Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she's been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters and overwhelmed by people just coming up to her, asking her not to leave the race. She said she had been ready to consider her future outside the Senate on Aug. 31, when she conceded, but has been humbled by the outpouring from Alaskans, is listening and weighing her options.
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.
She met briefly Tuesday with the Libertarian candidate David Haase after friends of hers - without her direction, she said - approached his party, asking if the Libertarians would consider a Murkowski candidacy. She said she was prepared to meet with those friends Tuesday but was told that Haase and party Chairman Scott Kohlhaas also were invited. She said she was not "prepared nor interested" in talking with the Libertarian board, which she said Kohlhaas represents. However, she indicated she'd be willing to listen to what Haase had to say "but that's the extent of my interest at this point in time. So I did."Now things get really, really interesting. If there's one state that runs on federal largesse, it's Alaska. Joe Miller's ideas of getting rid of that little empire is not sitting very well with Alaskan politicians. Even worse for the Alaska GOP is the notion of Joe Miller going down in defeat and Alaska having two relatively junior Democratic senators in a year where the Republicans apparently have a shot at controlling the Senate, putting the Great White North at the ass end of the earmark gravy train line. That's the nightmare scenario for them, especially in this economy. Palin's home state going blue? Not a lot of folks in the GOP are going to be very forgiving.
So Lisa Murkowski's looking to pull a Charlie Crist, and she may even have tacit help from the NRSC. If this plays out like I think it will, it's not Florida that will be the battle for the heart and soul of the GOP, but Alaska.
And actually, if it plays out like I think it will, Alaska may get that second Democratic senator after all.