Bill Kristol certainly is slipping into a state of madness because he can't stop fantasizing about failed Governor and V.P. nominee Sarah Palin (R. AK) running for the U.S. Senate next year against Senator Mark Begich (D. AK):


Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, one of Sarah Palin’s earliest and most emphatic supporters in 2008, is once again promoting her cause, this time claiming during an online Q&A with ABC that Palin could “resurrect herself” by becoming the junior Senator from Alaska.

“I think her stepping down as governor of Alaska was a big problem,” Kristol said. “People don’t like to see a candidate, a governor or an executive—absent some medical reason or whatever—just leave office early. And she had been a good governor, sadly, of Alaska until then. So I think that is something she has to recover from, in terms of being a serious leader in the party. She still has a lot of loyalty, still can shape the debate. She still has a great political touch.”

“I think the way Palin would possibly resurrect herself—if that’s the right word—or rehabilitate herself, I guess is a better way of putting it: run for Senate in Alaska in 2014,” Kristol said. “I’m not urging that. I’m just saying, if I were her adviser, I would say, ‘Take on the incumbent, you have to win a primary, then you have to beat an incumbent Democrat. It’s not easy.’ But if she did that, suddenly, if you can imagine that—Sarah Palin, freshman senator, January 2015 in Washington having beaten an incumbent. That would be pretty interesting.” - Mediaite, 8/18/13

Kristol is obsessed with the idea that a Senate run could revive Palin's image.  As ridiculous as that sounds, there's another motive behind Kristol's fantasy Senate race:


On MSNBC's Morning Joe, Nicolle Wallace, who was Palin's aide during the 2008 campaign, asked Kristol, "How did you feel as sort of being branded as the godfather of Sarah Palin, Inc.?" He responded, "It's not the worst thing that's ever been said about me. You know, I have a thick skin." Of his suggestion she run for Senate on Sunday, Kristol said he was not predicting or endorsing a Palin candidacy in 2014. "I was asked, 'Does Sarah Palin have a future?' and I just tried to give an analytical answer — which is, I don’t think she does…" They don't even chat these days, he said. "I haven't been in touch with her in a year or so."

Why does Kristol get so much Palin blame? By October 2008, Palin's vice-presidential candidacy looked so disastrous that The New Yorker published an explainer for how she got to be picked as McCain's running mate in the first place. Jane Mayer pegged Kristol as the No. 1 culprit. A circle of Republican commentators had developed a political crush on Sarah Palin during a luxury cruise to Alaska in 2007, she reported. Kristol was her "most ardent promoter… and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska's political circles." By the summer of 2008, Kristol was campaigning for McCain to pick Palin both on camera and behind the scenes. His endorsements were over the top: She was "fantastic," good at basketball, not just potentially a good veep but "an effective president" too, "like Andrew Jackson," and his "heartthrob." He couldn't take it if McCain didn't pick her: "I don’t know if I can make it through the next three months without her on the ticket." At one point, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said, "Can we please get off Sarah Palin?"

Kristol defended Palin long after the 2008 campaign. He said she was "crazy like a fox" in 2009, predicted she would save John McCain from losing his reelection campaign in 2010. So that's why, in May 2011, the whole nerd world gasped when Kristol said, "I think she's unlikely to be the Republican nominee, and to be honest I think she probably shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president." - The Atlantic, 8/20/13

So there you have it, Kristol wants Palin to win not because he cares about the GOP.  He cares about revamping his image as Palin's biggest cheerleader.  So you see, Kristol and Palin are one in the same.  But Kristol's deep seeded belief that Palin can beat Begich is just delusional.  Polls have showed that Begich would easily defeat her and the former Governor isn't popular back in her home state.  So really, Kristol is just setting himself up for more humiliation by even advocating the idea of Palin running for the Senate.  It's really a sad to witness, then again this was the same conservative Bozo who sold the public on going to war with Iraq so let him keep making an ass of himself.

The other thing about Kristol's constant cheering for Sarah Palin Senate run is it really speaks volumes about how conservatives feel about the already declared candidates, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell (R. AK) and Tea Party Wild Card Joe Miller (R. AK).  Then again these guys have some serious baggage.  Like Treadwell is a pretty shady character:


During the recent effort to submit enough Alaskans’ petition signatures to put repeal of Gov. Sean Parnell’s oil giveaway on the ballot, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell allowed a political hired gun to remove citizens’ names from the petition through an unsecured electronic form.

While there are still some unanswered questions about the scandal, here’s what we know: In June, a political consultant named Art Hackney started a website called www.imadeamistake.org, which is associated with the anonymously funded organization, Alaska Resources Committee. In an interview with the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman for a July article, Hackney said he started the website after having a conversation with Treadwell. A reporter with the Alaska Dispatch interviewed Treadwell, who confirmed that he had given Hackney the go-ahead. Treadwell’s decision was controversial because it is a new and sweeping interpretation of state law that could have an impact on ballot referenda and initiatives beyond the current effort to repeal of Parnell’s oil giveaway.

The Hackney website is troubling because it is unsecured. One person could remove the names of other Alaskans from the petition, just by entering information into an online form. That kind of unsecured process is a threat to the integrity of the referendum process.

By law, the lieutenant governor has two jobs: Guard the state seal and oversee the Division of Elections, including referenda and initiatives. One would think that the lieutenant governor would consult with the state’s lawyer, the attorney general, before making new and sweeping interpretations of state law. Treadwell told Dispatch that he did check with the attorney general. When that article appeared, an individual who helped with the petition-gathering submitted a Public Records Act request to Treadwell, asking for documentation of the attorney general’s opinion. - Alaska Dispatch, 8/5/13

And for a George W. Bush-loving neo-con like Kristol, Miller is a Libertarian-leaning nightmare:


Miller is back in 2014 and hoping to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Begich. Miller first has to face yet another tough intraparty primary against an establishment Republican, this time matching up against Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. In both races though, Miller is confident that he has an ace in the hole in his strong support for privacy.

In an interview with The Daily Beast at the Family Leader Summit in Iowa, Miller said “the growth of the surveillance state” would be “a major component” of his campaign. He warned “I really do see a government that is creating effectively a dossier on every person in the country. I don’t know how you can maintain freedom in that regard.”

But while he saw this is a threat to civil liberties, he also saw it as “a coalition builder” and a way for him to win over Democrats. “There are a lot of people even on the left that I talk to that see that as their number one issue” said Miller. “They are willing to hold their nose and vote for someone who might be more of a traditional conservative on other issues. They do know that I’m genuine when I say that I view this as threat to liberty and I’m willing to do anything in my power to stop it.” - The Daily Beast, 8/12/13

Here's the thing, Begich is also adamantly against the surveillance state as well and has called for transparency from the FISA court and the NSA and has advocated for repealing the Patriot Act.  Begich can also win on that issue because even though him and Miller might see eye to eye on that issue, Begich is the proven sane candidate in this race.  

Of course there's also Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan (R. AK) who's thinking about running but he's been a little busy lately:


Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, a Republican, will spend the next six weeks in Afghanistan on military duty, the Associated Press reported Monday night. Sullivan is in the Marine Reserves and deployed to Central Command twice in the last nine years, according to his office biography. Sullivan's most recent assignment means he will be out of contact just as more speculation about his political prospects heats up.

An Anchorage Daily News column published over the weekend reported that "establishment Republicans" were lining up to offer Sullivan their financial support if he ran for Senate. At the beginning of the same week, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell -- the more establishment Republican of the two currently running against Democratic Sen. Mark Begich -- reported raising just over $180,000 in the first six months of the year.

Granted, Treadwell spent most of that time in "exploratory" mode rather than running an official campaign -- that haul doesn't necessarily represent the full measure of his fundraising potential -- and it's not clear what quarrel the Alaska GOP establishment would have with Treadwell. But there appears to be unsated appetite in the Republican ranks for another choice besides Treadwell and Joe Miller, who is running again after defeating Sen. Lisa Murkowski for the GOP nomination in a tea party-fueled 2010 bid. - National Journal, 7/23/13

Now Sllivan hasn't really taken any steps to putting together a Senate run so we'll have to wait until after Labor Day to see what happens with him.

So while Kristol keeps fantasizing about Palin and Treadwell and Miller get ready to duke it out in the primary, Begich is planning on making his re-election campaign focus heavily on local issues:


While all politicians facing difficult reelection prospects say they’ll win by focusing on the local issues their constituents really care about, there might be more truth to it in Alaska.

“Alaska politics are different — the politics are a lot more upfront and personal than other states … and our politics are largely based on natural resource extraction issues,” said University of Alaska-Fairbanks professor Gerald McBeath.

McBeath thinks Begich is “looking good right now” because of his focus on state issues.

“It's rare when a national issue dominates in an Alaska federal or state race, and you can't say that about politics in Ohio,” he said. - The Hill, 8/17/13

Begich has been touting Alaska's fishing industry pretty heavily lately:


This week Begich objected to a recent halibut-maligning pizza advertisement for Domino’s Pizza that claimed that no innovative ideas ever came about over a meal of halibut, and showing a man spitting out the halibut he was eating. The senator sent CEO J. Patrick Doyle some Alaska halibut to taste from New Sagaya’s midtown market in Anchorage, and encouraged Domino’s to stop being “halibut-haters” and their CEO to “get onboard with the nutritious, delicious, Alaska seafood. ”

Doyle responded with a twitter showing his new-found appreciation for Alaska seafood. He wore an “I heart Halibut” shirt, and posed with a forkful of halibut, and of course a pizza box.

The Alaska senator also sent a letter to a major international food contractor urging it to reconsider a decision to serve only seafood specifically certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to federal agencies like the Defense Department. The letter to Sodexo, USA President and CEO George Chavel, Begich took issue with reliance on a sustainability certification from MSC, an organization that has come under harsh criticism by Alaska fishermen for their growing logo fees, inconsistent standards and increasing licensing costs.

“It’s   ridiculous and insulting that the seafood being offered to our troops might come from Russia,” said Begich.  “Alaska wrote the book on sustainable fisheries and we don’t need outsiders to tell us how to manage our stocks.” - Seward City News, 8/17/13

Begich has also been making the argument how federal laws affect Alaska.  He's been making No Child Left Behind a serious issue:


Alaska Senator Mark Begich addresses a meeting on Rural Veterans-- Access to Health with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs & invited Tribal Health Organizations at Cook Inlet Tribal Council headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska Thursday August 12, 2010. (Photo by Jeff Schultz for The Washington Post via Getty Images.) Freelance Photo imported to Merlin on  Thu Aug 12 16:01:04 2010
Sen. Mark Begich (D) will go on the radio in Alaska on Monday with an ad highlighting his opposition to the No Child Left Behind Act.

The spot, timed to the start of a new school year and shared first with POLITICO, stresses that the red-state Democrat supports an Alaska-specific approach.

“One of my priorities in Washington is dumping No Child Left Behind mandates that don’t work in Alaska, like the yearly progress tests that don’t fit the diversity of Alaska schools or Alaskan kids,” Begich says in the 60-second spot. “I fought for waivers to get Alaska out from under this one-size-fits-all law hurting our children, but we need a permanent fix.”

He notes that his son, Jacob, is starting the sixth grade and says that he is pushing hard for more support of vocational education so that Alaska graduates can take good-paying jobs in oil, mining and construction

“Our state is unique,” says Begich, “just like our children.” - Politico, 8/19/13

And of course he's been looking for Alaska Natives who could have their votes suppressed next year thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act:


Senator Mark Begich is the only one in the delegation who says Alaska still needs to be subject to federal oversight. He says the state should spend more resources assuring everyone who wants to vote can. He dismisses attempts from some Republicans that would require IDs at the polls:

“They spend a lot of energy claiming we have fraud, which of course we don’t. They spend a lot of energy on that, and that’s to deny capacity the people to deny access to voting to certain people in Alaska.”

Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, who oversees the Division of Elections, ignored calls for comment. He’s also running for the nomination to replace Begich in 2014.

The issue is searing with politics. - KTOO, 8/14/13

Not to mention Begich has been out with Senator Tom Harkin (D. IA) making the case to expand Social Security:

Begich may not be perfect but we need him in the Senate now more than ever and there's really nothing sweeter than beating the Republicans on their home turf.  Lets help fuel Begich's re-election campaign.  You can click here to donate:


Originally posted to pdc on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 08:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Knowledge Democrats, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Youth Kos 2.0, In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Native American Netroots, and Social Security Defenders.

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