Palin says election result rests in God’s hands

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin describes herself as a “hard-core pro-lifer” and expresses confidence that in spite of disheartening polls, “putting this in God’s hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4.”

 

Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, ...

In an interview with evangelical leader James Dobson that aired Wednesday, Palin said she thought Republican presidential candidate John McCain would implement the GOP platform if elected — “I do, from the bottom of my heart” — but McCain doesn’t support the platform on three issues important to evangelicals: abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research.

The platform calls for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, an issue McCain says should be left to individual states. Similarly, the platform seeks a constitutional ban on all abortions; again, McCain supports allowing states to decide the question. McCain supports research using embryonic stem cells, which the platform opposes.

Palin called it a “strong platform” and told Dobson, “They are there, they are solid, we stand on them and, again, I believe that it is the right agenda for the country at this time.”

The Alaska governor talked by phone with Dobson for about 20 minutes Monday while she was in Colorado campaigning. Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program aired the interview Wednesday.

Dobson asked whether Palin was discouraged by polls showing the GOP ticket behind.

“To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder,” Palin said. “And it also strengthens my faith, because I’m going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God’s hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. So I’m not discouraged at all.”

Palin has not focused on her faith on the campaign trail, but it clearly has energized evangelical leaders like Dobson, whose radio show reaches an estimated 1.5 million Americans daily.

Dobson has come around to supporting the McCain-Palin ticket after previously saying he could not in good conscience vote for McCain. He endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee late in the primaries.

Palin thanked Dobson and supporters for their prayers and — when Dobson inquired about the importance of faith in her life — said: “It is my foundation, yes, my Christian faith is.”

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McCain-Palin promise no bailouts like Freddie-Fannie

Republican White House hopefuls John McCain and Sarah Palin slammed the federal rescue of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as “outrageous” but needed in a joint editorial published Tuesday.

“The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another outrageous, but sadly necessary, step for these two institutions,” after years of mismanagement, the pair wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “Given the long-term mismanagement and flawed structure of these two companies, this was the only short-term alternative for ensuring that hard-working Americans have access to affordable mortgages during this difficult economic period.” Presidential candidate McCain and his running-mate Palin called for permanent reform of the mortgage firms, saying that legislative failure led to “crisis management rather than sound planning.” If the Republican ticket were to win the White House, “we will make sure that they are permanently restructured and downsized, and no longer use taxpayer backing to serve lobbyists, management, boards and shareholders.” The pair warned that all federal spending would face scrutiny at the start of a McCain-Palin administration if they were to win the November 4 vote. “In the first 100 days of our administration, we will look at every agency and department and expenditure of the federal government and ask this simple question: Is it serving the needs of the taxpayer? If it is not, we will reform it or shut it down, and we will spend money only on what is truly in the interest of the American people,” they wrote. Under the plan announced at the weekend, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will get government-appointed chief executives and shed their mission of shareholder profit. The Treasury agreed to inject 100 billion dollars in each if needed. As expected, shares in the two firms were nearly wiped out in trade Monday — Freddie Mac plunged 83 percent to 88 cents and Fannie Mae slid 89 percent to 73 cents in closing trade. Overall stocks were higher, however. Fannie Mae was originally a government agency created during the Great Depression to help provide liquidity for housing. It was privatized in 1968 and Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 to provide competition. advertising

Palin trounces Biden in poll

More Americans would cast ballots for Republican Sarah Palin than for Democrat Joe Biden if they were able to vote for a vice president independent of their presidential choice, a US poll released Tuesday found.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll of 1,022 adults taken September 5-7 found that if voters were allowed to vote just for president in November, the result would be a statistical tie between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, at 49 and 48 percent respectively. The poll’s margin of error was three percent.

 

In a hypothetical separate vote just for vice president, Alaska Governor Palin beat Senator Biden, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by 53 percent to 44 percent, the survey showed.

Obama scoffed at the Republican duo’s claims they are “original mavericks” who would stand up for hard-pressed voters on the MSNBC news channel on Monday.

“They are not telling the truth,” he said. “When you have somebody who was for a project being presented as being against it, then that stretches the bounds of spin into new areas.”

Obama was responding to Palin’s boast that she had intervened to kill a controversial federally-funded “bridge to nowhere,” a project she initially supported

Palin agrees with Bush even more than McCain

As he wrapped up his interview with Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama this evening, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann asked about Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and whether she is ready to be president. Obama demurred on that question, but told Countdown’s host that he has a different problem with Palin — he thinks she would be even more inclined to continue the Bush administration’s policies than McCain would be:


Olbermann: “One more campaign question. It pertains to not knowing someone or something. This is a question I have not really heard asked directly of anybody in a position perhaps to answer it, let alone answered.

“In your opinion, is Governor Palin experienced enough and qualified enough to become president of the United States in the relatively short-term future?

Obama: “Well, you know, I’ll let you ask Governor Palin that when I’m sure she’ll be appearing on your show.

“But rather than focus on a resume, I just want to focus on where she wants to take the country.

“As far as I can tell, there has not been any area, economic policy or foreign policy, in which she is different from John McCain or George Bush.

“In many ways, in fact, she agrees with George Bush even more than John McCain. So if John McCain agrees with Bush 90% of the time, maybe with her it’s 97%. And so my — the thrust of our argument is going to be that the McCain-Palin ticket is offering the same stuff that has resulted in the middle class struggling, not seeing their incomes go up, seeing their costs go up, falling deeper into debt, at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure, unable to save or retire.

“Those are going to be I think the issues that ultimately matter to the voters, and that’s why I’m trying to offer to them a very clear set of prescriptions, very clear ideas about what we intend to do, how we want to change the tax code, stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, give 95% of Americans tax relief.

“Have an energy policy that is serious about climate change, is serious about weaning ourselves off of Middle Eastern oil, investing in solar and wind and biodiesel so we’ve got energy independence and creating jobs here in the United States, having a health care system that makes sure that we don’t have 47 million people without health insurance.

“That message of possibility is, I think, the one that the American people are looking for.”

Part two of Olbermann’s interview airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET. As we noted earlier, the interview Obama taped with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly for The O’Reilly Factor also continues tomorrow and Wednesday evenings, also at 8 p.m. ET.

Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has billed taxpayers for 312 nights spent in her own home during her first 19 months in office, charging a “per diem” allowance intended to cover meals and incidental expenses while traveling on state business.

This Story
Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home
Footing the Bill
Travel Authorization – State of Alaska
The governor also has charged the state for travel expenses to take her children on official out-of-town missions. And her husband, Todd, has billed the state for expenses and a daily allowance for trips he makes on official business for his wife.

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Palin, who earns $125,000 a year, claimed and received $16,951 as her allowance, which officials say was permitted because her official “duty station” is Juneau, according to an analysis of her travel documents by The Washington Post.

The governor’s daughters and husband charged the state $43,490 to travel, and many of the trips were between their house in Wasilla and Juneau, the capital city 600 miles away, the documents show.

Gubernatorial spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Monday that Palin’s expenses are not unusual and that, under state policy, the first family could have claimed per diem expenses for each child taken on official business but has not done so.

Before she became the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, Palin was little known outside Alaska. Now, with the campaign emphasizing her executive experience, her record as mayor of Wasilla, as a state oil-and-gas commissioner and as governor is receiving intense scrutiny.

During her speech at the Republican National Convention last week, Palin cast herself as a crusader for fiscal rectitude as Alaska’s governor. She noted that she sold a state-owned plane used by the former governor. “While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for,” she said to loud applause.

Speaking from Palin’s Anchorage office, Leighow said Palin dealt with the plane and also trimmed other expenses, including forgoing a chef in the governor’s mansion because she preferred to cook for her family. The first family’s travel is an expected part of the job, she said.

“As a matter of protocol, the governor and the first family are expected to attend community events across the state,” she said. “It’s absolutely reasonable that the first family participates in community events.”

The state finance director, Kim Garnero, said Alaska law exempts the governor’s office from elaborate travel regulations. Said Leighow: “The governor is entitled to a per diem, and she claims it.”

The popular governor collected the per diem allowance from April 22, four days after the birth of her fifth child, until June 3, when she flew to Juneau for two days. Palin moved her family to the capital during the legislative session last year, but prefers to stay in Wasilla and drive 45 miles to Anchorage to a state office building where she conducts most of her business, aides have said.

FACT: Palin For The Bridge to Nowhere

A new ad from John McCain’s presidential campaign contends his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” In fact, Palin was for the infamous bridge before she was against it


THE SPIN: Called “Original Mavericks,” the ad asserts the Republican senator has fought pork-barrel spending, the drug industry and fellow Republicans, reforming Washington in the process, and credits Palin with similarly changing Alaska by taking on the oil industry, challenging her own party and ditching the bridge project that became a national symbol of wasteful spending.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton came back with fighting words. “Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie that Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere,” he said.

Burton said McCain would merely carry on supporting President Bush’s economic, health, education, energy and foreign policies, and that means “anything but change.”

THE FACTS: Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision after the project had become an embarrassment to the state, after federal dollars for the project were pulled back and diverted to other uses in Alaska, and after she had appeared to support the bridge during her campaign for governor.

McCain and Palin together have told a broader story about the bridge that is misleading. She is portrayed as a crusader for the thrifty use of tax dollars who turned down an offer from Washington to build an expensive bridge of little value to the state.

“I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere,” she said in her convention speech last week.

That’s not what she told Alaskans when she announced a year ago that she was ordering state transportation officials to ditch the project. Her explanation then was that it would be fruitless to try to persuade Congress to come up with the money.

“It’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,” Palin said then.

Palin indicated during her 2006 campaign for governor that she supported the bridge, but was wishy-washy about it. She told local officials that money appropriated for the bridge “should remain available for a link, an access process as we continue to evaluate the scope and just how best to just get this done.”

She vowed to defend Southeast Alaska “when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative” — something that McCain was busy doing at the time, as a fierce critic of the bridge.

Even so, she called the bridge design “grandiose” during her campaign and said something more modest might be appropriate.

Palin’s reputation for standing up to entrenched interests in Alaska is genuine. Her self-description as a leader who “championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress” is harder to square with the facts.

The governor has cut back on pork-barrel project requests, but in her two years in office, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. And as mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million.