Sarah Palin’s surprise resignation last week offered a little something for everyone: from supporters eager to once again tar the Alaska governor’s critics as sexist classists to detractors happy to once again parse her syntax and admire her coiffure. Now, the JTA reports, there’s even a Jewish angle. Ethan Berkowitz, a Democrat with a long history in state politics, is “seriously considering a run” for the top slot next year.
Does he have a shot? In considering his prospects, it’s perhaps instructive to look to other Jews who’ve tried their luck in The Land of the Midnight Sun. Take, for instance, Joel Fleischman, the city-slick New York doctor played by Rob Morrow on the ’90s drama Northern Exposure who perennially found himself at odds with the mystically-minded denizens of the fictional Alaska town of Cicely.
A San Francisco native, Berkowitz is also a transplant at odds with the ways of his adopted home. He’s a fighter for renewable energy in a state awash in oil money. Last year, he challenged 17-term incumbent Don Young (often referred to as one of the most corrupt men in Congress) and lost.
When Northern Exposure reached the end of its six-year run, a chastened Joel returns home with his tail between his legs. Here’s to hoping that Ethan Berkowitz enjoys a happier fate.