Everyone knows the answer: money. In this year's second quarter, Rudy Giuliani raised $17 million and spent $11 million; Mitt Romney raised almost $14 million and spent close to $21 million. Even McCain, his campaign in a tailspin, raised over $11 million (and spent $13 million). Huckabee? He raised $763,610 and spent $702,622.
In Iowa, Huckabee tried to turn his immense underdog status into an advantage: "I can't buy you -- I don't have the money," Huckabee told Iowa straw poll voters. Then he frowned, "I can't even rent you."
But the failure of such a talented pol to fund his campaign tells a not-so-funny tale of the great gaping hole in the center of the so-called movement of Christian conservatives into politics: They do not yet have the networks, or the structures, to finance a champion of their own.
And that explains a lot about why so many social conservatives, after contributing to so many electoral victories, still feel like the unloved stepchild of GOP politics -- beggars can't be choosers.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.
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