Huckabee marvels at support

Washington, D.C. (Map, News) – Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee insists he will have enough cash and organizational strength to capitalize on what polls suggest will be an impressive showing in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.”We’re poised to put the infrastructure in place,” the dark-horse Republican told The Examiner in an interview. “We’re raising money now at a level that can sustain us and get us to the next position. We certainly need more, but we’re beginning to gain more.”

Supporters of rival Republican Mitt Romney are counting on Huckabee faltering after Iowa because he has fewer funds and a less developed campaign organization. Romney has long been the front-runner in early-contest states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, which holds its primary Jan. 8.

Huckabee, who was once considered a lower-tier candidate, recently surged into second place in Iowa and even matches Romney in some polls. But he remains a distant fifth in New Hampshire, behind Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Ron Paul. He is also fifth in national polls.

Huckabee rejects the conventional wisdom that he will be hampered by a weak national campaign organization.

“It’s kind of like wac-a-mole,” he lamented. “First I couldn’t compete because I didn’t have the money. Now I’m competing – well, now I don’t have the infrastructure. So whatever it is I do that proves the first premise wrong, there’ll be a new one put forth.”

The former Arkansas governor marveled that with every new poll showing him gaining strength in Iowa, “people go nuts and start giving to us.”

“The fanaticism of our supporters is almost scary,” he said. “It’s just unbelievable. We’ve got one guy that put his wedding ring up on eBay. My wife and I said, ‘Oh my Lord, we can’t let him do that.’ But that’s the kind of devotion that these folks have.”

Huckabee relishes proving the naysayers wrong in Iowa.

“I may be one of the few people whose obituary was written before his birth announcement,” he chuckled. “My death has been written about every month, for 11 months, and nobody ever thought my campaign even had a birth. And now they’re beginning to think there may be life in me yet.”

bsammon@dcexaminer.com

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