Today the McCain campaign put out this good ad, called “Original Mavericks:”
The ad includes this statement about Governor Sarah Palin: “She stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” This provoked outraged contradictions from the Obama campaign. Spokesman Bill Burton said, “Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie that Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” Obama himself weighed in a bit more circumspectly:
They’re starting to run an ad now saying she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. Well, now, let’s get the facts clear here. … When it came to the Bridge to Nowhere, she was for it until everybody started raising a fuss about it and she started running for governor and then suddenly she was against it!
Obama misquoted the ad; Burton quoted the ad correctly and called it a “lie.” One wonders: If Governor Palin didn’t stop the bridge, who did? Ted Stevens? Or is the bridge now under construction?
Until John McCain selected her as his running mate, it never occurred to anyone to deny that Palin stopped the bridge. That’s certainly what the Anchorage Daily News reported on February 8, 2008:
Let’s count how many things Gov. Sarah Palin’s predecessor did that she’s undone.
It’s quite a list.
The state-owned jet: Sold.
The proposed Gravina Island “bridge to nowhere” and a pioneer road to Juneau: Won’t be funded.
And again on March 12, 2008:
Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is aggravated about what he sees as Gov. Sarah Palin’s antagonism toward the earmarks he uses to steer federal money to the state. … A common target for earmark snipers is the so-called “bridge to nowhere” plugged by Alaska Rep. Don Young into the five-year transportation bill in 2005. Congress stripped the earmarks directing the spending but let the state keep the money to use on the bridge if it wanted.
Palin ruffled feathers when she announced – without giving the delegation advance notice – that the state was killing the Ketchikan bridge to Gravina Island, site of the airport and a few dozen residents.
I don’t know how it could be any clearer: as the McCain ad says, Palin killed the bridge. Indeed, the Alaska Democrats themselves say, on a web site attacking Senator Ted Stevens:
Gov. Palin recently cancelled the Gravina Island Bridge near Ketchikan that would have connected the Alaska mainland with Gravina Island (population: 50).
It is frankly ridiculous to deny that Palin killed the bridge, as the ad says. If the Democrats want to attack some other aspect of her record, fine. If they want to say that she (like all state officials) was generally happy to accept federal money when it was offered, fine. But to say that the simple statement that she killed the bridge is a “lie” is false and disingenuous.
UPDATE: (Via InstaPundit.) Obama and Biden both voted to spend federal money on the bridge rather than use the money to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. This isn’t because they actually thought it was a good idea, of course. It’s because they are part and parcel of the corrupt earmark system and wanted to preserve their ability to direct money to their own pet projects without any accountability.
This is typical of Obama. He has never worked for reform, never tried to change the way the Senate operates, never rocked the boat in any way. He is a go along/get along careerist, and if that means voting for the Bridge to Nowhere rather than hurricane relief, no problem.
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