What sweet revenge it must be for Senator Lisa Murkowski to have thwarted Sarah Palin’s plans to install Tea Partier Joe Miller in the U.S. Senate. As has been well chronicled, the Murkowski and Palin clans have little love for each other; it goes back to Palin beating father Frank Murkowski in the Alaskan Governor’s GOP primary many years ago. Of course, Frank was a bit of a sitting duck with his 20 percent approval rating, but Palin is the one who booted him from office nonetheless.
Poor Joe Miller was convinced that when he did a Palin and beat Murkowski in the primary that he was headed for the Senate. When Murkowski announced she was a write in, he and his supporters – and the national media – mocked the idea that she could ever win as a write in, since only one other person had ever managed this feat as a U.S. Senate candidate.
This analysis was wrong on many levels and always struck me as odd since if another person had managed it, then why was it so impossible for it to happen again?
Also, it’s always helpful in those moments to remember the other things that would “never” happen -- such as Hillary Clinton losing the Democratic primary.
To believe that Murkowski could not win as a write in required that you didn’t understand Alaska, which can be said of pretty much every person who lives outside the state. It was tiring to listen to people who didn’t understand my home state explain how people wouldn’t be able to spell Murkowski, which would be like someone in Massachusetts not being able to spell Kennedy. It was nonsense.
More importantly, Joe Miller was a bizarre and troubling candidate who very quickly began to scare Alaskans with his strange pronouncements and thuggish body guards. He won the primary because most Alaskans thought Murkowski would win and didn’t bother to show up.
Joe Miller was not the “choice of Alaskans” as his supporters would have it. He was the choice of a small number of right-wing activists who voted in the GOP primary. He needed to convince the broader electorate that he should be sent to Washington to support Alaska and the resounding answer was: no.
Kirsten Powers is a Fox News political analyst and New York Post columnist. Follow her on Twitter @kirstenpowers10.