Earlier this week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced that "she would advocate for vanquished Missouri Senate candidate Sarah Steelman" to conduct a write-in campaign if Todd Akin (the now-embattled winner of a Missouri Republican U.S. Senate primary) declines to relinquish the party's nomination. Palin, who once argued against such a campaign, now proposes the very same tactic for Steelman. Why?
Back in the summer of 2010 when Republican Lisa Murkowski was running for re-election to the Senate, she was defeated in the GOP primary by Joe Miller, who was backed by the Tea Party and former Gov. Sarah Palin. Murkowski and camp were bummed, but launched a hard-core write-in campaign for the general election.
Former VP candidate Palin was perturbed by Murkowski's behavior, and she had no qualms about saying so in an October Facebook post titled "Lisa's Gall vs. Miller's Honor." On Twitter, Palin said Murkowski should "respect the will of the people," and the people of Alaska had spoken; they wanted Joe Miller. And she noted that Murkowski had said the winner of the GOP primary should win the general election.
Today Murkowski, no doubt, credits her victory to the "will of the people" and a successful write-in effort that Sarah Palin felt was a violation of the right of the American voter. Is Sarah a sore loser? Or is Murkowski insensitive to the voice of the public? Perhaps the world will never know.
It's possible that Palin views the Akin vs. Steelman race very differently from the Miller vs. Murkowski race. To start, according to Palin's October 2010 Facebook post, Murkowski "reneged on her primary vow to not contest the will of the people" by running against Miller in the general election. At one point, Murkowski did indeed make a vow to respect the Republican candidate chosen by voters, but that was before she lost. Perhaps Palin was more irked over Murkowski's flip-flop, than the write-in campaign itself. But Palin didn't make that clear when she spoke to her Fox News colleague Greta Van Susteren this week.
During an episode of "On The Record," Palin told Van Susteren that Akin "has until September 25th to (drop out)" and "if he doesn't do it, then it will be third party." She added "a third-party run for Sarah Steelman that I can get behind, and, granted 'The Status Quo Has Got To Go' would be an odd name for a third party, but we'll coin it, adopt it, run with it if that's what it takes."