Went to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon today where they had McAdams and Miller, the nominees for US Senate. It was a question and answer format, not a debate, and the questions were pretty good. Each candidate got a five minute opening statement then each got questions directed at him from the moderator. Then each got to ask the other questions and the other could provide a quick rebuttal. Worked pretty well.
Short answer: McAdams spent the whole time trying to say he isn’t one of THOSE Democrats, Miller spent the whole time trying to say he isn’t Sarah Palin. Miller is far, far more glib and facile. He has a lawyer’s abilty to use words. He also has a lawyer’s ability to not answer a question and try to make you think he did. McAdams never expected to be doing anything other than making arguments to Lisa Murkowski about things he thought would be good for Southeast Alaska, so he was pretty much out of his league.
So, do I trust Miller? No, not really. I think he’s a lot like Palin; he knows what to say to punch the right electoral button. Is he a good candidate? Yes, within the limits of his opposition. I might have fun with the parry and thrust of questioning with him, but McAdams would be bleeding out pretty quickly.
Miller has the simplistic and ideological answer that everybody who has never had their name on the door likes. The World and the US Senate aren’t that way. He’ll either learn the “nuanced” answer, or somebody will teach it to him at re-election time. And, yeah, I know all you purists hate me and office holders over that nuanced answer, but when you’re the one that actually has to do it, nuances become important.
Anyway, I think it is over tomorrow. There are still lots of people who really can’t accept a Palin/Miller nomnee, but they can’t accept a Democrat either. The odds of winning a write-in are abysmally small, so MUrkowski most likely will wish Mr. Miller well tomorrow. But one day, I suspect Lisa Murkowski and Sarah Palin are going to have a very serious disagreement.