Huffpost Politics

Why Palin In 2012 Needs Sen. Stevens to Win

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The Wall Street Journal reports:

As bizarre as it may seem, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's presidential ambitions for 2012 hang to a considerable degree on her state's U.S. Senate race, a contest that could be decided this week

With about 24,000 votes still to be counted, it's less than even money that she will get the break she needs-Sen. Ted Stevens will win re-election over Democrat Mark Begich so that she can slide into the Senate seat.

Sen. Stevens, "Uncle Ted," as he is known around Alaska for his four decades in office and the federal dollars he brought home, was found guilty of felony corruption charges by a federal jury last month. If he wins another term, his Senate colleagues will almost certainly throw him out of the chamber next year, if he doesn't first resign on his own.

Gov. Palin could then appoint a successor, or there could be a special election. If Gov. Palin wants to run for president in 2012, common sense says she will appoint herself or run for the post, which would require her to stand for re-election in that job in 2010. Last week, she left open that possibility.

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Becoming a U.S. senator would be a boost for her presidential ambitions for three important reasons:

- Senate service will give her an opportunity to deal with the criticism that she lacks sufficient expertise in national matters to sit in the Oval Office. Polls show that to be the view of a significant segment of the electorate.

- It would put her in Washington, D.C., where she could take part in the political rituals historically practiced by presidential candidates, and allow her to improve her image with the mainstream news media, parts of which savaged her during her vice presidential run. It would also give her more exposure to those who bankroll Republican presidential campaigns.

- Relocation to D.C. would avoid the serious logistical problem of trying to run for president from Alaska, several thousand miles away from the voters that matter most in a primary fight while having to tend to her duties running a state.

Read more about Ted Stevens on his HuffPost Big News Page.