Murkowski’s Sore Loser Write-In Bid

Lisa Murkowski is the worst kind of sore loser candidate, willing to screw over her party's voters and her own donors to keep her seat

Reports that Lisa Murkowksi will run as a write-in candidate for her Alaska Senate seat have been confirmed.  Anchorage Daily News:

With the slogan “Let’s Make History,” Lisa Murkowski announced Friday that she’d pursue a write-in bid to keep her seat in the U.S. Senate after losing the Republican primary to Joe Miller.

[…]

No one has run a successful write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate since Strom Thurmond in 1954. Murkowski said she knows she faces a massive undertaking, not only to convince voters to support her but also to educate them on what they need to do for their vote to count. She acknowledged she made mistakes in her campaign, chief among them her failure to hit back when Miller and the Tea Party Express attacked her.

[…]

It was clear that Murkowski won’t have the support of state and national Republican leaders. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he told her she no longer has his support to serve in the Senate Republican leadership ranks, and accepted her resignation from that role. Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich said “she will receive no support of any kind from the Alaska Republican Party.” “Lisa has chosen to run against the Republican Party and its primary voters. We will treat her candidacy as we would anyone who chooses to oppose our party’s nominees, Ruedrich said.

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, whose support for Miller drove hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the Tea Party Express his way, called Murkowski’s effort futile. Murkowski offered a response to Palin, who resigned as governor last year, and to others she described as “naysayers” in Washington D.C.

“Perhaps it’s one time they met one Republican woman who won’t quit on Alaska,” Murkowski said, receiving a huge standing ovation from her supporters.

Murkowski said she agonized over the decision to run as a write-in and that, as of Thursday night, she still didn’t know if she was going to do it. She said she kept hearing from Alaskans who felt they couldn’t vote for either Miller or the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat, Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams. “They told me that we cannot accept the extremist views of Joe Miller,” she said. “We can’t accept those views and, equally, we can’t accept the inexperience of Mr. McAdams,” she said.

[…]

Murkowski will be boosted by the $1 million reported left in her campaign account. She told her supporters that a write-in campaign was not a futile effort, citing a friend who told her there was no word for “impossible” in the Aleut language. And yes, Murkowski said, “you’re going to have to learn to spell my name.” “They tell us this is impossible, you cannot do it,” Murkowski said. “Alaskans can’t figure out how to fill in an oval and spell M-U-R-K-O-W-S-K-I?”

Murkowski is the worst kind of sore loser candidate, willing to screw over her party’s voters and her own donors to keep her seat.   At very least, she should be forced to return the money to people who donated to her bid to win the Republican primary; those people are, after all, Republicans.

As to Joe Miller, he’s by all indications a pretty upstanding guy.   He’s a distinguished graduate of West Point, decorated Desert Storm vet, Yale Law graduate, and former state judge and prosecutor.   Aside from being a global warming skeptic, his stated views are pretty mainstream.

The “won’t quit on Alaska” line is a nice dig on Palin.   But Palin was elected to a four-year term and left early.   Murkowski was fired and refuses to quit.   Neither is particularly honorable.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. JKB says:

    Well, the slogans write themselves:
     
    Lisa Murkowski – My daddy gave me this job and you can’t have it back.
     
    Lisa Murkowski – What me listen to the will of the voters?

  2. Peacewood says:

    Well — it’s become a rather popular thing to do these days. Think Charlie Crist, or Doug Hoffman.

    All are probably hoping to emulate the Joe Lieberman model (and I certainly don’t recall Lieberman returning Dem funds when running independently, but I could be wrong).

  3. Jim Treacher says:

    Aside from being a global warming skeptic, his stated views are pretty mainstream.

    Might want to dip your toe into that stream again… 😉

  4. Tano says:

    Murkowski was fired and refuses to quit.

     
    Well, she was fired by the Republican party as its nominee, she was not fired by the people of Alaska as their Senator.
     
    You seem to be taking the clear partisan line here. What is the proper, or honorable thing for a candidate to do if they believe that the people of the state want them to remain in office, but the primary-day-voting-majority of their own party do not? Were you similarly critical of Joe Lieberman? Does the fact that the candidate might actually go on to win the election (thus confirming that the people do not wish to fire them) change the equation for you?

  5. Steve Plunk says:

    The common denominator whether it’s Crist, Murkowski, or Lieberman is arrogance.  It seems all of our elected representatives have become too arrogant to accept the will of the people.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    “Aside from being a global warming skeptic, his stated views are pretty mainstream.”

    What about wanting to outlaw abortion even in the case of rape and incest? That’s a position held by only about 15% of the public. Not very mainstream.

    Also, it’s telling that you use the phrase “stated views” as his position on birtherism is conspicuous by his unwillingness to state it.

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    What about wanting to outlaw abortion even in the case of rape and incest? That’s a position held by only about 15% of the public. Not very mainstream.

    15%? let us vote on it right now!!!!!!!

  8. ponce says:

    “The reason for the closeness of the race is Miller’s unpopularity. 52% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of while only 36% see him positively.”
     
    http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2010/08/alaska-senate-race.html

  9. Tlaloc says:

    Well, she was fired by the Republican party as its nominee, she was not fired by the people of Alaska as their Senator.

     
    This.  The idea that a primary vote for a party represents the will of the people requires us to believe that our retarded two party system is natural and proper rather than in actuality being a horrible idea and the source of much of our current problems.

  10. TG Chicago says:

    The polling data — that 15% of the public wishes to outlaw abortion in the case of rape and incest — is from here:

    http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htm

    I went by the Virginia Commonwealth University poll, since it specifically mentions those terms. If you use the CBS news poll, you get a number closer to 22%, but they don’t make the respondent specifically deal with rape and incest cases.

    By the way, the Virginia Commonwealth University polling about climate change shows that 29% feel that global warming is an unproven theory. And 49% believe that many scientists have serious doubts about it.

    http://www.pollingreport.com/enviro.htm

    So Mr. Joyner should really rethink his position that Miller’s position on climate change is his only view which is out of the mainstream. Many, many more people agree with his position on climate change than on abortion.

    (For whatever it’s worth, I personally find Miller’s position on abortion to be more respectable than his position on climate change. However, we’re not discussing my personal opinion — or Mr. Joyner’s. If we’re talking about what’s “mainstream”, we need to consider the views of the public at large.)

  11. James Joyner says:

    Well, she was fired by the Republican party as its nominee, she was not fired by the people of Alaska as their Senator.

    and

    The idea that a primary vote for a party represents the will of the people requires us to believe that our retarded two party system is natural and proper rather than in actuality being a horrible idea and the source of much of our current problems.

    I agree that the party primary system introduces serious problems, since they tend to be low turnout contests where the most motivated — and thus, typically, ideologically driven — voters determine the outcome. If you want to take a principled stand against the parties, then take one.  But don’t try to have it both ways.

    But Murkowski willingly entered into that contest and lost.   It’s despicable to now take a second bite at the apple, running against the winner to the decided advantage of the other party.

  12. Tano says:

    It’s despicable to now take a second bite at the apple

    You are putting principles of “fair play” under the unofficial rules of the game, based on how the two parties play the game, above the core prinicple of democracy – that the people should get the representation that they want.
     
    Much as I despise Joe Lieberman, I must admit that he deserves his seat in the Senate, because he won election fair and square. I would certainly be a big supporter of mechanisms like “instant runoff voting” to clarify the will of the people when there are more than two real candidates. But even if we stick with simply giving the job to whomever gets the most votes, then Lieberman is the guy who should be in the Senate, if you have any committment to democracy.
     
    So, Murkowski has every right, as a free citizen of this country, to run for office, even if she is rejected by a particular party along the way. She has no moral or legal responsibility to behave in such a manner as to not hurt the chances of any particular party – especially the one that just rejected her. And if she gets the most votes, she is indisputably the legitimate Senator for that state.
     
    I think you are just pissed that your team’s chances of winning control of the Senate are hurt by her ongoing candidacy – I don’t see a principled argument here. Once again, I ask you – did you have this reaction to Lieberman?

  13. Raoul says:

    She has the right to do what she is doing- get over it-Buck mainstream? LIke no SSA or get the US out of UN? Pretty kookoo. Like many people you are easily impressed by a resume that has nothing to do with the current job.

  14. Raoul says:

    Sorry – Miller I meant.

  15. Brummagem Joe says:

    “Murkowski is the worst kind of sore loser candidate, willing to screw over her party’s voters and her own donors to keep her seat.”

     Don’t seem to remember you saying that when Lieberman was a sore Loser Jim. I doubt she’ll win but you never know. I assume what is really up your nose Jim is that she is likely to deliver the seat to the Democrats. If you think his views are “mainstream” I wonder how familiar with them you are.