Murkowski shows signs of political maturity - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Murkowski shows signs of political maturity

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Alaskans are used to Sen. Lisa Murkowski waffling, but this week, she waffled to the correct position: She said she would wait to see who the president nominates for the Supreme Court. She’ll hold off judgment.

Trump is expected to make that nomination on Saturday afternoon.

Murkowski, who often mixes it up with President Donald Trump, had stated earlier this summer that the next president should be the one to appoint a new Supreme Court justice in the event that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. Murkowski reiterated that position last week after the 87-year-old finally succumbed to her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Murkowski said she would not vote on a Trump nomination. The new president should pick the replacement for Ginsburg.

Alaska Republicans were livid. As far at least 52 percent of them are concerned, Trump is going to be the next president.

Then, after it became evident the president would not back down from his constitutional duties, Murkowski flipped — she now says she’ll wait to see who Trump nominates.

It was a rare retreat for Murkowski, who many Alaska conservatives think has her finger in the wind too often, to see which way she will blow. She has often seemed far too comforting to the Democrats she serves with than her fellow Republicans.

Last time a nominee was offered by Trump, she went with the darlings of the Left. More than 100 women from Alaska went to Washington, D.C., and she met with many of them in her office while they pleaded and beseeched her to oppose Brett Kavanaugh. A letter from 350 women attorneys in Alaska arrived at her office in opposition to Kavanaugh.

“Believe all women,” was the mantra. And she meekly went along. The pressure was too great. But in the end, she didn’t vote at all. She simply was marked as a convenient “present.”

Political maturity is hard to measure and happens over a matter of years for all of us. For Murkowski, perhaps we are seeing a measure of political maturity that germinated from her experience with the Kavanaugh confirmation process, when she was photographed with Sen. Dianne Feinstein lording over her, looking like a junior high school thug trying to steal Murkowski’s math homework.

This Murkowski seems more politically savvy than the one who has held the president in political disdain for the past four years.

Today, she has come to realize that the confirmation vote will go on with or without her, and for her to be marked “present” again would be political suicide. This time, she has to pick a team.

People outside of Alaska often don’t understand why a bright red state would reelect Murkowski, but they forget some important points.

The first is that Alaska was a Democrat stronghold before the pipeline started revving up the economy in the 1970s. With jobs came workers who pay taxes and pay attention to politics. But many of those jobs are leaving the state under the current global economic shift, and they’ve been replaced by Obamacare expansion jobs in healthcare. Those jobs, funded by government, brought in thousands of Democrat voters to the state.

There are, in fact, a lot of liberals who call Alaska home, and many of them either have government jobs or get government checks for various reasons. The state is more blue than people realize. Without the Mat-Su Valley, a huge Republican stronghold, Alaska would be a Democrat-leaning state.

Second, Republicans in Alaska voted in 2010 for Joe Miller over Murkowski in the Republican primary, but she appealed to the non-aligned voters when she pulled of the most successful write-in campaign in U.S. history in the General Election, a feat that she accomplished in mere weeks.

She knows her base, and it only includes some of the Republicans. This has forced her to the Left to scoop up moderates and practical Democrats who want to avoid what they’d see as a worse choice.

Third, at least some Republicans in Alaska remember that Murkowski was one of the few who stood by the late Sen. Ted Stevens while he was being railroaded by the corrupt Department of Justice. Even Gov. Sarah Palin abandoned Stevens politically, as did many others in the public arena. Stevens had few friends who defended him. But Murkowski did, at her own peril. It was an act of courage and loyalty.

Some Alaskans will forgive her for a lot of her sins because she showed political courage during that witch-hunt.

Murkowski won’t have to face Alaska voters for two more years, but she has to start building back some of her support among less-forgiving Republicans if she wants to return to Washington, D.C. in 2023.

There’s a lot more work and influence ahead for her if she does return to serve, as she has since 2002, because she is now 20th in terms of seniority, and she may climb even a few steps after November’s election.

If the Senate flips blue, Alaska will be glad it has a senator who can work with the other side of the aisle.

Although her approval rating in Alaska is generally low — in the low 40s — Murkowski still has support here, and if she draws upon her constitutional training, she may be able to win back some of her harshest critics.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Or maybe McConnell had a little meeting with her about her committee assignments, seniority,etc. I’m hoping she’ll flip on abortion after she talks to ACB. Now that would be awesome!

  • WE will see what happens next week…!!..When she lost the Primary to Joe Miller she gave, what I thought was a Classy concession statement stopping short of supporting Joe buy a good concession statement..then disappeared for a couple weeks and came back under a different flag….

  • I doubt Ms. Murkowski has gained in political maturity. She said she’d wait to see who the president appoints before making up her mind. She’s a squishy politician, too often siding with democrats. The fact that she believed the democrat lies during the Kavanaugh hearing showed a lack of common sense and maturity. Whenever I see that picture of the bully, Feinstein, hovering over her, I wonder what democrats have on her. I haven’t voted for her since she screwed over Joe Miller and I never will.

  • Lisa ran as a Republican saying Obamacare needed to be repealed. She had no problem with this lie because she knew repealing it didn’t stand a chance. Not as long as Obama was in office and Hillary would be following right behind. But then she almost had a heart attack once Trump was elected. She could no longer hide behind her lies and when the moment came to make good on her promise to voters she reneged and voted NO on the repeal of Obamacare. When confronted with her hypocrisy she claimed she wasn’t concerned because she wasn’t planning on running again once her term was up. She’s already proved she’s a liar so I expect her to run again. She’ll never get my vote again. Fool me once, etc.

  • Sorry, Suzanne, but that’s nonsense. As always, Lisa has her nose to the wind to determine the direction it will blow her.
    .
    I’ll be surprised, albeitly pleasantly so, if she votes to confirm the president’s nominee.

    • 2nd. RBG’s last wish doesn’t matter and if she wasn’t such a selfish wench she’d have resigned her post during the previous administration such that she could’ve been replaced by someone that thought similarly.

      …but she didn’t and now she no longer has a say. Let the current administration fill the roles they’re responsible for.

      It’s the way it’s supposed to work.

  • The test of maturity and or courage for Lisa and every other American is yet to come. This vote of confirmation will seem like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The power hungry, America hating leftist will be using violence in the streets across America very soon. There will be a moment when we will have to choose and voting “present” won’t save us.

  • Sadly maturity is the wrong term here. I’m with Mindy, “squishy” is more appropriate.

    I submitted my thoughts to Murkowski’s office on her poorly thought out initial statements… glad she’s backed off.

    As a moderate, I see many reasons to appoint a conservative jurist while the window is open, and only one not to.

    For the good of the next generation, let the Supreme Court lean right for a while. Hard working Americans need this.

    Lisa, you’re not a conservative like your dad was. You’re a weathervane as Senator Cotton noted. We need leadership in DC we can count on day in and day out.

    I only hope Alaskans realize that when Lisa times out of her Chairmanship soon, there are other committees where she could do much more harm to our state… We need to start looking for a replacement that’s strong, measured and not afraid to fight for Alaska and our Constitution.

  • Oh my. Who’s the ill mannered cretin blocking her into a corner?

  • At least she’s finally considering doing the job she’s elected to do. We should demand more out of our elected representatives, they should know what their duty to their constituents is.

  • Senator Murkowski’s explanation of her position on the Kavanaugh nomination was the weakest, least substantive and most irrational thing I have ever heard. (OTOH, Senator Susan Collins’ was about the best.). There must be something in the water in DC that turns Alaskan senators into quivering amoebas. Most recent example is Senator Dan “Spineless” Sullivan. He is all for resource development — except when it might become a real possibility. Look for him to waffle on an increasing number of issues going forward. Senator Murkowski has shown him how it is done.

  • While Lisa shows positive signs, Dan taps into his inner Doctor Al the Kiddies Pal and comes out in opposition to Pebble. Great. Now we have 2 problem children. Cheers –

  • Murk voted against Ed Sec, DeVoss, An advocate for school choice, not forced Socialist public schools.
    Her 1 Vote kept us in DISASTROUS O Bummer care which included funding for unlimited abortions.
    She is a radical abortionist and always a threat against conservative values….Her vote against Cavenaugh was political Suicide. She will lose in the primary and split the vote as an Independant in the general and lose.

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