Jon Huntsman discussed World Bank post with Harry Reid
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and discussed the possibility of his being named the head of the World Bank, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversation.
Whether Huntsman urged Reid to push for his appointment or dismissed the idea is a matter of considerable disagreement, however.
One Huntsman family friend said that the former governor “fought hard to be named by Obama as head of the World Bank.”
Abby Huntsman Livingston, Huntsman’s daughter who went to the meeting between her father and Reid, acknowledged the World Bank opening came up in the conversation but was not something her father was interested in.
“Senator Reid asked my dad in a meeting if he would ever consider the job and that is when he said he would always be happy to serve his country but has moved on for now,” said Livingston in an email exchange with the Fix.
Reid never placed a call to the White House to advocate for Huntsman and Administration officials said Friday that he was never seriously considered for the job. President Obama named Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, to the World Bank post this morning. Current Bank President Robert Zoellick is leaving in June. Zoellick and Huntsman are close personal friends, according to Livingston.
Huntsman served in the Obama Administration as the U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 until he resigned his post in early 2011 to pursue an ultimately unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination. Prior to that post, he spent five years as the popular governor of Utah.
After dropping out of the presidential race, Huntsman threw his support to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.