The AP is reporting that Sarah Palin says, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the federal government as she plans to reject almost 30% of the stimulus money the federal government has sent Alaska's way. Her comments:
This decision comes on the heels of four other courageous Republicans who have rejected portions of the stimulus money. And Republicans everywhere should praise these men and women of principle who have the best interests of their states and their country at heart.
I present to you, four vertebrae of what remains of the GOP's spine. Remember these faces and these names. Vote for them and tell other people to vote for them.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, LA
Gov. Rick Perry, TX
Gov. Mark Sanford, SC
Gov. Sarah Palin, AK
It may be true that this list of names is a who's who of up-and-coming GOP leaders, and three of the four likely have their eyes on national office, rejecting stimulus dollars reflects the wishes of the constituency of these very red states. Palin, Jinal, and Sanford are all in consideration for the 2012 presidential bid against Obama and Perry is already gearing up for a vicious fight against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for the Texas gubernatorial primaries in 2010.
I do not believe this group of four have made this decision for the purposes of political posturing. That is what democrats do. Republicans act on principle, and that is how I view this decision.
A warning should accompany rejection of stimulus money: You will become a target of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration for doing so. Palin is certainly used to the political crosshairs and the attacks on her have continued long after her vice-presidential bid ended on November 4, 2008.
Lesser governors may not be willing to take this step for fear of becoming a political target or for fear that the special interests in their constituency would reject them, but that's what leadership means sometimes: doing what is right in spite of the negative consequences.
Palin made this a group of four; is there another governor with a spine that would be willing to make it a group of five? Anyone? Anyone?