After watching the Palin interview with Charlie Gibson, I’m still totally confused by how the McCain/Palin campaign is framing this issue of earmarks or, as McCain likes to say, “pork-barrel projects” and wasteful spending. I’ve already posted on my view that earmarks themselves aren’t inherently bad. In fact they can be quite good if held accountable. The fact that Palin sought federal funds isn’t something to be ashamed of. As governor, it was not her responsibility to police the federal budget. Instead, it was her responsibility to serve the people of Alaska. They elected her to provide them a better way of life and that’s exactly what she pursued and she did so successfully.
On the flip side, McCain has never done anything in the way of securing federal funds for projects here in Arizona. He’s against doing so on principle and that’s fine, but as a resident of his state, I could make the argument that he hasn’t been doing all he can to benefit the lives of those who live in Arizona, those who’ve elected him to represent Arizona. To me his position comes off as a political jingle that comes at the expense of the citizens of his state. On the other hand, he walks his talk.
The point I want to make is that Palin should not be ashamed of her record on earmarks. It’s one very clear example of her seeking to do her job, to fulfill her responsibilities in making Alaska a better place to live. She should embrace her record as mayor and governor on these matter while pointing out that her priority rested solely on the citizens of Alaska. Instead, Palin and McCain have consistently lied about Palin’s record. They’ve misled voters with speech after speech. McCain flat out lied on The View last week saying Palin never took an earmark while being governor. That’s straight up untrue and every major news publication in this country knows it.
By lying I believe they are missing an opportunity to prove that, if nothing else, Palin has been committed to serving those who’ve elected her. And as vice president, she’d continue to do the same but with a different set of priorities. Instead of seeking federal funds she’d be playing a role in policing the federal funds in order to ensure they’re used responsibly. She’d be beholden to the nation, not just one city or state.
It would be much more effective way of framing her record without having to lie. I think it would make sense to voters and at the same time, wouldn’t be inconsistent with the McCain approach to earmarks.