Mike Huckabee is calling on his supporters to help former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) retire her debt from the 2008 campaign she lost to Democrat Kay Hagan; Huckabee sent an email to supporters of Huck PAC today seeking online donations for Dole. Potential presidential hopefuls like Huckabee typically campaign and fundraise for candidates, while seeking endorsements from the party's elder statesmen; this is a little bit of both, and it could go a long way toward currying favor for Huckabee with Elizabeth and Bob Dole.
Interestingly, Huckabee describes Dole as being victimized by the wave of increased voter turnout (generally recognized as a good thing) and the superior Obama campaign apparatus:
The Democratic Party spent $12 million to defeat her in North Carolina and special interest groups spent millions more.
The Obama campaign opened 50 field offices with 400 paid staff and 21,000 volunteers, all geared to three weeks of early voting. North Carolina had the biggest increase in voter turnout of any state in the nation, a reflection of the huge amounts of money poured into the state.
I hope you will join me in assisting her with a generous contribution today to retire her debt of $356,043. I believe it would be a travesty if she were left with a debt after all her hard work as a public servant.
It was the money that drove that turnout, Huckabee says, not voter enthusiasm or the first black presidential candidate to be nominated by his party. There's some truth to it: the Obama juggernaut was propelled by astronomical fundraising numbers, which let it open up all those field offices across the country with money to spare, absolutely crushing the GOP's turnout operation.
While the Obama ground game probably made Hagan's win possible in the typically red state, the race really started to tip in the final days after a Dole TV ad accused Hagan of taking "godless money," using a woman's voice saying "there is no God" behind an image of Hagan, and Hagan launched an indignant rebuttal, calling it an attack on her faith. That, as much as anything else, seemed to put Hagan over the top.