Well, the varnish on VP candidate Sarah Palin didn’t last very long. In one of her first public remarks as a candidate she told supporters that she blocked the building of the infamous “bridge to nowhere” that reeked of pork barrel spending and helped expose the largess of such projects to the country.
This sort of commentary was designed to present Palin as an outsider to Washington politics and an opponent of these types of projects and spending. If only it were so.
In 2006 while running for Governor of Alaska she stated, “We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge, and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.“
Turns out she also hired a Washington lobbying firm to secure $8 million federal earmarks for Alaska. That certainly sounds like a typical Washington politician to me.
Her communication director said, when asked about her support for the bridge, “It was never at the top of her priority list, and in fact the project isn’t necessarily dead … there’s still the potential for improved ferry service or even a bridge of a less costly design.” She changed her mind, he said, when “she saw that Alaska was being perceived as taking from the country and not giving, and that impression bothered her and she wants to change it.“
That pretty much says it all to me. It wasn’t that she didn’t want Federal money or that she saw pork barrel spending as wrong. It was only a problem when the public relations behind it became negative. In other words, politics as usual.
The problem is the contrast to the words of John McCain when he describes it. He had this to say on Fox News Sunday:
“She, as governor, stood up and said, we don’t need it, and if we need it, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Now, that’s guts. I saw that, and I said, this, this is what we need in Washington.“
There’s just no way her actions and those words go together. Sorry.