A day after internal emails leaked showing that Sarah Palin's political team, led by her husband Todd, was furious about Senate candidate Joe Miller's failure to endorse her hypothetical presidential ambitions, Miller was granted a chance to make amends.
But for the second time in a month, Miller offered something that will be interpreted as well short of enthusiasm for the prospect of a Palin run at the White House. Appearing on Fox News, the Tea Party backed candidate declined to answer a yes or no question as to whether Palin is qualified for the office of president. When he relented, it was with noticeable nuance.
"We know what qualified means don't we? We know we have a constitutional requirement for somebody that's going to run for president. Of course, she is qualified."
Arguing that Palin is constitutionally qualified to hold office is far different from championing her as the best person for the job. And Miller's failure to move closer to the latter (while sticking to the former) reflects a remarkable willingness to not budge from his original position.
Back in mid-September, the Senate candidate was asked, in another interview with Fox, whether Palin was "qualified to be president."
"That's not my role to comment on those candidates," Miller replied.
Todd Palin did not take the non-endorsement well. The first dude fired off an email the next morning to Miller and Palin advisers Tim Crawford and Thomas Van Flein.
"Hold off on any letter for Joe," Todd Palin wrote. "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."
On Wednesday, Miller scoffed at the idea that there was any friction between him and Palin -- whose early endorsement of his candidacy helped propel the upset victory over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
"I'll tell you the exact same thing that I just said this last week while was in D.C., that is, 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 one of those would make a far better presidential candidate than what we have right now in the Oval Office," Miller said. "But her decision to run is hers alone. It's not our decision as to whether or not she runs. It certainly is a sideline to what's going on right now in Alaska. And we aren't going to fall into the trap again that the media is trying to plan to create this as being some sort of a struggle between the Murkowskis and the Palins."