AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Republican presidential candidate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks during a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif.

Jon Huntsman Jr.'s "forceful performance" at Wednesday night's presidential debate elicited an interesting comparison from veteran political analyst Jeff Greenfield: Huntsman deserves the equivalent of the National Hockey League's Lady Byng Trophy.

One of the NHL's premier annual awards, the Lady Byng Trophy is given to the player "adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability."

Greenfield, the former Bobby Kennedy speechwriter penning a guest op-ed piece for Politico with the headline "Huntsman wins a prize nobody wants," notes that honest and civil politicking essentially equates to the kiss of death in presidential primaries.

"Every four years, the press corps dubs one candidate the exemplar of tough, honest, truth-telling, willing to confront his or her party's orthodoxies with a cold blast of reality. That candidate wins praise from columnists; a warm embrace from a news magazine; admiring profiles on network news shows. The only thing the Lady Byng winner never wins — never, ever, ever — is a presidential nomination."

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