Rumors have it that former senatorial candidate Joe Miller recently approached some high level political operatives about making another run for U.S. Senate, this time against Mark Begich, whose seat is up next year. The rumored operatives–Carl Forti and Michael Dubke– are founding members of the consulting firm, the Black Rock Group, so named after neither race nor rock, but a town in New York that could or should have been the state’s economic hub, or something. In any case, the group is housed in Alexandria, Va. and has big clients and deal in big money.
If Miller runs, he’ll likely face Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell in the Republican primary, and a host of others, including former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman—who told me recently that he’s “seriously considering” it, which means that he’s in. And then there’s Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. He’s been mum about his intentions, but word is that groups have been gathering with the intent of recruiting him.
Some have speculated that even Sarah Palin might throw her shoe into the race. That seems unlikely—considering that she’s now serious about entering the pantheon of the literary–but she’s been known to surprise.
And the list will likely get longer. When asked once who he thought was going to run against him, Begich said, “Who isn’t?”
Current Republican governor Sean Parnell’s name has been bandied about as a possible candidate, and a recent poll shows him as the Republican primary front-runner. But Parnell hasn’t shown any interest, perhaps knowing how brutal the race will be and how little stomach he has for such things.
Indeed, a Democrat in this Republican dominated state, Begich relishes a fight. His approval ratings are high, and members of the national party will be here in droves to help him out.
It’s hard to say how much cred Miller still has in Alaska since his dramatic implosion after winning the Republican primary against current U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. He does have a small, ardent, and sometimes oddly dressed following of people loosely affiliated with the Tea Party. And recently, that group got together with the small, ardent oddly dressed Ron Paul supporters to make dramatic hay at GOP meetings.
Miller, a West Point and a Yale law grad can be a good candidate. Until he isn’t. He can be articulate, and had he kept his good candidate face on and won the race, he’d likely be a leader in the nascent national Tea Party movement.
Perhaps during the break he’s gotten things together and can now fully explain why his family has benefited from some of those entitlement programs he so loathes. And perhaps he’ll be smart enough this time to keep his paranoia in check and resist hiring a security firm to protect him during those rough and rowdy party meetings where donuts are strewn after pots of coffee are slugged.
According to the latest FEC filings, Miller still has more than $425,000 in his political action committee account.
Contact Amanda Coyne at Amandamcoyne@yahoo.com