Henry Kissinger today had flattering things to say about former ambassador to China and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. “He certainly makes a good candidate,” Kissinger said at a meeting with bloggers to promote his latest book. “I saw him yesterday, as a matter of fact.”
Kissinger called Huntsman “intelligent, well-poised.” And said that he thought he did well in his last job: “He did a good job in China,” Kissinger said.
But Kissinger didn’t offer – and indicated that he wouldn’t offer – his endorsement. “I normally don’t endorse candidates,” Kissinger said. “Part of the reason is that when I endorse a candidate, he loses. They run away from me. I supported Nelson Rockefeller in three primary campaigns against Nixon…and we lost them all…and I ended up as [national] security of adviser to Nixon.”
Several times throughout the meeting Kissinger repeated that he has “no ambitions” to reenter public service. “I was 88 on my last birthday,” Kissinger said. “I have no ambitions. I think my best contributions would be to help…what I think is a reasonable foreign policy.”
Kissinger later jokingly indicated that his wife might seek a divorce if he were to return to public service. But he is offering his advice to any 2012 candidates who are interested.
“I would like not to endorse anybody and be available for foreign policy advice,” Kissinger said. “But not from a partisan point of view.”