Murkowski's Brass Knuckles

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Oct 08, 2010 8:42 AM
Joe Miller's campaign team leaked an antsy email exchange between him and Todd Palin, where Palin attacked Miller for questioning his wife's qualifications for the Presidency. Leaking the email seemed like good strategy, since Miller is trying to keep a comfortable distance from the Palins in a state where they draw some pretty deep lines in the political sands.

But is a campaign that deals in fake-leaks the kind of campaign Miller really wants to run? This guy is supposed to be a Washington outsider. Outsiders need campaign tactics, too, but couldn't they have thought of something a little less crass?

Meanwhile, Sen. Lisa Murkowski hammered Miller for his off-the-cuff remark about repealing the 17th Amendment, which provides for the election of U.S. Senators by popular vote. Miller said he was being honest, and that this belief wouldn't be anything near a priority if he was elected.

That only adds to the ammo Murkowski has been shooting at Miller since she announced her write-in bid, trying to frame him as a right-wing extremist. She's put on the brass knuckles when dealing with other GOP colleagues, as well:
Murkowski’s relationship with national Republicans has been tense since she lost the primary. After she announced her write-in campaign, Murkowski was forced to resign her leadership post as vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Caucus. Her colleagues also debated ejecting her from her post as ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, but eventually decided against it.

Murkowski vowed that she would return not only as a Republican but with her seniority intact – including her plum committee leadership spot – next year.