By FRITZ PETTYJOHN
I don’t tweet. I’d wager few Must Read Alaska readers do. Twitter is for the politically correct, and if you stray off the leftist reservation, you’re censored.
I’d like to tweet. I have the occasional random thought that I’d like to share. Such as:
I have very serious doubt that Donald Trump runs again for president. He’ll turn 76 next month. He’d be 82 at the end of another term. That’s too old. And no one, not even Trump, can run for office without the support of their spouse. Melania’s first priority is her son Barron, who just turned 16. Does she want him back in the fishbowl of the White House as he makes the transition to adulthood?
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has three little kids, the youngest only two years old. His wife is recovering from breast cancer. He’s only 43. Is this his time, or should he put off a Presidential run? He seems like a guy who would put his family first.
Trump is getting a lot of attention with his primary endorsements. But when the primaries are over his endorsement doesn’t help any more. As Glenn Youngkin demonstrated in Virginia, Republican candidates in a general election need to distance themselves from Trump. The people who will be talking about Trump will be the Democrats, trying to fire up their base.
The Democrats are in serious trouble in 2024. They don’t have a candidate, and they don’t have a message. Actually, they had awful candidates, with no message, in 2016 and 2020. They only lost by a whisker in 2016, and squeaked through in 2020, because half the country can’t stand Donald Trump. Their only hope in 2024 is Trump as their opponent. Personally, I think Republicans will realize this, and nominate a mainstream conservative like Mike Pence.
This is a Republican year. It’s not a good time to run if you’re a Democrat. especially in Alaska. So I think Republicans will control both houses of the Legislature next year. One thing they’ll want to do is repeal the part of Prop 2 that abolished political primaries. They could also repeal ranked choice voting, but should they?
I’d counsel against it. Alaska is a red state, and Republicans have a natural advantage. Actually, I’ve been in favor of ranked choice voting since 1982, when I first ran for the State Senate. That’s when Democrat Bill Sheffield was elected Governor with 46% of the vote. Conservatives were divided between Republican Tom Fink and Libertarian Dick Randolph. With ranked choice voting, almost all of Randolph’s votes would have gone to Fink, who could have won.
In the last 40 years I’ve seen the same thing happen time after time in Alaska elections. So I’d say keep ranked choice voting. It keeps political minorities, like Alaska Democrats, from winning elections.
So those are my tweets. If Elon Musk wins control of Twitter I’ll start tweeting for real, and I hope many of you do as well. It would be a convenient forum.
Fritz Pettyjohn served in the Alaska legislature in the 1980’s, and has practiced law in Alaska since 1974, and has written a column of one kind or another since high school, taking his inspiration from Herb Cain.