* Huntsman decision likely "in the next couple of weeks"
* CEO brother sees Huntsman as "attractive" candidate
By Ernest Scheyder
NEW YORK, Feb 17 Jon Huntsman, the departing
U.S. ambassador to China, will likely decide on a possible bid
for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination "in the next
couple of weeks," his brother, head of chemicals maker Huntsman
Corp (HUN.N), said on Thursday.
Huntsman, a popular former governor of Utah, told U.S.
President Barack Obama last month that he would resign from his
ambassadorship in April. Speculation has swirled for months
that he would seek the Republican nomination to run against
"He'll be announcing that soon, one way or the other, I
hope in the next couple of weeks," Peter Huntsman, the chief
executive of Huntsman Corp and Jon's younger brother, told
"I personally think that he'd be a very attractive
candidate," Peter Huntsman said. "With his business background
and his experience around the world, I think he's exactly what
we would need in this global environment and somebody that
would be focused on charging our economy."
Jon Huntsman is viewed as a moderate Republican willing to
work with Democrats. His time working for Obama, who is deeply
unpopular with conservative Republicans, could be an obstacle
if he seeks the nomination.
If he runs, he would join what is expected to be a large
field of Republicans hoping to challenge Obama in the 2012
White House race. More than a dozen Republicans are seen as
potential candidates, but no major contenders have entered the
Jon Huntsman speaks fluent Mandarin, learned during his
time as a Mormon missionary to Taiwan. He worked for his
family's chemical business, founded by his father in the 1970s,
before entering politics.
(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan in Washington; editing
by John Whitesides)