"He hasn’t used direct mail and his very first commercial is airing on TV now," Iowa Republican Party executive director Chuck Laudner said. "The word on Huck is being spread by the news media, on the Internet — and the faith community is pushing Huck by word of mouth, phone trees, e-mail and also through caucus training sessions that occur all over the state."
And then there’s his self-presentation:
The cause aspect of Mr. Huckabee’s appeal extends beyond the intense loyalty of his evangelical Protestant supporters to secular conservatives and some Republican centrists, Mr. Laudner said.
The other Iowa Republican leader agreed with Mr. Laudner, saying that in candidate debates, speeches and interviews, Mr. Huckabee conveys the image of a genuine foe of abortion and homosexual "marriage" who nonetheless "doesn’t shove his views down people’s throats" and speaks compassionately about homosexuals and immigrants.
Such an approach might also work in South Carolina, but it’s not likely to carry over into some of the bigger states when the primary action starts to be fast and furious. If Huckabee can’t quickly translate Iowa (and perhaps South Carolina) success into an effective national campaign organization, he won’t succeed in doing anything other than perhaps mortally wounding Romney (as some have argued).
My response: if Romney can’t close the deal after his months-long and very expensive courtship of Iowa voters, it isn’t Huckabee’s fault if he isn’t able to go the distance.