SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Following his third place showing in New Hampshire, Mike Huckabee took off around 8:30 a.m., landing in Spartanburg for a "rally" (really just another campaign event) and a visit to the Carolina Pregnancy Center. Back into his speech: the word "fair tax" and a focused discussion of being pro-life. The patriotism Huckabee picked up in New Hampshire has lingered but doesn't factor as prominently; back is the Huckabee of Iowa.
To a crowd of about 175 at the rally, Huckabee said this was no longer a "campaign" but "a cause." He said he wants to "do more than well" in South Carolina and that he wanted to win.
New to the Huckabee campaign: a stylistic attempt to make him look like he's running for president, not Congress. Gone was the low-ceilinged, tight quartered Huckabee campaign event of days old; today's Spartanburg rally was held in a high-ceilinged hotel ballroom furnished with a rope line, theater lights, and a sturdy camera stand.
At the Carolina Pregnancy Center, Huckabee was greeted by a crowd of about 50 where he revisited the passing of the human life amendment in Arkansas.
"I still hope and pray that one day in this country, that we will have a deep conviction about life. That it is so precious that we will do anything we can to preserve every single life because that life could have been our own lives, and that, again, for me is a point that has nothing to do with politics, but a point that has to do with genuine principle."