Technically, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski ran against previously unknown Tea Partisan Joe Miller this year.
In reality, Murkowski ran against former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Palin was Miller's mentor, top endorser, fundraiser and attack dog. Had it not been for Palin's backing, Miller would not have beaten Murkowski in the August Republican primary, let alone been the frontrunner for Alaska's US Senate seat through most of the fall.
But, now that the votes are pretty much counted, it looks like Murkowski has beaten Palin—and Miller—with an audacious write-in campaign that few thought possible.
That Palin's political operation could not beat a candidate whose name was not even on the November ballot offers ample of evidence of the low regard in which the woman who was too busy to finish her term as governor is held by Alaskans.
And Murkowski is mincing no words in her assessment of Palin.
The 2008 Republican nominee for vice president is boomed by many in the Lower 48 as a potential GOP presidential candidate. But Murkowski says Palin is not up to the job.
"I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies,” Murkowski told Katie Couric during an interview on CBS. “You know, she was my governor for two years, for just about two years there, and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing.”
Lacks the "intellectual curiosity."
That's a polite way of saying it.
And, no, Murkowski is not tuning in to Sarah Palin's Alaska, he former governor's reality TV show.
"I know what my Alaska looks like," says the senator who, against incredible odds, appears to have beaten the candidate of Palin's Alaska.