The Republican "establishment," somewhat confident in tomorrow's victory, has been gnashing some of its teeth over the possibility of Sarah Palin, 2012 Republican nominee. The flurry of agita — Will she run? How can she be stopped? Do the skills of a really popular Internet commenter translate into electoral success? — rests on an assumption of political strength that is being challenged in Alaska's Senate race.
Palin's handpicked candidate, Joe Miller, is locked in a battle with Republican turned write-in Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democrat Scott McAdam. Miller's comically antagonistic relationship with the press (and the truth) have hurt him — one poll has him up by seven in a three-way race, with only 2 percent undecided; another poll had him up by two, with a quarter of voters undecided. For all the talk of "Mama Grizzlies," Miller's race, and its weird circumstances (beyond the basic fact that Alaska is a really weird state), are the only real direct test of Palin's appeal.
The most recent bit of Palin-related media attacks came after she first claimed that all reporters were "corrupt bastards" for making jokes about crazy things that could happen at a Joe Miller rally, and then she — or, more likely, her Seinfeld-watching ("anti-dentite") speechwriter — sent an e-mail to the Daily Caller attacking the anonymous Republican sources who attacked her in a recent Politico article:
I suppose I could play their immature, unprofessional, waste-of-time game, too, by claiming these reporters and politicos are homophobe, child molesting, tax evading, anti-dentite, puppy-kicking, chain smoking porn producers really, they are I’ve seen it myself
There's war with the press, and then there's just straight bullying every single possible opponent. If voters knock out Palin's pick in Alaska, her improbable, impossible resurrection and emergence from the comments section won't seem as inevitable. The empress will have less clothes, and Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney will see a new ray of hope.
Palin pounds ‘puppy-kicking’ Politico for heavy use of anonymous sources [Daily Caller]
Next For GOP Leaders: Stopping Sarah Palin [Politico]
State of Alaska, US Senate Survey Results [Hays Research]