Diary

"It's not about me, so I'll stay in the news." - Lisa Murkowski

That’s about how it seems to be working out. You may have thought that things were settled in Alaska as of Labor Day, after she conceded the primary to Miller and after the Libertarian Party leaders met and decided they were happy with Haase. Well, not so fast….

Tue Sept 7: She says that she was ready to go, but too many people are telling her to stay.

She said that if this was “all about Lisa, certainly the easy thing for me to do would be to figure out what my next opportunity would be with my family and just settle in to a nice job.”

“But what I’m looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I’m going to give up. I’m not a quitter, never have been. And I’m still in this game,” Murkowski said.

Not being a quitter and not wanting to disappoint her fans or ruin her kids’ future, what happens Tuesday but a meeting with Haase, though she had nothing to do with setting it up and was caught completely by surprise. Right. But the Libertarian Party leadership is still not interested it seems.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski met with Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate David Haase on Tuesday to talk about taking his place and running on the Libertarian ticket. But Alaska Libertarian Party Chairman Scott Kolhaas said after the meeting that “I don’t think it’s happening.”

Murkowski met with Haase in Anchorage on Tuesday in a meeting arranged by Murkowski supporters. The Murkowski campaign said she didn’t know before showing up that Haase would be there.

Wed Sept 8: Still in “I’m not a quitter/it’s for my fans/it’s not about me” mode, and not seeming to have much luck with those obstinate Libertarians, she seems to think it’s no good having a war chest if you don’t have a campaign to spend it on.

But despite the primary loss and the isolation from fellow Republicans, the two-term senator is not deterred, and is expected to make an announcement in days about whether she will run, sources say.

Murkowski has $1.4 million in the bank to be able to spend on an independent bid, and she would be the only seasoned politician in the race. A write-in candidacy would still be an extreme long shot, but given her comments to the press that she is “not a quitter,” speculation is growing that she’s planning to run.

Her campaign is looking ahead as to how many ways her name could appear as a write-in and still be counted as a vote for Lisa.

“They are looking at how that would work if there are different iterations of her name, whether it’s Senator Murkowski or Lisa or Lisa M.,” said Steve Wackowski, a spokesman for her campaign, listing a few possibilities.

Gail Fenumiai, the state elections director, offered a bit of clarity.

“If I can determine voter intent, then the ballot would be counted accordingly,” Ms. Fenumiai wrote in an e-mail. She declined to say specifically what versions of the senator’s name would be accepted.

Ms. Murkowski’s campaign signs often emphasize “Lisa” rather than “Murkowski,” though it is not clear whether that is for the sake of simplicity or because many voters grew to dislike her father, Frank H. Murkowski, who served as a senator for 22 years before he became governor in 2002. He appointed his daughter to his Senate seat the same year.

Sounds kind of like Rory “don’t call me Reid” Reid in Nevada.

And maybe Charlie “thanks for the cash NRSC” Crist in Florida.