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Don't Call Him the Front-Runner

DES MOINES--Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, for months cast as a "second-tier" candidate, now finds himself with another label he's not eager to have: "front-runner."

A day after a poll from the Des Moines Register showed him with a slight edge in the GOP field, Huckabee was back in the state for a two-day swing. And during an appearance on a popular conservative talk show here, the host, Jan Mickelson, repeatedly referred to Huckabee as the "front-runner," and even asked the governor if he should now be expected to win here.

"It would be pretty remarkable if we did," Huckabee said. He noted his goal had long been to finish in the "top three."

"The expectations can't be that we finish first," said Bob Vander Plaats, Huckabee's Iowa chairman, noting the huge advantages in money and organization of the Romney campaign.

And Huckabee faces some other challenges. His rivals are increasingly attacking his record, particularly his support of a law in Arkansas that would have offered in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants.

A couple of radio show callers noted that they have received phone calls that they thought were push polls done on Huckabee's behalf that offered negative comments on the other GOP candidates. The former governor said he had nothing to do with the calls, and it's not yet clear where they are coming from.

"This is not helpful, we repudiate it," Huckabee said on air, a comment he repeated several times to reporters.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  December 3, 2007; 12:49 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Mike Huckabee  
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Comments

Huckabee is 'Reaganesque': a great communicator, iconic optimist, and a strong former governor. He is also 'Lincolnesque': frugal beginnings, a great visionary, and a man of solid spiritual and moral convictions. He will become a greater president than Ronald Reagan!

Posted by: bryantew | December 4, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee is 'Reaganesque': a great communicator, iconic optimist, and a strong former governor. He is also 'Lincolnesque': frugal beginnings, a great visionary, and a man of solid spiritual and moral convictions. He will become a greater president than Ronald Reagan!

Posted by: bryantew | December 4, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Re: Article on Obama's Islam Connection:

To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only one who has defended Bacon's article as legitimate journalism.

I was distressed that Frank Rich referred to it as "scurrilous" in his NYTimes article.

If anyone wants to read my full essay it's here, and I welcome a response, especially from Mr. Bacon.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/30/122926/47

Posted by: alandsheila | December 3, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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