The truthiness of Sarah Palin’s maverick credentials

Yesterday, the McCain campaign launched this new ad, titled “Original Mavericks”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVIaqCjvLpU&w=425&h=344]

“She opposed the Bridge to Nowhere”, the ad’s voice-over declares. Which is pretty great. Except, well, she didn’t.

She lobbied in favor of the bridge, going so far as to campaign in the city where the bridge would have terminated, and proudly displaying her support by sporting a “Nowhere, Alaska” t-shirt:

Sarah Palin Nowhere T-shirt

Caught in the lie, the McCain campaign now points out that, well, she didn’t really oppose it from the beginning, but she’s totally the one who killed it. Only that’s not true either.

Even richer? After having earmarked $200m+ from federal taxpayer money to pay for the bridge to nowhere, she petitioned Congress to keep the money even though they were not going to build the bridge.

And guess what? She got to keep it. More than $300 for every man, woman and child in Alaska. For a bridge that never got built.

Lest you think this is an aberration, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she took a town with no debt and left it with nearly $20m in debt – or over $3,000 per resident. Best of all, however, is her pride in obtaining several federal earmarks:

Palin brags of earmark success

Last note on those earmarks: they were opposed by none other than the Original Maverick Himself, John McCain:

In 2001, McCain’s list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town — one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion.

McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin’s tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002.

What else is there to say?

Update: TalkingPointsMemo has a nice video response to this, with even more details:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieuA7nAOBXQ&w=425&h=344]