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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Doug Grow on Ron Carey's Announcement that He Would be Chairing the Huckabee Campaign in Minnesota

Minn Post:

But at least some powerful Republicans believe he should have figured out a way to stifle himself.

Brian Sullivan, a party powerhouse who is supporting Mitt Romney's campaign, told the Star Tribune that he finds it hard to believe that Carey can wear a Huckabee campaign button and support all other Republicans at the same time.

In coming days, more Republicans are certain to raise concerns about the "neutrality" of Carey, who already is trying to hold together a fractured party.

For his part, Brian Melendez, chair of the DFL, had no comment about Carey's surprising decision other than to say he will remain neutral until there is only one Democrat left standing in the long selection process. But surely he went to bed smiling Monday night.

Carey knew this would be dicey business. He said he studied the party's by-laws and learned there was nothing in them to prevent him from supporting a presidential candidate. The by-laws, he said, do prevent him from supporting candidates whose races directly involve the state, meaning, for example, he could not chose one Republican over another in a U.S. Senate race.

Carey said he did "tip a few people off" on his plan to treat all candidates equally but Huckabee a little more so. Presumably, that means he contacted Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is supporting John McCain, and Sullivan among others.

Grow also talked about how the real focus in the Huckabee campaign will be turning out the theocrats.

But it is apparent that Minnesotans for Huckabee aren't going to be targeting the middle class so much as evangelical Christians in the short time until the state's Feb. 5 caucuses.

Gary Borgendale, a campaign aide, is charged with getting the Huckabee message to every evangelical pastor in the state. The pro-life movement also will be targeted, Borgendale said.

Carey, it should be noted, is an evangelical.

"We're marketing to a small group of people," Carey said, noting that no more than 30,000 Republicans are expected to participate in the caucus. He believes that with no money and likely no appearances by the candidate, Minnesota Republicans will react as Iowans did.

I wonder how much hawking the Huckster will be going on under the radar on KKMS?