Murkowski also spoke a bit on McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has been something of a political foe to the Murkowski family ever since she defeated Lisa Murkowski’s father, Frank Murkowski, in his bid for re-election as governor of Alaska in 2006.
The senator said it’s tough to say how Palin has performed on Indian issues in Alaska, since almost every broad issue – energy, the environment, education, health – connects in some substantial way with Alaska Natives.
She said that Palin’s appointment of an energy czar and the implementation of a subcommittee on climate change are both gubernatorial developments that could be viewed as positive developments for large numbers of Alaska Natives.
“Keep in mind that Gov. Palin is married to a man who is part Native from out in the Bristol Bay area.”
The senator also said she would never hesitate to pick up the phone to talk Indian shop with Palin.
“I think she’s a little bit busy right now, so probably not right at the moment,” she said with a laugh.
“Were she to be part of this next administration as vice president to McCain, I think it would be very helpful for those who are trying to understand some of the challenges that face Alaska Natives."