Early last year, it seemed like a White House strategy to mention how much it appreciated former Utah governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a sort of backhanded jab at Huntsman's then-potential presidential bid.
As Huntsman edged closer to running against his former boss, President Barack Obama let loose at a Washington dinner just how much he wanted to help Huntsman's effort.
"As his good friends in China might say, he is truly the yin to my yang," Obama joked at the Gridiron dinner last March. "And I'm going to make sure every primary voter knows it. If there's a fish fry for Jon Huntsman in Cedar Rapids, guess who's going to be at the grill. Barack Obama. If you see me on the streets of Nashua wearing my parka and waving a sign, give me a honk for Huntsman the next GOP nominee for president. Love that guy."