Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller's concession statement last night may look like an end to a nearly two-month-long Alaskan battle. But Miller isn't finished. He plans to carry on with a federal lawsuit contesting opponent Lisa Murkowski's victory, arguing that misspelled write-ins of the candidate's name should not be counted. In other words, he is conceding but not conceding, allowing "Alaska to have its full delegation seated when the 112th Congress convenes next month."
Many people are questioning Miller's motivation behind continuing the lawsuit and suggest that the once-Tea Party favorite should perhaps just let this one rest.
- What's The Point? As a part of his lawsuit, but apparently not considered contesting the election, Miller seeks a full recount. But does he even have a chance of winning at this point? "Unofficial tallies show Murkowski with a lead of over 10,000 votes. Even if the 8,000 challenged ballots were thrown out, her victory would stand," notes Tom Kavanagh at Politics Daily.
- This Is Not The Last of Joe Miller Miller was a Tea Party favorite, and Real Clear Politics' writer Scott Conroy points out that "the Murkowski campaign and other Alaska political figures have questioned the wisdom behind Miller's decision to keep fighting in court, suggesting that he is waging a quixotic battle which could undermine the reputation of the tea party-backed Fairbanks attorney who pulled off what was perhaps the biggest primary upset of the 2010 campaign." Still, " despite several public relations setbacks in the general election, Miller's strong primary campaign has helped propel him to the top of a short list of Alaska Republicans who could mount a credible challenge to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in 2014."
- Typical Miller Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway thinks Miller's pursuit of a recount makes him a "sore loser," but is not surprised by Miller's behavior. "Of course, once Murkowski is sworn in next week, Miller's lawsuit becomes moot so there's really no logical position for him to take this position," he writes. "Then again, this wackiness is consistent with the way Miller has acted since October so it really shouldn't be surprising."
- Not a Convincing Argument Miller's main point of contention with Murkowski's win is that some voters misspelled the Democrat's name or had sloppy handwriting. He has also suggested that felons were allowed to cast ballots, effecting the vote. The Detroit News' Mako Yamakura is skeptical of Miller's argument and wonders if he isn't blaming the wrong people. "I wouldn't argue with Miller's crossing of t's and dotting of i's as much if he presented some realistic argument, but felons? And blaming old people and native Alaskans for handwriting?" he writes.
- Seek Advice Elsewhere In explaining his decision to continue his lawsuit, Miller noted that he sought counsel of people he respects and trusts. Ernie Smith at Shortformblog wonders what kind of trusted advisers would give Miller such bad advice. "Dude. You need new friends," he quips. "At this rate, you won't get elected for dog catcher."