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August 26, 2010

Lunchtime Silly: No, The GOP Isn't Advising Lisa Murkowski On How To Run As A Libertarian (or Democrat)
And Apologies, Allah Didn't Say That

Pure foolishness, he's doing no such thing, he's going up there to reassure her she can still suck off the tasty teat of the political establishment if she concedes her loss.

It's silly to even postulate otherwise.

Clarification [DrewM.]: Ace just emailed from a secure, undisclosed location and asked me to update this post to clarify that in an update to his post, Allah makes it clear he thinks the NRSC lawyer is heading to Alaska to advice Murkowski on options related to "recount, court battle, etc" (which is why it exists). No one thinks the RNSC is trying to help Murkowski become a Libertarian.

Sean Cairncross, the general counsel of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, is headed to Alaska at the request of Sen. Lisa Murkowski to help provide guidance to the GOP incumbent finds herself trailing attorney Joe Miller by roughly 1,600 votes…

Committee sources insisted that too much should not be read into Cairncross’ presence in Alaska — only that the NRSC is an incumbent-retention committee and, as such, provides assistance when Senators ask for it.

As evidence that the committee is not putting all of its chips on Murkowski, a GOP source tells the Fix that Rob Jesmer, the bespectacled executive director of the NRSC, spoke by phone with a top Miller aide yesterday — making clear that if he wins the election the committee will support him wholeheartedly.

She asked him to advise her, so he's going to advise her, as is proper -- she remains a Republican senator at the moment, right? It's not like we just voted to make her persona non grata.

The GOP is going to accede to every Murkowski request, to make nice-nice and be all supportive and reassuring... except for one request.

Added [DrewM.]: Last night I emailed Scott Kohlhaas, who is listed as Chairman of the Alaska Libertarian Party and is running for the Alaska State House asking for a statement on the Murkowski/Libertarian situation.

I will tell you that it has been reported that David Haase would be willing to step down. If this is true, our executive committee would decide who to replace him with for November.

There are many considerations here, including a chance at the first elected Libertarian U.S. Senator in our party's history. There is also my race to consider and what impact if any it would have on my chances to defeat the longest serving Democrat in the Alaska House. There is no Republican on the ballot.

Ironically, just yesterday I did agree to "Caucus" with the Republicans if I am elected. My friend Eric will be doing a story on that at later this evening.

Frankly, if pressed on the matter, my inclination at this moment is to vote yes.

I followed up to ask if he knew of any discussions between the Libertarian Party and either Sen. Murkowski or her people. I haven't heard back yet.

Hey, I Screwed The Pooch [ace]: Back now.

I misread Allah and accused him of silliness he didn't intend, as Drew clarified.

I would note that Lisa Murkowski is still a serving Republican, duly elected in 2004, and as such has the right to advice on election issues from the GOP's lawyer.

This does not indicate endorsement of her. It indicates she has the right to advice and that right is being honored.

It also indicates that Murkowski can, if she wants, blow up the race and run as a Libertarian, in which case there is a damn good chance the seat goes Democratic. There is then a major piece of diplomacy to be accomplished here.

Look, Murkowski is in shock. She never saw this coming (because she probably reads Dave Wiegel's girlfriend on amateur online webzine Slate.) She is in the denial state of grief, or bargaining, or whatever. Point is, right now she's angry and thinking about all sorts of nutty crap and it's the GOP's job to talk her down from the ledge.

It makes no sense that the GOP would throw over Miller. What does it get them? It gets them:

1) A base angry at them

2) The tea party convinced 3rd party is the only way

3) A weaker candidate than Miller

Now, what does screwing over the voters for Murkowski get them?

1) They get to keep the white-hot charisma, irreplaceable leadership and wide-ranging policy imagination of the Idea Factory that is Lisa Murkowski.

What is the percentage here? What do they gain by screwing you over? Absolutely nothing and a whole lot of bad.

They are trying to reassure her they are all still friends and so on. She feels betrayed; it's important, emotionally, she not have some burning grudge against the party and say "to hell with them all, I'll help elect the Democrat."

And they also have to convince her the game isn't rigged against her. Just as many of you are hopping mad and ready to quit the party over the idea that the "establishment" has fixed the game so that you can't win, she also needs to know that nothing has been fixed against her, or she'll quit the party, in which case there's a good chance we'll see Senator What's-His-Name-Democrat and the big "victory" here will be nothing but pushing Murkowski out in favor of a liberal.

Miller is a better candidate in virtually all ways than Murkowski. The GOP is not so stupid as to have failed to notice this. Nor is it lost on them that he actually won the race without any money or establishment connections.

Be calm. All is well.

As Aunty Entity explained... In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, political expert Aunty Entity explained the deal -- when it's family, you need to be careful. Explaining why and how Mad Max must kill Blaster...

Aunty Entity: This is no enemy. It's almost family.

Max: Oh, I see, real civilized!

Aunty Entity: The reasons don't concern you, only the conditions. Do you want the deal or not?

Max: Mmm

[nods in agreement]

The Collector: The first is, no one knows you're working for Aunty. You hit him, you go. The second is, it's a fair fight. The third is, it's to the death.

Max: Who's the bunny?

This has to be perceived as fair (and, actually, be fair). And treating Murkowski in a manner that is objectively unfair is the surest route to getting a Democrat elected.

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posted by Ace at 12:37 PM

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