We had a chat this evening with a woman who says she was Jon Huntsman’s intern for four months in 2008, during which time he was serving as governor of Utah. Because the interview chat occurred in a live chat window, it got a bit scrambled so we are taking editorial liberty to clean and organize it into something more readable below, but you’ll still get its essence. Btw, the source wishes to remain anonymous for personal reasons. Sorry.
Interview with Chinese intern on Jon Huntsman
LCB: Did you really work for Huntsman?
“I did work for Huntsman.”
LCB: So could you tell us about him from your experience?
“He is very low key. Very personable. And kind.” Who’s into education and who has a trick or two up his sleeves.”
LCB: Like what kind of tricks?
“When it comes to economy, the only reason why Utah has a semi stable and low unemployment rate is mostly due to what he did when he was governor here. He highly encouraged education and econ growth, mostly tech advance and manufacturing here in Utah. He encouraged small business growths here in Utah. Encouraged trade relationship with China, mostly due to his connections from the past in South East Asia.
LCB: Do you know anything about them? Who they were? Did you ever see him talk in Chinese?
“Yeah. He spoke Chinese to me. I was the only one at the office at that time who can speak Chinese.”
LCB: What did he say to you?
“He spoke about Zanthoxylum (a seasoning, pepper of Sichuan). He said he loves Sichuan cooking.”
LCB: Did you cook for him?
“Hahaha nope, i didn’t cook for him, but a guy who can describe that numb sensation in Chinese, you know his Chinese is very … he has a very good grasp on it. And I also know that even though he’s very busy, but he replies to some letters the kids would write him.”
LCB: Do you think his Chinese is good? There are reports that it really isn’t.
“Yes I do.”
LCB: Can he read and write in Chinese?
“Hhahahaha, the dude s in his 50s, and he kept his Chinese up all these years being a politician that’s not easy to do. I’m not sure if he can write, but he can read some.”
LCB: Did you ever spend more time that just a few minutes with him? Can you recall anything funny or a good story?
“It’s been a while. I’ve spend sometime with him but it’s been hard to recall. Well, like last yr around this time, I was at the airport dropping off a friend who s flying to Europe. He was waiting in line with his Chinese daughter, no body guards, no other followers, just him and his little girl. And I walked up and he remembered my name. We of course chatted a little bit.”
LCB: That’s a great story, did you talk in Chinese ?
“Yep, haha we did. It was 5 am in the morning. I knew he didn’t want to attract attention. The line was looooooong and he was just standing in line, no first class, no priority services
total guy next door, very personable. He obviously doesn’t consider himself as privileged.”
LCB: And you were working as a contract translator for his office back then?
“No, I wasn’t, I was just an intern.”
LCB: How long did you do that?
“4 months, typical intern”
LCB: Was there anything negative or weird about him?
“No, he’s into sports, very kind.”
LCB: What kind of sports?
“Motorcycle trials, he even talked about taking me to dinner with his family to a Chinese res. Hahaha, but he got busy and we couldn’t make it happen.”
LCB: Did you ever spend time with his family?
“I thought he’s a very sincere, genuine person. I met his wife at one of the youth functions she sponsored. He was there and even introduced me to her. This is xxxx , one of my interns in the office. I thought that was cute. She’s really beautiful. Together they have 5 kids, then adopted 2 more, one from China and one from India.”
LCB: So you would vote for him?
“Yeah, i would , and he has a pretty good track record. I don’t think he really wanted to run for president this term.”
LCB: Really? Why did he do it?
“But I also think that when he does really want to run for it, and plays the Asian voters card right he might have a chance. I think he did it to test the waters.”
LCB: Wonder how he’s playing the Asian card?
“He hasn’t really. He’s doing primary right now.”
LCB: Hey did Huntsman have style? Like wear nice clothes, and get $500 haircuts like Clinton?
“He did wear nice clothes, but probably not very extravagant. I think this is a habit he picked up when he s still governor in Utah, everyone knows his family has money
so he plays down that way. Plus his family donated lots of money to education institutions
like U penn, like BYU law, BYU, also the U of U. His dad also donated massive amount of money founded Huntsman Cancer Research Center that ties into the U hospital.”
LCB: How did he do business with the Chinese and not drink??!!
“That u will has to ask him. I think because hes white and also speaks Chinese.”
LCB: Do you still keep up with him? We tried to contact him for an interview through his website but no response (yet).
“Lol well I don’t. He doesn’t have a public office anymore. But i have friends who are family friends with him. When he comes to town next, I might go visit him.”