To learn that Joe Miller or Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell struggled for words a day after a tough primary election loss would surprise no one.
But a day after Dan Sullivan became the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, the former attorney general of Alaska is still at a loss for words.
While a vocal victory lap may be expected – complete with local media interviews, appearances on national television networks and private talks with big donors – Sullivan's words have been few due to a severe case of laryngitis.
With the gravelly, raspy tone of his voice – something like Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight,” though subtler and gentler – Sullivan declined to speak with a gamut of media outlets that put in requests on early Wednesday and throughout the day after the election.
But Sullivan did manage a few words for some of his closest supporters. The Anchorage Republican Women's Club and the Midnight Sun Republican Women's Club convened Wednesday evening at the campaign's Midtown office, an event attended by Channel 2's Austin Baird and Caslon Hatch.
“I won the primary, but I lost my voice,” Sullivan told the small crowd. A supporter joked that he needs to go home and have cups of lemon, honey and vinegar.
The advice might not be all bad, but he said he has attended to some pressing business since the victory was sealed.
Sullivan said “unity” is the most important theme moving away from the primary election campaign and into a battle with Democrats, and he used up most of his words talking with former party opponents to make sure that happens.
Sullivan spoke at length with Joe Miller, a conversation that confirmed Miller will support the Republican ticket, as he said he would during the final televised debate on KTUU-TV.
Treadwell told Channel 2 at election headquarters that he will also support Sullivan.
"We must defeat Mark Begich," Treadwell said.
A campaign spokesperson said the candidate will be available to media as soon as his voice recovers, and Sullivan told supporters he hopes that will be soon.
"In the spirit of trying to save this voice, so I can actually go on camera and do some real interviews at some point, I just want to thank everybody for being here," he told his backers.
Begich said he is ready for the race.
"I look forward to the robust debate, but I feel very confident of the issues I'm talking about and what I'm hearing from Alaskans," Begich said. "But i don't underestimate anyone who runs against me."
Channel 2's Caslon Hatch contributed to this story.