As of this hour, nearly 5,000 people have “liked” a short Politico story about a political development that probably won’t happen. Sarah Palin was asked by Sean Hannity whether she’d run for Senate in 2014. Doing so would mean challenging Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell in a Republican primary, and possibly also challenging Joe Miller, whom she endorsed in the messy 2010 race against Sen. Lisa Murkowski. If she won the primary, she’d face Sen. Mark Begich, the first Democrat to be sent to Washington from Alaska since 1974. (That was the last year Mike Gravel won.)
Democrats are openly goading her to run.
If @SarahPalinUSA runs for senate, id take the over on who she raises more money for, Dems or Repubs. — Jim Messina (@Messina2012) July 10, 2013
On Palin: If I could lay down a red carpet from her new home in AZ all the way to Wasilla, I would do it to welcome her into the race #aksen — Matt Canter (@mattcanter) July 10, 2013
Those are mere Democratic campaign flacks. Begich, in an interview with Politico, openly egged Palin on, mocking her residence status.
“A Republican primary in Alaska? She may not survive,” he said, one of a bundle of choice remarks for the former vice presidential candidate. … “I take every candidate seriously — that is, if she’s still a resident, but you know she quit on Alaska when she was governor,” Begich said. “She’s been somewhat vacant from the state and quit on the state, so I wish her the best on her potential run.”
Why would he do this? Because at this point, Palin’s no real threat to him. She probably helps—she makes liberal donors Outside* forget that Begich has collaborated with Republicans on gun rights and energy. In a February poll, Begich led Palin by 16 points, while he only led Treadwell by 8. That’s not surprising, because Palin’s numbers have been subterranean in the state since July 2009, when she quit the governor’s office. Liberals like to hate Palin, but they like it more than moderates like to tolerate her.
*This is how Alaskans refer to the rest of the country, trust me.