And last night, the disastrous result of his fatal miscalculation came to pass, as the former Utah governor revealed his intention to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination.
It was ironic enough that Huntsman had been bragging days earlier about how his surprisingly decent showing in the New Hampshire primary had given him a "ticket to ride." But the fact that he chose avant-garde bluesman Beefheart's birthday to break the news was just cruel.
So was Huntsman's original declaration of love for the musicians just a craven publicity stunt designed to win over the dozens of registered Republicans who have actually heard of Captain Beefheart?
Apparently not. As evidence, here are excerpts from an interview that Slate writer David Weigel did out on the campaign trail. It's called "Jon Huntsman Passes the Captain Beefheart Test", and he definitely earns an A. Read it and weep; his kind shall not pass this way again.
Slate: Do you have a particular favorite era of Beefheart?
Huntsman: I'd have to say that I like Trout Mask Replica, which came out in '68, all the way through Bat Chain Puller — I mean, they represent the diversity of Beefheart. I'm a fan of the really innovative spirit of Beefheart came with the Magic Band, and they really hit it off in '68.
Slate: Which songs on the record?
Huntsman: Ella Guru, China Pig Hammer — the whole double album. Part poetry, part improvisation. All cutting edge. And then when you get to Bat Chain Puller, it's a little more accessible.
Slate: But Trout was the one they put together when Beefheart forced them to practice in that house...
Huntsman: Yeah, when he played with Zoot Horn Rollo and Mascara Jimmy, and Mascara Snake — these were great players. He didn't hold onto them very long. The crew he put together for Ice Cream for Crow was good, too, but it was less experimental.