National Effort Straining Huck

Early success leaves campaign stretched thin for countrywide push
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2008 12:45 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee walks to a waiting plane in Greer, S.C. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Mike Huckabee's campaign is still in post-Iowa shock, trying to figure how it can run nationally with a miniature war chest and paltry organization. The GOP candidate has no offices in any of the 21 states that vote Feb. 5—save in hometown Little Rock—and his third-place finish in Michigan was managed by a 28-year-old recruited less than a week before the vote.

Communication skills and popularity among evangelicals have gotten Huckabee a long way, the Wall Street Journal notes, but he’s hampered by his tiny operation. Snuff-sniffing campaign manager Chip Saltsman says the outfit has no choice but to pinch pennies—and doesn’t hint at aces up his sleeve. He keeps it real, though, encouraging his candidate post-debate only with, “You did not suck.”