Palin defends crab, seal earmarks
September 14, 2008
Charlie Gibson asks Palin about some of the animal research I wrote about earlier in the week:
GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?
PALIN: Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar. That’s the abuse that we’re going to stop. That’s what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that’s what I’m joining him, also, saying, you’re right, the abuse of earmarks, it’s un-American, it’s undemocratic, and it’s not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.
Her answer — that this is serious research approved by the experts — is the same one that the grizzly researchers McCain has mocked gave.
In the interview, she also defended her “bridge to nowhere” positions, admitting no contradictions.
The reality seems to be that, as governors go, she’s really quite skeptical of earmarks, but not the sort of categorical foe of the projects that McCain has been — and as really only a federal official can be. It’s very difficult for local officials to actually oppose federal money for their communities, and in fact, Palin sought it; it’s the attempt to cast her has a principled earmark foe that’s gotten her into trouble.