Reminder: Senator Begich’s Family Lives in Washington, D.C.

by Jim Geraghty

Apparently the defenders of embattled Alaska senator Mark Begich want the preeminent issue in this year’s Senate race to be about who lives where. In an attack ad against GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, Put Alaska First sneers that Sullivan was “born and raised in Ohio, and the recent owner of a home in [a] swanky D.C. suburb.”

Indeed, Sullivan was a “recent owner” in the sense that he owned the home from 2006 to 2010. Of course, for a portion of that time, Sullivan, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine reserves, was called back to active duty — from 2004 to 2006, and again in early 2009. From May 2006 to January 2009, Sullivan’s day job was United States Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs — and he was still voting absentee in Alaska. Before then, he was on the National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice. Then Governor Sarah Palin appointed Sullivan to be the state attorney general; he served in that position for a year before Governor Sean Parnell appointed him Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner.

His most recent active duty was a six-week tour in Afghanistan in the summer of 2013, in the 4th Marine Division’s Anti-Terrorism Battalion; he is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Rice is endorsing him in a new ad:

Does Senator Mark Begich really want to get into the “who owns which property in which swanky D.C. suburb” game? Because he sends his children to private school in the D.C. area:

Begich said he’s a strong supporter of public education, and that his son attended public school in Anchorage. The family moved to D.C. before school reform efforts had improved Begich’s neighborhood school, and the family chose a private school. Begich added that he’s paying for it himself.

(Begich’s son was born in 2002, and Begich was elected in 2008, and started his term as a U.S. senator in 2009. So his son’s attendance at the Anchorage public school was . . . brief — from 2007 or so to early 2009.)

Do Begich and his allies really want to make this race about who lives where? Because his decision to send his son to a private school in D.C. puts that soft-focus biography ad, depicting the incumbent senator shoveling snow with his son, in a new light. Were they shoveling snow in Alaska or in D.C.?

If it’s okay for Begich to have his family with him while he serves in government in Washington, D.C., why is it not okay for Sullivan to do this?

Begich’s allies really want to make this race about that Bethesda home . . . because apparently real Alaskans live on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.