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Palin’s ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ gambit
Why Palin keeps repeating a questionable anecdote
A

t “every opportunity,” Sarah Palin keeps repeating her “thanks but no thanks” line about killing Alaska’s infamous “Bridge to Nowhere,” said Don Frederick in the Los Angeles Times, even though everyone from The Wall Street Journal to the independent PolitiFact.com disputes its accuracy. Nevertheless, this is the “campaign’s debating point du jour,” showing how much “Palin-mania” has shaken up the race.

Look, Palin “once supported the project,” said Sen. Jim DeMint in The Wall Street Journal, but she ultimately “killed the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.” And when Obama had the chance to vote to redirect funding for the same project, he didn’t. Obama is “lashing out at Mrs. Palin” on the bridge—and on earmarks—because he is “trying to hide his own record.”

Obama’s not campaigning on the issue, said Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. Palin is, and “it’s obvious she’s lying. She knows she’s lying. She knows that we know she’s lying.” So “why repeat a lie that’s already been exposed?” Maybe John McCain’s camp assumes “that if they repeat the same lie over and over again, eventually the media will stop pointing it out.”

The campaigns have little incentive to stop “stretching the truth,” said Jonathan Weisman in The Washington Post. Polls show that many voters believe “distortions” pushed by both sides. As the campaign races toward November, it seems, “untrue accusations and rumors have started to swirl at a pace so quick that they become regarded as fact before they can be disproved.”

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