Oh, that Sarah Palin! Cute, feisty, with a smarty pants moxie that makes you want to put lipstick on your pit bull and invite her to dinner. And who knew she had an Oklahoma connection?
Well, one could put it that way. During her nomination acceptance speech last week as Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, she made a comment that caught CFN's ear:
"I told Congress, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' on that 'Bridge to Nowhere,'" Palin said, according to the Associated Press.
Yeah, that's cool! That's hot! That's "¦ hey, wait a minute! That's Sen. Tom Coburn's line!
The gentle readers of CFN have seen good ol' Tom in these pages before. So it didn't escape our attention that he was perhaps one of the earliest detractors of the "Bridge to Nowhere," back before Palin was a laudable gov. who enjoyed shooting moose.
Tom was takin' shots at the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," so named because it was costing the feds more than $200 million and would link a village of 50 people on an island to the Alaskan mainland. Fightin' Tom wanted to take that money and use it to rebuild a bridge destroyed in Louisiana by Hurricane Katrina, and he faced tough opposition from veteran Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, who touted the project as economic development.
Don't take our word for it. Why, here it is in the Oct. 23, 2005, edition of The New York Times: "A point of open fury was reached last week as Tom Coburn, a freshman Republican senator from Oklahoma, argued that his colleagues could really show steel by sacrificing some of their treasured billions in pork projects, beginning with Alaska's notorious 'bridge to nowhere.'"
Even as late as last month, people were crediting Coburn, not Palin, with bagging that bridge. Why, here it is again in The Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Stevens was a big reason the earmark culture had such a grip on Senate Republicans: Few dared risk his wrath. When he became chairman of the Appropriations Committee in 1997, he proudly proclaimed, 'I'm a mean, miserable SOB.' When Mr. Coburn dared challenge his $228 million 'Bridge to Nowhere' in 2005, Mr. Stevens warned fellow senators 'if we start cutting funding for individual projects, your project may be next.'"
My, how times have changed. Stevens is, indeed, pretty miserable now that he has become embroiled in an FBI corruption investigation. He resigned his Senate committee posts last month.
And Palin? Well, we suppose she should get credit for changing her tune. According to CNN, although she was reportedly for the bridge at first and even supported it during her campaign for governor in 2006, she changed her tune once elected. She certainly took credit for doing so during her speech.
But what about our good ol' Tom? Dang it, his speech at the convention was cancelled, according to the AP. Can't an Okie get any respect?