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The Men From Hope

The former Arkansas governors, together at an event on childhood obesity in 2005. (AP).

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa--In both Eastern and Western Iowa this week a man from a place called Hope will be asking to be sent to the White House. The man hoping to repeat his straw poll success in the 2008 Iowa Caucus, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, finishes two days of stumping through Eastern Iowa as he meets with supporters in Cedar Rapids.

But perhaps a bigger draw will be when another former Arkansas Governor--former President Bill Clinton--will campaign solo in Western Iowa. Clinton will make stops in Gleenwood (pop. 5,300) and Onawa (pop. 10,000) today.

Iowa Trails

Read The Trail's continuing coverage from Iowa this week: --President Clinton on the Clinton Who Would Be President Former President Clinton speaks in Iowa on behalf of his wife's campaign.

--Flying High--And a Little Too Far--in Iowa In a busy Iowa week, an unexpected delay for Barack Obama.

--Clinton's Answers on Immigration Grant License to Criticize Immigration continues to roil the Democratic presidential race..

--Obama's American Dream Agenda' Obama pledges more help for the middle-class.

While some Republican candidates have slammed Clinton in this campaign, particularly former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who has suggested Clinton should not have reduced the military's size after the Cold War, Huckabee has been largely complimentary of the former president. And unlike Giuliani, his stump rhetoric is not full of attacks on Hillary Clinton or Hillarycare. In four events in Eastern Iowa on Wednesday, his only mention of the Clintons was to note he had won in a state where they had dominated politics, which he said makes him the most electable of the Republicans.

"I have to win the nomination before I can challenge her," Huckabee said. He noted he had a "civil relationship, a cordial thing" with the Clintons.

Speaking to reporters in Washington late last month, Huckabee said he alone among the Republican candidates knew what it would take to run against Clinton.

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

Clinton in turn has suggested Huckabee is the only one of the dark-horse GOP candidates who can win the nomination.

Of course, things weren't always as cordial between the pair.

"I think there is a lot of disappointment in Arkansas that the president's tenure of now seven years has produced virtually nothing for Arkansas in the way of the typical things a president brings to his home state, as Jimmy Carter did for Georgia, as Ronald Reagan did for California, and George Bush did for Texas and Maine," Huckabee said on Don Imus' show in 1998, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"We don't have highways that we can say are a direct result. We don't have federal installations and I think there has been some disappointment because when the election took place in 1992, a lot of people said 'This will be great for our state. Look at all of the things that will happen and all of the economic activity.' There has been economic activity, but it has nothing to do with Bill Clinton being president, quite frankly," the governor said.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 8, 2007; 12:50 PM ET
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