person multiple times, I was enormously impressed. It made me think of the counsel of my friend Harry, another Democrat-leaning independent: At this time in history, we need the best person in the White House to stop the partisan gridlock regardless of party. With his intelligence and diplomatic experience, that's Jon Huntsman.

In the past, Harry has voted Republican in the primary. Ironically, he took down his sign and has decided not to vote.

I honestly don't know how I will vote this Tuesday, but I know I will vote. Will I take a Democrat ballot and write in Hillary Clinton as a protest? Maybe. But if I take a Republican ballot for the first time in my life, it will be to vote for Jon Huntsman.