Monday, October 27, 2008

With Stevens now a convicted felon, what will reformer Palin do if he won't step aside?

So Ted Stevens, the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate, is now a convicted felon. The Republicans are being ground down by an amazing string of bad luck. Stevens can appeal and keep his case going for several years, during which he could probably continue to serve in the Senate, assuming he wins on Nov. 4. While the Democrats are hungry for as big a Senate majority as they can get, they might prefer to see Stevens choosing to hold on by his finger nails -- a desperate act that could turn off undecided voters everywhere, not just in Alaska, and move them toward Obama and Democratic congressional candidates on Nov. 4.

Sarah Palin is in yet another predicament in her short national political life. If Stevens decides to keep running for office despite his conviction, will she -- the acclaimed reformer who took on her own party in Alaska -- oppose that decision? If she says no to Stevens, she's got a good chance of turning his scandal into a net plus for her party --and for her and her running mate John McCain's chances in the White House race.


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