The McCain/Palin campaign has a new ad out that clearly demonstrates what the strategy from now until Election Day will be. Nowhere is George Bush mentioned. The only time the Republican Party is mentioned is as the entity that both Senator McCain and Governor Palin fought against to promote their respective reform agendas. If it works, it just might be the key to victory unless Obama can somehow convince voters that McCain/Palin is realy just Bush/Cheney, Act III:
Here’s what she said less than a year ago about the project:
“Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer,” said Governor Palin. “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,” Governor Palin added. “Much of the public’s attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here. But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.”
That doesn’t really sound like a rejection of the project to me, so much as it was an admission that the effort to get taxpayers in the rest of the country to pay for it had failed and Governor Palin was unwilling to use state funds on a bridge that would only benefit a small number of people. In other words, she didn’t say no to federal funding of the bridge, she said no the bridge after federal funding had been cut-off. That’s not fighting the “Bridge to Nowhere”, it’s admitting defeat in your efforts to get the American taxpayer to fund a road project.
But will McCain/Palin’s less-than-honest statements about the Gravina Island Bridge project really have that big of an impact on the election ?
Marc Ambinder doesn’t think so:
[T]he ad claims that Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere,” which is technically true but functionally false. No blowback, though: the electorate doesn’t seem to penalize campaigns for deliberately distorting the record of their candidate and their opponent. It’s probably an artifact of twenty years’ worth of campaign advertisements and has something to do with the way consumers process news
In other words, people except politicians to lie so the fact that they do doesn’t really hurt them that much.
In the end, I doubt that this will go very far for two reasons. First of all, I can’t believe that people in Ohio are going to care all that much about a cancelled bridge project in Alaska. Second, the Democratic Party is hardly in a position to criticize Republcians over earmarks, pork, and wasteful spending.
Sarah Palin is clearly fibbing when she recounts her so-called opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, but I don’t think it matters to anyone.