Miller’s Fine Line

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One of Sarah Palin’s grizzlies is coming back to bite her. Joe Miller, Palin’s chosen candidate in the Alaska Senate race, was asked on Sept. 19 on Fox News if Palin is qualified to be president. His response? “That’s not my role to comment on those candidates.” His non-endorsement earned him an angry e-mail from Palin’s husband, Todd, leaked yesterday to an Alaskan blog. Here’s the email cc’d to Tim Crawford, the head of Palin’s PAC, and close friend and sometimes attorney Tom Van Flein:

Hold off on any letter for Joe, Sarah put her ass on the line for Joe and yet he can’t answer a simple question ‘ is Sarah Palin Qualified to be President’. I DON’T KNOW IF SHE IS.

Joe, please explain how this endorsement stuff works, is it to be completely one sided.

Sarah spent all morning working on a Face Book post for Joe, she won’t use it, not now.

Put yourself in her shoe’s Joe for one day.

Miller’s response was also leaked in the email:

Just found this in my inbox. This is what we are dealing with. Note the date and complete misconstruction of what I said.

Holy cow.

Miller today, again on Fox News, was asked if she’s qualified to be president:

MEGYN KELLY: Let me just put it out there then: are you willing to say now whether you think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President?

JOE MILLER: You know, I’ll tell you the exact same thing that I just said this last week while I was in D.C., and that is — she, if she puts her name in the hat and that’s totally up to her, there are a number of others that are there, as well, any of which would be a far better Presidential candidate than what we’ve got right now in the Oval Office — but her decision to run is hers and hers alone.

It’s not our decision as to whether or not she runs. It certainly is a sideline to what’s going on in Alaska, and we aren’t going to fall into the trap again that the media’s trying to plant and create this as being some sort of a struggle between the Murkowskis and Palins, because that’s not what this race…

KELLY: [interrupting]…. I hear you, I hear you. I’m not trying to lay any trap. I’m just wondering, you know, she endorsed you, and Todd Palin was clearly upset that you wouldn’t say whether she was qualified, and I wanted to give you the chance to, you know, say “yes” or “no”, and it sounds like you’re not really going to say “yes” or “no.”

MILLER: No, let me make this unequivocal. She’s done phenomenal things for this country, there’s no question about that. She’s elevated the debate critical to our race, and let me tell you also: we know what qualified means, don’t we?

We know that we have a constitutional requirement for somebody that’s gonna run for President. Of course, she’s qualified.

And, you know, with the press trying to continue to create this as some sort of a debate or as some sort of fight between the Murkowskis and Palins, I think it really does a disservice to Alaskans.

So, Palin was born in the U.S. and is old enough — not exactly a ringing endorsement. Miller needs to tread lightly here. Since he hasn’t exactly been reaching out to moderate and independent voters, he’s betting that turning out the same base he got in the primary will win him the general election in November. And it’s thanks to the Palins, who drummed up big turn out in the Matsu Valley, where Wasilla is located, that Miller won the primary. A public fight with them risks depressing that turn out. Do grizzly bears eat their own cubs?