Jon Huntsman’s older daughters—Mary Anne, Liddy and Abby—burst into the public consciousness less than a year ago in matching jewel-toned dresses as he announced his candidacy for the 2012 presidential campaign.
But they became famous on Twitter, @Jon2012girls. (Think: slightly political, PG-13 Kardashians.)
So it’s fitting they would use social media to cling to their bit of the zeitgeist. And as it turns out, the daughters of Utah’s former governor may have longer political legs than their father.
Huntsman daughters Mary Anne, Liddy and Abby, as portrayed in their @jon2012girls Twitter account photo.
Huntsman dropped out of the 2012 race for the GOP nomination in January and has pretty much disappeared, even with the obligatory bird-dogging in the local paper. He went to India with Kissinger. He doesn’t plan to run as a third-party candidate. Despite apparently lobbying for the top job at the World Bank, he’ll be back running his Dad’s cancer foundation and on the board of Ford (the Purgatory post for politicians-in-waiting).
But if Twitter is any indication, while the father is fading, the daughters are chitter-chattering their way to something bigger—in 140 characters or less.
With 24,000 followers, @Jon2012girls continued to tweet: moving from the planking photos and complaints about hotel food of the campaign to congratulating Mitt Romney on his incremental wins and linking to a CNN article about their grandfather Jon Huntsman Sr., a cancer survivor and petrochemical magnate.
“We could not be more proud of the amazing example our Grandpa Huntsman has set in our lives!,” they chirped.
Then, last week, the breakup of the conglomerate: Liddy and Abby broke away from @jon2012girls and launched their own Twitter identities. Abby, the married Penn graduate living in New York, already has close to 2,100 followers @HuntsmanAbby, including: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Luke Russert from NBC and Lynn de Rothschild, the onetime Hillary Clinton supporter who held a fundraiser for Huntsman in her Manhattan penthouse. Liddy, who launched @HuntsmanLiddy the same day as her older sis, is trailing with just shy 1,163 (and counting) followers.
But if any of the sisters will turn Grandpa and Daddy’s political coattails into a career, Abby Huntsman Livingston seems the most likely heir apparent.
As in all things Twitter, her tweets veer wildly from the whiny—“Who goes to Starbucks for strawberries and cream anyway?”—to the suck-up—“@piersmorgan great intv with @newtgingrich tonight. Love the skinny dark tie!”
Apparently TV talking heads now consider her qualified to explain the softer side of the campaign. This week, noted political journal Glamour Magazine named her to its “Women in Politics” panel, which includes New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Georgetown University Law student Sandra Fluke, and Nicholle Wallace, former Bush White House Communications director.
And HuffingtonPost has given the former Good Morning America staffer a blog. So far, her posts read like Politics 101 term papers.
There’s a chance Abby Huntsman might someday reach the punditocracy ranks of would-be first daughter Meghan McCain.
She still has a long way to go: McCain has 141,700 Twitter followers and a new interview in Playboy.
No word on @HuntsmanAbby about that—yet.