Will Gov-elect Bill Walker (“I”-Alaska) flunk his first test?

Or did Alaskans elect a stealth Democrat after all?  We may be about to find out:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s ascent to the top of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee is likely to reignite the decades-old debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Alaskans have been fighting for the right to drill in wilderness on their state’s northern shore since 1977, when the government first punted on the question of whether to allow oil exploration.

It’s seemingly a no-brainer, of course: even outgoing Democratic Senator Mark Begich ‘supported’ ANWR.  Of course, that’s in scare quotes because there never was going to be even a chance that a bill opening up ANWR would come up for a Presidential veto in any Senate that Harry Reid controlled.  Alas (not really) that is no longer an issue: so Barack Obama will likely have to try to justify vetoing cheaper energy costs.  As Barack Obama is remarkably horrible at justifying anything – say what you like about George W Bush, but you rarely had to spend five minutes trying to decipher a simple morning greeting from him – Democrats are naturally looking for a suitable substitute that can dispense the requisite cloud of rhetorical ink.  A sitting governor of Alaska would be helpful, there.

So lets see how Bill Walker handles this.  I will not be shocked in the slightest if the Democrats end up turning him, either.  Because this is a two-party system, and both sides have a low tolerance for people trying to play both sides of the game.

Moe Lane

3 thoughts on “Will Gov-elect Bill Walker (“I”-Alaska) flunk his first test?”

  1. The reason he got elected was because he hitched his wagon to Mallot (Dem Lt. Governor), which allowed the Dem money and support to come in. Mallot got the Native Alaskan vote, between that and the $$ he managed to pull it off. But as I’ve been telling people for over a month – what the heck will he do now? If he decides to play nice with the majority Republican Legislature he will be making his Democrat backers and voters unhappy – an you KNOW they expect payback for their efforts. If he swings to the Democrat side not only will he have a minority party to work with, but the Republicans who voted for him (because they either believed the “Independant” line, or they didn’t like Parnell, or they followed Palin’s lead) will quickly become unhappy. Either way I see a one-term governor. He can try to straddle the line and keep both sides happy…. good luck with that. When it looked like Walker was going to win I went and bought a bunch of popcorn, because I have a feeling I’m going to be enjoying the show for the next few years.

    1. Why did Parnell lose? Two years ago he was the only person who easily beat Begich in the polls, he was the most popular politician in Alaska. Now he’s out of office? Surely Palin’s rather late endorsement wasn’t all that was to that?

  2. I haven’t seen a detailed analysis yet, but here are my guesses: 1. Some of the electorate wanting someone different. The endorsement by Palin helped here. 2. The Alaska Native vote. Mr. Mallot (soon to be Lt. Gov.) is Native and the Native Organizations then largely endorsed him and campaigned for him. Murkowski heavily courted and won the Native vote in her campaign, in this case the Native groups largely turned to support Mallot even though Parnell had a rather impressive list of accomplishments in helping Native peoples and organizations. Much like Unions the Native and Tribal groups can organize and push voting patterns within their regions. Parnell tried to fight this but he wasn’t able to overcome the Native groups wanting to vote for one of their own. The Native vote cannot be discounted in Alaska. 3. The Alaska National Guard scandal (or non-scandal). The Anchorage Daily News really pushed on this and managed to get a court order to reveal Gov. Parnell’s internal communications on this issue, which stirred up a mess. The timing on it was perfect to derail the Parnell campaign the week before the election and get a lot of press about the “scandal”. 4. Democrat money in support of the Walker campaign. Again – this is all my personal guess. I don’t have any hard facts or reports to back it up.

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