The latest rumour is Uncle Ted said, more or less quoting, "I support Lisa Murkowski, but I am not going to campaign against my friend Tony Knowles."
Lets dissect this comment and apply a few calculus functions t it, shall we?
In the first place, if Senator Stevens DID say such a thing, it has the enormous effect of writing off Senator Murkowski's chances of election next November. Now, we all know there was no love lost betwixt and between the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Senator Murkowski the First. The day Frank the former banker took to the Senate Floor and badmouthed his Senior Senator, more than a few of us knew it was all over.
I cannot hlep but think Senator Stevens was appalled at the brazenness of the Governor's appointment of his own daughter to the United States Senate not to mention the length of time it took for Alaska's one-term Governor to make his decision, a delay that cost our State precious seniority in the most powerful legislative body on Earth.
Now for Seantor Stevens to refer to Alaska's most vicious former Governor as his close personal friend is just astounding. Senators only call each other "friend." Now what does THAT telegraph, eh?
Ok, Senator Stevens needs a protege', someone he can teach the ropes and tell all the secrets to. Lisa Murkowski ain't it, believe me. If you thnk Senator Stevens is gonna tell HER what to whisper to a colleague on the Senate Floor, arm on shoulder, during a vote, you've got another thing coming.
Much as I HATE to say it, Tony Knowles is probaly Senator Srevens' first choice to be that protege.
Lookit- the Senator is nothing if not a pragmatist. He's Old School. Hell, he's the President Pro Tempore, third in succession to the Presidency, at least until the Democrats regain the Senate.
Now, with that in mind, why on earth would Senator Stevens be giving a de facto endorsement to Tony?
Good question. Maybe he considers it Alasak's insurance policy. Knowles will run on ANWR. He will say over and over again that he and only he can get Democratic Senators vote to let a little geophysical work happen in the 1002 Area.
And the fact of the matter is that the fat hog we think we are cutting with Uncle Ted won;t last forever- the ONLY thing that is gonna save our collective asses is pumping some serious grease out of the ground, and Tony is the only Alaskan politician with the stones to tell the Athabascans to pack sand. And Uncle Ted knows it.
I guess the best argument for electing Tony Knowles is that he is already about as corrupt as they come, so he'll have a short learning curve in Washington.