Lisa Murkowski, Miss Independent [UPDATE: Miller Loses in Court, Again]

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 22 2010 4:03 PM

Lisa Murkowski, Miss Independent [UPDATE: Miller Loses in Court, Again]

UPDATE: The Alaska Supreme Court has tossed Joe Miller's lawsuit, which gives him 48 hours to take his case to federal court. There is absolutely no indication that he'd find a more favorable take on his legal reasoning there, but there's no indication that Miller has suddenly woken up and discovered class, either, so he might do it.

For reference: George W. Bush's margin over Al Gore in Florida was 0.0052 percent. Murkowski's margin over Miller if none of her contested ballots are tossed is 4.03 percent. This might be the largest margin in a recount lawsuit in American history.

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The senator from Alaska, who owes Republicans exactly nothing after getting re-elected as a write-in candidate, talks to the ADN's Erika Bolstad about how sweet this is.

If her write-in campaign taught her anything, Murkowski said, it's that what Alaskans are saying is more important than what leaders of either parties want.

"What you have seen since the election are a series of bills that are high-profile, and yes the president has supported them," she said. "But you have to ask the question: Where are Alaskans on these bills? It's always a question of 'What is the next vote?' And where are Alaskans on that next vote?"

When it came to "don't ask, don't tell," for example, Alaskans were overwhelmingly in support of doing away with the policy, Murkowski said.

She said it's the same with the DREAM Act, an immigration bill that would have given students in the United States illegally a chance to become residents. The president had nothing to do with either decision, she said, and when it came to her support of the START nuclear arms treaty with Russia this week, she was more swayed by the military leaders' backing it than Obama's phone call to her.

In other words, she's been Liebermanized. This is what makes Joe Miller's new hobby of directing his Twitter followers to "Murkowski keeps voting with Democrats" articles amusing.
 
 
 
 
The IBD article is all about how Palin was proven right in her suspicions about Murkowski because the senator voted for DREAM and other bills. That's sort of a backwards read of how primary challenges work. Palin erred, because she underestimated Murkowski and backed a candidate who'd sought favor with her and her family but who had never been really vetted. When Murkowski faced the threat of a credible GOP primary challenge, she had to tack right. Now that she's proven herself the most powerful politician in Alaska, she doesn't need to pander to the GOP at all.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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