by Max Brantley
Here's the second quarter report for the Mike Huckabee presidential exploratory campaign. Please study and report.
He raised about $765,000 (about one good Hollywood or New York fund-raising dinner for top candidates), but indeed better than the $540,000 or so he raised the first go-round. He spent a little less than he took in, but thanks to holdover from the first quarter, had more than $430,000 on hand when the report was filed.
(By way of comparison before the spin begins -- "50 percent increase, etc.": John McCain, generally viewed as cratering as a candidate, raised $11 million in the second quarter and had $2 million on hand. Romney did nearly $21 million; Giuliani more than $17 million.)
Here's your link for expenditures. Daughter Sarah is on the payroll at roughly $3,1000 per month, along with a new addition in June, daughter-in-law Lauren at a similar rate.
Here's your link for contributions. Familiar Arkansas names and interests represented, of course, but quite a few missing. There's a particularly paltry turnout from a number of people who held big jobs in the Huckabee years, some of whom continue in good government jobs thanks to him. Ingrates.
ALSO: Here's Des Moines Register article where the Huckster says a finish of fourth or worse in the Aug. 11 Iowa straw poll could spell the end for him in the presidential derby. Since McCain and Giuliani aren't contending in that race, Huckabee could easily make that number. Not exactly the same as Clinton saying a No. 2 in New Hampshire would be a victory, but you get the idea. He's playing the expectations game. Without money, what else you gonna do?