Campaign Kids: Jon Huntsman's Daughters and the Politics of Family Jon Huntsman's Daughters and the Politics of Family

Jon Huntman's trio of hottie daughters are on the campaign trail with him. But can candidate children really have an opinion?

Jon Huntsman will probably not be our next president. His poll numbers have hit an all-time low, leading some to believe that he won't even qualify for the next debate. But that's not stopping him from staying in the race and continuing to use his secret weapon: his incredibly attractive, telegenic family.

Huntsman's seven kids, in particular, have been front and center in his bid for the GOP nomination. Annie Leibovitz shot luminous photos of them for a Vogue feature story. Huntsman's campaign site features videos of him with his family on the campaign trail. His leggy, cheerleader-ish daughters, Mary Anne, Liddy, and Abby, have even set up a Twitter handle for him, @Jon2012girls—tweeting anything from Miss USA Utah photos to fun family factoids.

How does a candidate know when to bring their kids into the fold? Bringing in children to inject a campaign with a bit of youthful sensibility—or creepy sex appeal, in the Huntsman family's case—is a fairly new phenomenon, one that's had varying success in the last few years. In the age of reality shows and social media, photogenic kids can become a useful accessory to a successful campaign, but trotting them out is as big a gamble as running for office in the first place.

Of course, children have taken a ceremonial role on the campaign trail for decades, from Tricia Nixon to Chelsea Clinton to the Palin clan. But only recently have they been given their own platforms, like blogs or Twitter feeds, to talk directly to their peer group. The strategy is not without its risks. Meghan McCain joined her father's campaign in 2008, blogging on the road as McCain Blogette. But the effort backfired—she was kicked off the McCain campaign five weeks before the election, apparently for having too much personality. Later, she wrote a memoir about her experience as a "political prop," admitting bluntly that her job was to "keep a smile on my face, look admiringly at my father, and clap at the appropriate times," and dishing that the campaign managers made her get rid of her "stripper" blond hair and skimpy clothes.

So far, the GOP candidates, other than Huntsman, haven't put their kids to work as active campaigners. Mitt Romney's son, Tagg, is on Twitter, but has fewer than 1,000 followers. We hear a lot about Michele Bachmann's five kids, but we haven't seen any of them on the road with her. They're following the old-school, pre-Internet model of sheltering their brood from ruthless reporters. In 1992, 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton was the subject of a People magazine profile that didn't include a single quote from her; she wasn't allowed to speak with the media.

But lately, as more women run for office and parenting becomes more equal, candidates have pulled back the curtain on their family life to bolster their image. Even though the exposure of her daughter Bristol caused a media firestorm, Sarah Palin used the trope of the busy, working mother to her advantage in the campaign, and later, in her public persona. Huntsman has said bringing his kids on the campaign trail is a way of making sure the campaign doesn't come between him and his family. But is their only job just to smile and nod? Or are they allowed to have an opinion?

Only time will tell whether Huntsman's trio of hottie daughters will help his campaign, or whether any of them will develop a Meghan McCain-like rebellious side. But either way, he's taking a risk. The benefits of trotting out the family seem to outweigh the invasion of their privacy—as long as they don't say too much.

Photo via @Jon2012girls Twitter feed

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less