Flummoxed conservatives looking for something nice to say about Sarah Palin cite her opposition to the “Bridge to Nowhere,” a proposed $398 million Alaskan boondoggle that John McCain fought against. For instance, here’s what New York Times columnist David Brooks said on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” last night:
But what he saw when he looked at her, according to the people I spoke to, is someone who fights the same fights I fight. The first gateway sort of fight that he thought they have in common was the bridge to nowhere. He’s been talking about that for years. She’s the one who killed it.
Wrong. As The New Republic’s Bradford Plumer shows, citing reports from the Anchorage Daily News and Palin’s own official statement, Palin supported the bridge at every step, and dropped it from her list of priorities only when it became clear that federal funding wasn’t going to be forthcoming. In her statement, she even criticizes congressional opponents of the bridge, including, by implication, McCain:
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. 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.
Here’s an AP report from Sept. 22, 2007, noting that Palin had withdrawn her support for the bridge because of lack of funding.