Thursday, April 29, 2010

David Weigel: Murkowski challenger hints at Palin endorsement

David Weigel blogs at Wa-Po that Joe Miller, who is challenging Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's GOP primary for U.S. Senate, is strongly hinting that Sarah Palin will endorse him:
On Monday, he says, he'll have news about former governor Sarah Palin's choice in the race. The strong implication is that she'll back him over the state's senior senator.

"Watch the papers on Monday," said Miller after one of his meetings with D.C. conservatives, after being asked whether he had spoken to Palin about an endorsement. "That's all I can say for now. We'll let you know."
Miller, a Fairbanks attorney, announced his candidacy April 19. The Fairbanks News-Miner has some background information on Miller:
Miller, who grew up in Kansas, is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a masters in economics from the University of Alaska.

He received an officer’s commission from West Point, with honors, and is a veteran of the first Gulf War.

After coming to Alaska 16 years ago, Miller worked as an attorney at Condon Partnow & Sharrock in Anchorage before being appointed as a state magistrate in Tok and Superior Court master for the Fourth Judicial District.

After moving to Fairbanks, he served as both an acting state District Court judge and a U.S. magistrate judge.

He left the judiciary in 2004 to run for the state House seat held by Rep. David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks. He lost in the general election by about 3.5 percent of the vote.

Miller’s wife of 18 years, Kathleen Tompkins-Miller, is a teacher.
That Miller is a Gulf War vet lends some credence to his heavy hints that Gov. Palin will endorse him, and she has already endorsed several veterans in various races. So when Weigel says that the rumor is being taken seriously by conservative activists, we tend to believe him. Weigel also points out that Lisa Murkowski and the governor have not been the best of friends, to put it mildly. The governor owes the Alaska Republican party establishment nothing, considering how little support she got from it, especially since she returned to Alaska following the the 2008 presidential campaign. SarahPalin, in fact, endorsed Murkowski's opponent in the '04 GOP primary. So a Miller endorsement would, as Weigel says, make a lot of sense inside Alaska. But in our opinion, his military service makes sense both inside and outside of the 49th state as well, vis-a-vis a likely Palin endorsement.

- JP

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha. This is great! Sarah is going to give Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn of the NRSC a bad case of ulcers before this is all over. First, endorsing Rand Paul over Trey Grayson and then possibly Miller over Lisa!

    It also makes sense for Sarah's future political prospects if she were to decide to run for the Senate in 2014 against Begich. Having Miller as the sitting Republican senator (who would support her) instead of Lisa (who would work against her)is to Sarah's advantage.

    Also, if Sarah was to run in the 2012 primaries, she will need a prominent Republican to head up her Alaska campaign. Right now all the prominent Alaska Republicans are against her and would support Huckabee and/or Romney. It would be embarrasing for her to lose the Alaska primary. Therefore, she needs a strong political ally in Alaska.

    This move makes political sense for her on several levels.