Obama named his surprising choice for ambassador to China on Saturday: Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., who David Plouffe recently called one of the most worrisome Republicans for the 2012 race. The big news, then, is that one of the GOP’s moderate front-runners, who had already begun to assemble a consulting team, has been neutralized. But the move may demonstrate even more political savvy from Obama’s team, as it also should help prevent Republican criticism of the administration’s China policy. And though the president predicted Republicans would rebuke Huntsman, so far the party has been supportive. Some of Obama’s moderate moves, meanwhile, have been less popular with his own liberal base. Bob McDonnell has put out a new ad in his Virginia gubernatorial bid, and its the latest addition to a collection of political ads featuring family and comedy. Also of note: McDonnell never mentions he’s a Republican. (While we’re on the subject of political advertising, here’s a note to media types: Make sure you spell-check.) Obama is starting to flex his political muscle within the Democratic Party, as he’s doing his best to clear the New York primary for new Sen. Kristen Gillibrand so that resources can be devoted elsewhere. One place those resources may be needed is in Gillibrand’s old congressional district, where new Rep. Scott Murphy has been placed on the DCCC’s Frontline list. Democrats will also have to start re-recruiting in North Carolina after AG Roy Cooper decided not to challenge Richard Burr in a Senate run. Michael Steele tries a fresh argument against gay marriage, suggesting that it’s bad for small businesses who will suddenly be responsible to provide benefits for new spouses—an argument that liberals points out works against all marriages. In Massachusetts, gay marriage has actually brought $111 million into the state. Identity politics are still an issue. In Florida, former state Rep. Phillip Brutus is trying to become the first Haitian-American elected to Congress, but he’s worried about other candidates splitting the community’s vote. The GOP, meanwhile, is trying to earn back Latino voters.