AK-Gov, AK-Sen, Pres: Shenanigans.

Dang, that word is funny.

So, as we all know already, we’ve got Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell on one side of the Alaska Republican Party, and Representative Don Young and former Senator Ted Stevens on the other side, and they clearly dislike each other.

What with the AK Republicans (officially), headed by Palin, pumping out hot air calling for Begich to resign, it seems that (according to info from here and Politics1.com) that Young might even be taking Begich’s side in this dispute.  Not to mention that Begich (easily) called Palin’s bluff on the resignation request.

And of course, the best part of this is that Young now wants Stevens to primary Palin.  Battle of the century, eh?

Is this fun? [y/n]

More discussion/questions below the fold.

Also, has Palin “overmisestimated” her own political capital?  How much pull do Young and Stevens still have?  Does Lisa Murkowski’s now-pretty-good favorables actually show that voters are done with the whole “anti-Frank-Murkowski/Don-Young/Ted-Stevens” mood?

And what if Stevens actually were to primary Palin?  Who might win the primary, and how bloody would it be, and who do we have waiting in our wings?  What’s the likelihood that Stevens would actually do this?  (Somehow I think he won’t.)

And if he doesn’t, would the Stevens wing of the R party have anyone else to run?  I hear that the Alaska legislature doesn’t seem to like Palin that much these days…

And is Parnell up for more shenanigans next year?

And is shenanigans a funny word?

UT-Gov: Huntsman Primaries the Party Faithful

As mentioned on today’s issue of Politics1.com: http://www.politico.com/news/s…

Huntsman says, against conventional wisdom (at least for the Republican base), that their party can’t be a party of “no”, among other things.

Sorry, I couldn’t think of a funnier title for this diary.  If you can, please do suggest it.

Also, a question: Is Utah so Republican that there are Republicans who are more liberal than Democrats there (as I’ve heard there are Democrats in Massachusetts who are more conservative than Republicans)?

NE-Sen: Attempting To Sort Through The Mess

Your guess is as good as mine at this point. Despite all of the signs showing Chuck Hagel likely pursuing a reelection bid, the news in the past week has been bizarre and contradictory. A prominent Republican donor has thrown himself into the conversation, Hagel’s making noises about an independent bid for President, and the chatter among Democrats is ramping up.

So, let’s take a look at the facts, the rumors, and everything in between.

What We Know:

– Chuck Hagel has scheduled a big-dollar fundraiser for May 18 to raise money for a Senate re-election campaign. Among those scheduled to appear at the fundraiser: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

– Chuck Hagel had a high-profile meeting with NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday.

– Bloomberg’s news service interviewed Hagel, who said he might consider running for President as an independent.

– Bruning is pushing back hard against Hagel in the press. It’s becoming clear that, should Hagel decide to run for reelection, he’s going to have powerful forces behind them. It might be too much for Bruning to overcome.

– Hagel is in deep trouble with Republicans, according to a favorability poll conducted by the Nebraska Democratic Party. That same poll shows Bruning with very low name recognition for a statewide officeholder, and a majority of Nebraskans favoring a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

What We’re Hearing:

– An influential Republican donor, Tony Raimondo, has started to make some noise about running for Senate. He says he would “probably not” challenge Hagel because of Hagel’s record on business. Not exactly a vote of confidence, but we’re pretty sure that Bruning’s the only one willing to risk political suicide by challenging Hagel in a primary.

– Remember how I said Bob Kerrey wasn’t going to run? I may have spoken too soon. No links, just rumors I’m hearing.

This race is growing increasingly bizarre, and Chuck Hagel is playing his cards very close to the vest right now. There’s no telling what direction he’s leaning, and his indecisiveness might just cost him the Republican nomination for Senate.

On the Democratic side, things are still difficult to read. Mike Fahey has long been considered the top candidate for the Democrats, but recently has started to make a move toward a reelection bid for mayor. Scott Kleeb is talking a lot about running for office again someday, but it’s not quite clear what office, or when. And Bob Kerrey said there was only a 1% chance that he would run. But, for what it’s worth, Kerrey still has an active campaign committee with $437,000 cash on hand.

The last several weeks in this race have been a gold mine for political junkies like myself. But, make no mistake, this is the most important race in Nebraska in 2008. Whether Hagel runs or not, there’s a strong possibility that the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate will be Jon Bruning. That’s simply a scary thought. There is no greater opportunity for Nebraska Democrats than this race. And if we fail to field a strong candidate, we fail as a party.