10.01.2008 0

The Bridge to Nowhere Had a Lifeline from Palin Detractors

  • On: 10/23/2008 10:08:16
  • In: Barack Obama
  • When it came up for a vote in the Senate, the bridge to Nowhere, Alaska could have been defeated by an amendment offered by Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn. However, that bridge had a lifeline—thanks to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

    And that, of course, is ironic—and not just a small bit hypocritical—because now they are running around on the campaign trail ripping Governor Sarah Palin asunder for having once supported the bridge when she was a small town mayor and a candidate for governor.

    As reported by CNN, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the ill-fated bridge with the help of Senators Biden and Obama:

    “Although Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden routinely mocks his Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for her onetime support of the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ Biden and his running mate voted to keep the project alive twice.

    “Both Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama voted to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Senate records show.

    “And both voted for the final transportation bill that included the $223 million earmark for the Alaska project.

    “An amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, would have stripped the money appropriated to connect the Alaskan coastal city of Ketchikan to its airport on sparsely populated Gravina Island and diverted the money to Louisiana.

    “But Biden and Obama and 80 of their colleagues rejected the measure, an amendment to a massive 2005 transportation bill that funded thousands of projects across the country.”

    In other words, the very bridge that Senators Biden and Obama mock Governor Palin for having once supported was directly approved by them—in preference to helping Hurricane-torn New Orleans. Moreover, the record of the two Senators on earmarks leaves much to be desired by taxpayers who value their money.

    According to the CNN story, Senator Biden has requested 116 earmarks this year alone costing $342 million, including for an opera house, a children’s museum and renovations for a water park. Mr. Biden claims that all of his requests can be justified.

    This is a clear example of pot calling the kettle black. Are the Senators so desperate to destroy Sarah Palin’s popularity that they are willing to risk their own on an issue with which they have zero credibility?

    Apparently, and it tells us something about how the Left views Mrs. Palin: Clearly she is an incredible threat to their political prospects. And not just in 2008. But in 2012, and 2016. And well beyond.

    But the real story here is not necessarily the blatant hypocrisy by Obama & Co.—nor of the political miscalculation in attacking Governor Palin about a bridge they supported and she ultimately helped to kill—but it is the desperation that her opponents have exhibited to take her down politically during her relatively short national political career.

    Senators Biden and Obama ought to be careful of how they treat her on this and other issues. She may be as dangerous as they fear—as a long term lifeline to the entire GOP.

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