Washington, Dec 3 : Alaska's Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski seems to be gearing up for a possible primary challenge from Sarah Palin in 2010, and advised the Republican Governor of the state to keep her hands off her Senate seat.
In an interview with Politico.com, Murkowski said Palin should think twice before trying to take her Senate seat two years from now.
"I can guarantee it would be a very tough election. If she wants to be president, I don't think the way to the presidency is a short stop in the United States Senate," Politico quoted her, as saying.
According to pollsters, a Palin-versus-Murkowski contest would be tough and close.
Murkowski, up for re-election in 2010, is nervously awaiting word on whether John McCain's former running mate will run against her in the GOP primary. But she says Palin is the one who should be nervous.
Palin is also up for re-election in 2010. She could run for a second term as Governor, but the Senate holds some obvious attractions: A national platform, and with it the chance to beef up a thin rsum and rebuild damaged credibility on foreign policy and other issues.
But Murkowski says a run against her would be fraught with risk. If Palin lost, her stock would drop just ahead of a potential 2012 presidential run.
And if she won, she'd be a backbencher in a chamber that is dominated by seniority - and would have to begin her presidential campaign as soon as she took office, Politico said.
"If she wants to be president, I don't think the way to the presidency is a short stop in the United States Senate," Murkowski said.