Murkowski Openly Questions Palin's Leadership and Intelligence

Alaskan Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski has never hidden her disdain for Sarah Palin. When Palin resigned in 2009, Murkowski chided her for abandoning Alaska and her constituents. Palin, too, has been a vocal opponent to Murkowski: She backed Murkowski's challenger in 2006 and 2010.

The tension between the two Alaskan politicians began in 2002, when Murkowski's father, Frank, became governor: He chose Lisa over Palin to fill his vacant senate seat. On Monday night, Murkowski continued the tradition of criticism when she insulted Palin's intelligence on CBS. "I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies," Murkowski told CBS anchor Katie Couric. "You know, she was my governor for two years, and I don't think that she enjoyed governing."

But others disagree.

Though Murkowski is doubtful of Palin's intellect, and has said she couldn't back her as the GOP candidate for president in 2012, others view Palin as an innovator. What she lacks in intellectual curiosity she makes up for in entrepreneurial spirit. The Oxford American Dictionary recently named the word "refudiate" - a Twitter gaffe that slipped past Palin's fingers earlier this summer - the word of the year. And her new reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska, drew 4.96 million viewers, the biggest series launch ever for TLC.

Read the full story at National Journal.

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Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

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