Can a centrist movement succeed?

The answer may be partially evident in the write-in election victory of Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The first successful write-in candidate in a U.S. Senate race since Strom Thurmond was elected in 1954, Murkowski won the third way. Defeated in the Republican primary by Sarah Palin’s pick, Joe Miller, Murkowski refused to fade into history’s index of has-beens.

She kept her seat by promoting ideas and solutions and by rebuking partisanship.

Alaskans are by nature independent and reliably rogue, as the nation has witnessed. Thus it may be too convenient to draw conclusions about a broader movement, but centrism has a place at the table by virtue of the sheer numbers of middle Americans, the depth of their disgust and the magnitude of our problems.

All that’s missing from a centrist movement that could be formidable is a leader.