Huck Navigates Tricky New Trail

Front-runner status had pitfalls for GOP candidate
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 4:22 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rests after playing his guitar while campaigning in Boscawen, N.H.,in this Dec. 14, 2007, file photo. As part of a series of questions...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mike Huckabee’s campaign is experiencing growing pains, the New York Times reports, with his surge to the top of the Republican heap forcing his understaffed organization to face an onslaught of criticism, particularly from Mitt Romney’s well-oiled political machine. “I have a lot more enemies now, but that’s part of the deal,” Huckabee says. "My opponents have taken out all the sharp knives.”

Huckabee’s transformation from novelty candidate to possible presidential nominee has been somewhat awkward, with his events reflecting the disconnect between intense media focus and the candidate’s lighthearted feel—see the fans who dress up as "Huck-a-Bees," or appearances by buddy Chuck Norris. Huckabee’s disarming demeanor has played well with voters so far, but he might want to sharpen a few knives himself.