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Huckabee Deems Himself 'In Play'

Mike Huckabee's latest schedule sums up the new hope in his presidential campaign.

For the next three days, the former Arkansas governor is using national television appearances to tout what he says is a reborn campaign that is moving up in the polls and--finally--collecting some cash.

"Obviously, we're in play, and that's good news for us," Huckabee told a group of journalists at a lunch in Washington, squeezed in between appearances on "Good Morning America," MSNBC, CNN's "Situation Room" and XM Radio's POTUS channel.

Huckabee cites two new polls which show him tied or ahead for second place in Iowa, where former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has a clear lead. Even one national poll has him in second.

And he says the cash drought that nearly starved his campaign for the last six months is easing. In a six day period this month, his campaign raised more than it had in the first quarter, he said.

(That's not saying much: he raised just over a half-million dollars during the first three months of his campaign, compared to the tens of millions that other candidates collected.)

But Huckabee says online fundraising has picked up and that he will end October having raised $1 million online in this month. He also points to attacks from some of the other candidates as evidence that his rivals know his campaign is picking up steam.

"Suddenly, I'm in the crosshairs," he said. "A good hunter never aims his gun at a dead carcass."

The former Baptist minister is also taking his own shots, particularly at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. In the discussion with reporters, he said that he alone among Republican candidates has experienced running against what he termed "the Clinton machine."

"I don't think anybody knows her better than me," he boasted.

Still, Huckabee's candidacy remains far behind the leading contenders in terms of resources, staff and organization. And a critical audience -- the national political scene -- remains skeptical.

And so after lunching with the Washington press corps at the Monocle, a favorite hang-out for DC lobbyists, Huckabee was headed to the TV studios later this afternoon.

According to the schedule, tomorrow he will appear on Fox's "O'Reilly Factor," where he planned to discuss "presidential politics and the growing momentum for Governor Huckabee's presidential campaign."

By Washington Post editors  |  October 30, 2007; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Mike Huckabee  
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