Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told her Fox News colleague Sean Hannity that she has considered running for the Senate against Democrat Mark Begich, but she apparently has not hashed out the idea with party leaders back home.
Alaska Public Radio reported that Peter Goldberg, the chairman of the state Republican party, has never talked to Mrs. Palin — not even once.
“I would think she would want to at least speak briefly to the new head of the Alaska Republican Party. But no, never met the lady. Never spoken to her. I have seen her once,” Mr. Goldberg told the station.
The last time that Mrs. Palin, who rose to political fame as GOP Sen. John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential race, truly made her presence felt in state politics was when she endorsed Joe Miller, a tea party-backed candiate, for Senate in 2010 in his race against incumbent Lisa Murkowski, who went on to win the race.
Mrs. Palin generated national buzz earlier this week when she told Mr. Hannity that she has considered running against Mr. Begich.
“I’ve considered it because people have requested me considering it,” she said.
Republicans view Mr. Begich as one of the more vulnerable Democrats in the 2014 election, where they hope to recapture the Senate by picking up a net of six seats.
In response, Mr. Begich poked fun at the idea earlier this week, suggesting via Twitter that it might not be a fair contest because Mrs. Palin quit her job as governor in 2009, months after coming out on the losing end of the presidential election.
“I’d be happy to compare my record of fighting for #Alaska w/ @SarahPalinUSA, but it doesn’t seem fair since she never finished the job,” Mr. Begich said.
Mrs. Palin fired back via Facebook, “Really, Mark? Really.”
“Margaret Thatcher used to say, ‘I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left,’ ” Mrs. Palin wrote on Facebook. “So, thank you, Mark Begich, for making me and others exceptionally cheery today! Mark, after looking at your voting record, I can see why you are looking for a distraction.”
She has since tried to draw attention to what she sees as blemishes on his voting record.
Mr. Begich, meanwhile, has questioned whether Mrs. Palin was still a resident of Alaska.
“She’s been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what’s going on. She should go to my webpage. Most Alaskans I see on a pretty regular basis, but I haven’t seen her for a long time,” he told Politco this week.
Back in Alaska, Ralph Seekins, the Republican National Committeeman, told Alaska Public Radio that the last time he saw Mrs. Palin was in February and that he does not know what her plans are.
Mr. Seekins told the station that he is not sure if she would run as a Republican.
“You know, we’ve heard that she’s also said, ‘Well, I might be interested in starting another party other than the Republicans.’ So, some people say, would she run as a Republican or something else? There’s a lot of just speculation, confusion and questioning right now,” he said.