by Todd Beeton, Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 08:43:05 AM EDT
According to TPM, Sarah Palin is refusing to blink on her bridge to nowhere lie.
Here's Palin at a campaign stop in Ohio today:
"You're gonna hear a lot about the abusive practice of earmarks in Congress from our good senator here. We championed in Alaska reform of the old earmark process. I told Congress, `Thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge To Nowhere up in Alaska. If our state wanted a bridge, we were gonna build it ourselves."
The McCain/Palin team is clearly banking on the media blinking first and just giving up on pointing out that her claim to have opposed the earmark is a lie. Team Obama responds with mockery:
"On the same day that dozens of news organizations have exposed Governor Palin's phony Bridge to Nowhere claim as a 'naked lie,' she and John McCain continue to repeat the claim in their stump speeches. Maybe tomorrow she'll tell us she sold it on eBay."
Hilariously, Ted Stevens has come to Palin's defense. I guess in the Bush/McCain/Palin upside down world, getting vouched for by an indicted criminal is a good thing?
"I don't remember her ever campaigning for it. As a matter of fact, she was very critical of it at the time. And she took the money and did not use it for the bridge, so you're wrong, as far as I'm concerned," Stevens said today. [...]
"She was never really behind this," Stevens said today, reminding reporters of his impassioned defense of the project in 2005: "I defended it in the Senate. She did not support that. She did not support that."
Yeah, well, all facts to the contrary there, Uncle Ted. Not that Republicans run on facts or require them to inform their claims or judgments or anything, but, just sayin'.
But really, is it any wonder that Stevens would come to Palin's defense? She is singlehandedly keeping him alive in his re-election bid for Senate. For some reason, since her announcement to the presidential ticket, Alaskans seem to be giving Uncle Ted another look.
Meanwhile, an independent poll by Ivan Moore Research for state media outlets showed Stevens trailing Begich by about 3 points. Begich lead Stevens, 49 percent to 46 percent, with 3 percent undecided. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters Aug. 30-Sept. 2 and had a margin of error of 4.4 points.
In an Aug. 9-12 Ivan Moore poll with the same sample size, Begich led Stevens, 56 percent to 39 percent, with 3 percent undecided.
This story hasn't been written yet, of course. I agree with The Anchorage Daily News, who suggests that Charlie Gibson ask Sarah Palin the following questions:
* You present yourself as a Republican maverick who took on your own party's corrupt political establishment. In November's election, your party is running an indicted U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, who is awaiting trial on charges he accepted more than $250,000 of unreported gifts from the state's most powerful lobbyist. Will you vote for his opponent? Will you urge Alaskans to help you change Washington and vote him out of office? If not, why not?
* Sen. Ted Stevens' trial is still pending; he has declined to say whether he would accept a pardon from President Bush before he leaves office Jan. Do Alaska voters deserve an answer to that question before they cast their vote for or against Stevens in November? What is your position on a president pardoning a public official before a jury has ruled on guilt or innocence?
Sure, it's not terribly likely that Gibson will go there but she can't avoid the Stevens question forever. Stevens represents the very corruption and good ole boy network that she claims to have taken on.
So, in the meantime, there is a real reformer running in Alaska and what better way to fight back against Stevens AND Palin than to give to Stevens' opponent, MyDD Road To 60 Democratic challenger Mark Begich. Let's get Mark up to 60 donors at our ActBlue page by the end of today. I just threw in $25. Who's with me?