Murkowski Shows Political Courage in Obama, Palin Statements

She’s not my U.S. Senator so maybe it’s easier for me to write this, but anyone who says this is going to have me listening to them:

“I will tell you, I am not one of those who wants Obama to fail,” Murkowski said. “If he does well, that means the country’s doing well. We don’t have time as a nation to spend all of what we do blocking. We have got to figure out how we get to a point where we can be sitting around the table and talking about these difficult problems and advancing some solutions.”

That we’re even calling speaking up this way as requiring courage should tell us something as well.

In the short clips at this CBS article about Murkowski’s interview with Katie Couric, Murkowski talks about needing to be there for all Alaskans – not just the ones that vote for her.  I’ve been talking until I’m blue in the face lately about my concern that many electeds no longer even give lip service to this concept, let alone act on it.  While there, you also can watch the portion of Katie Couric’s CBS interview in which Murkowski lauds Sarah Palin for her ability to connect with people but also critiques her for lacking “intellectual curiosity” and “leadership qualities.”

I completely agree with this:

“I want somebody that goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we’re going to deal with our national security issues, how we’re going to deal with our economy, how we’re going to deal with providing better education or peace in the Middle East.”

As with Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins or Nancy Pelosi for that matter, these electeds reflect their voters, don’t pander to the screed of the hour and instead somehow manage to communicate an emphasis on being a public servant with political skill, and not on being a politician.  Murkowski was criticized for her primary loss precisely because she wasn’t political enough.  And Snowe is being targeted specifically because she builds bridges – those after her literally seek to blow up the figurative bridge between ideological approaches to common interests.

We have way too many public servants who have forgotten that entering government – to govern – derives from job one: serving the public.  Politics as we’re experiencing it these days, is merely a by-product – not the end product.  And we should not allow the media or the incumbent leaders who remain mostly unchanged to make us think otherwise.

When writers at blogs like Hot Air are dumping on an incumbent Republican U.S. Senator who has literally scrapped her way back to win (and will be just one of five GOP female senators with NH’s Kelly Ayotte being the new and fifth in the 112th), you know they’re afraid we’re paying too much attention to their preference for inaction.

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4 thoughts on “Murkowski Shows Political Courage in Obama, Palin Statements

  1. She is coming across as more of a moderate these days and my hunch on all of that is this — she was being railroaded out of her committee positions by GOP leaders in the Senate as soon as MIller won the primary. She’s going to have a long memory about who wanted her out for political expediency’s sake.

    This should be the GOP’s “dating” lesson 101 — even if you dump your girlfriend be nice to her, she might end up being your sister-in-law.

  2. Alaska is an interesting state politically with a very mixed sort of ideology. I was following it very closely last year, and I found it interesting, for instance, that one of its houses of the legislature is steered by a coalition of moderate Democrats and sensible conservative Republicans; the minority opposition consists of a handful of ultra-right wackos. And Sarah Palin lost support of the Republican dominated legislature when she was gallivanting around the country trying to be a conservative sweetheart instead of attending to problems like food and fuel deficits in outlying villages. And while its conservatism has a libertarian streak, Alaska is the second biggest recipient of federal welfare, raking in 85% more than it sends in taxes. I imagine even conservative Alaskans would scream bloody murder if that money were cut. But Alaska isn’t just another Utah or Georgia. It’s definitely its own place and Murkowski may in fact be well suited to represent the state.

  3. I totally agree and even more so – these are the electeds that have real power to get things done – just as Snowe was that way before. It’s also up to us, as voters who prefer things getting done, to show support – that includes dissent and engagement, but in a way that leads to solutions, not just to more embattled times. my two cents

  4. Senator Murkowski represents a conservative state and she reflects her constituents’ positions on most key issues. But, she has appeared to be almost a moderate in this political climate. It will be interesting to see if she finds new ways to work across the aisle when she returns to Washington.

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