Obama attacks Palin on earmarks, ignores own record

Obama has taken up a line of attack on Sarah Palin which may come back to instantly bite him considering the fact that he can easily be attacked in the same manner for his pork barrel spending in the senate.

Obama unleashed this tirade against Palin’s claims that she can bring some kind of change, from Political Radar:

Obama then opened up rare criticism on VP nominee Sarah Palin, “I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change. And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person. That is not change, come on. I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”

However, an examination of Obama’s own record from the New York Times lists over $740 million in earmarked pork barrel spending sought after by Obama:

Senator Barack Obama on Thursday released a list of $740 million in earmarked spending requests that he had made over the last three years, and his campaign challenged Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to do the same.

The list included $1 million for a hospital where Mr. Obama’s wife works, money for several projects linked to campaign donors and support for more than 200 towns, civic institutions and universities in Illinois.

But as the Senate debated a bill to restrict the controversial method of paying for home-state projects — a measure defeated Thursday evening — Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign also said that only about $220 million worth of his requests had been approved by Congress. And among those that had been killed were his request in 2006 for $1 million for an expansion of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle, is a vice president.

One can’t help but wonder if you should be clear on your own record before you begin attacking someone else’s.

Just thought I’d point it out..

  • Raymond

    GREAT POST NATE! I seriously doubt that the mainstream media will report the same things that you just have. They are too busy providing a play by play defense of Obama against the charges leveled against him in Palin’s acceptance speech.

    The mainstream is OBSESSED with Obama and will do whatever it takes to ensure that he walks through the doors of the Oval Office.

    Get ready for the media to openly protect Obama and provide his point by point defense to the American public. It’s already started to happen. Obama doesn’t need to explain himself, the media is already doing it for him.


  • Michael

    Raymond, how is the mainstream obsessed, when by all accounts, Nate just referenced the New York Times on Obama’s earmarks? There are inclinations by certain media toward Obama, but there is still attacks that come his way. Each candidate gets his/her share of media limelight.

  • Has anyone noticed that the comparisons tend to be running between Palin and Obama instead of McCain vs Obama? Ready to lead and experience started it off, but so many more topics seem to be Palin vs Obama. This can’t be good for Obama.

    I would also agree that the mainstream press is biased to the point of being shamefully non-journalistic. There is bias on both sides, don’t get me wrong, but much of the mainstream stuff has journalists giddy with excitement over Obama or even non-substantial attacks on McCain/Palin. Bias will never go away, nor with radical bias and blindness on each side, but I sure wish we could get just a little bit of widespread integrity into the process and more rational dialog of the real topics from the press without all the posturing.

  • In politics it’s always a case of “do as I say and not as I do” If we looked at all the candidates, none of them would come out completely clean. You throw enough shit at someone, some of it is bound to stick, the majority of voters are so fickle.


    Obama is the biggest hypocrite out there.

  • IndiMinded

    This isn’t exactly a subject Obama should want to get into, but at least he’s not running on an anti-porkbarrel platform while his kitchen stinks of bacon. Unfortunately for us voters, there’s ham all around this election. Some candidates just pretend not to eat it.

  • Dreadsen


    ROFL!!! After this “experience” fiasco you all just flipped on I wouldn’t try handing out Hypocrite titles.


    You are absolutely correct in your assessment. Even if he opens up the doors on himself at least people will see Palin as being a Hypocrite coming right out of the gate. Much more damaging for her now than it is for him. Especially since they are trying to steal his “change” platform.

  • With the amount of crap Obama has had thrown his way these past few months, he might aswell use it to his advantage and point out Palin’s less than spotless record. Because he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  • jane

    Obama isn’t the one going around lying about his record on earmarks. Palin is. In fact, she’s lying about pretty much everything. I don’t know why I have to explain this to you people. SHE started this and McCain mimics her and YOU puppies lap it up. Obama never said his record is perfect; he’s just letting Palin know that hers isn’t either. SOMEONE has to tell her, poor thing.

  • Dan

    You are missing the point on this one – Obama is attacking Palin for being a hypocrite and political in her stances i.e. not geniune. The issue of earmarks is secondary. Moreover, how can you accuse him of (intentionally) ignoring his own record while printing an excerpt from the NYT a release from his own campaign during the primaries detailing his record on earmarking?

    With all the “mis-speaking” and bullshit that is flying around during this campaign, it would help if the author analysed what people actually said and omitted any smug self-satisfied comments.

    As for whether raising the issue of earmarks will come back to bite Obama, I doubt it will become a hot issue – earmarks are not the same as pork-barrel spending i.e. not all earmarks are wasteful and, by releasing his record, Obama obviously reckons he can defend it.

  • obamahunkiw

    he never was (anti earmarks) in the first place, earmarks is sometimes a good thing, it pays for special projects and Infrastructure around your community

  • Dreadsen

    Has Obama ran his campaign or mentioned anywhere that he is against earmarks?
    I think the answer to this question is important on deciding if he is being hypocritical or not.
    Because maybe he thinks earmarks are actually good.
    If he isn’t against them then they don’t have the moral authority to speak out against them if only 3 years ago they were receiving them themselves.

  • Nate, I think you’re missing the point. It’s the McCain / Palin platform that earmarks are bad; that who secure them are not placing America first; that earmarks will not be tolerated in their administration. It’s perfectly fair for Obama to criticize Palin for being one of the most egregious abusers of the practice she condemns, without requiring Obama to have previously followed HER platform. Your criticism of Obama would be valid if he too were promising to end earmarks.

    When ending earmarks and somehow otherwise reducing spending are pretty much the only change McCain / Palin are promising on the economic front, being one of the worst abusers in this area becomes pretty fundamental.

    Just as an aside, I noticed that McCain said that he would make public the names of those who attempt to get earmarks. As a Senator, doesn’t he know that this would benefit them? The home States for whom the earmarks are being sought tend to like their respective Senator’s efforts

  • lsw

    The fact is Sarah Palin is saying she is against earmarks and Obama HAS NOT said he is against them.

  • Moody

    I’ve heard so many ridiculous accusations about Palin its made my head spin. What are the actual “pork” projects she asked for as Governor? Seriously, I’m not making an argument. I want to know about them. The only one I’ve heard of is the “bridge to nowhere” and factcheck.org said that she put the final nail in the coffin on that one. All the venom toward her is making it harder to find out real info on her.

  • Maria

    The problem is that Sarah Palin IS running as a maverick, anti-pork, anti-earmarks, etc. and McCain says she is his “soulmate” on this issues…. This hasn’t been an issue on Obama’s platform….

  • IndiMinded

    That is technically true. She put the final nail in the coffin. That’s the part she really wants everyone to remember. It’s not quite as she portrays it though: she supported the bridge until the project was more or less dead in the water, and when she officially did declare an end to the bridge, she made sure Alaska kept the money allotted for it. That’s not exactly as she tells it, saying “thanks but no thanks, if we want a bridge we’ll build it ourselves”.

  • kjoe

    Regarding earmarks: There are documents with Palin’s personal handwriting bragging about how much better than other cities hers did on this one project—overall, according to the st. louis post dispatch editorial today—the total was 12 million dollars for 3 years. Close to 2000 dollars for every man woman and unaborted child in her town. Not medicare, not veterans benefits or other government programs—but the special ones we call earmarks.

    Obama represents 13 million people in the senate. If he got all he requested, it was still less than 60 dollars per person. The national average in the worst year, 2005, was about 75 dollars a citizen, or less than three months spending for Iraq.

    Republicans are so full of ssssshhit.

  • Annette

    The issue here for me is that Obama says he is for change. He supports the same old way of doing things. Earmarks that provide benefits for those who have supported the politician is not any different than payoffs from where I stand. His wife received a $200,000 pay increase within days of his swearing in as a U.S. Senator and the University of Chicago (her employer) was to be one of those to receive a $1 million dollar earmark. Sarah Palin was not enjoying the benefits of the earmark personally. Earmarks can be a good thing but when people’s pockets are lined as a result then are they good?

  • Dreadsen

    The 27 million of earmarks is from her time as Governor which is separate from the bridge to no where which was when she was Governor. She’s only been a Governor for 1.5 years so all of this is very recent history.

  • Dreadsen

    The 27 million of earmarks is from her time as Mayor which is separate from the bridge to no where which was when she was Governor. She’s only been a Governor for 1.5 years so all of this is very recent history.


  • Seems Sarah Palin is getting a bit of a bashing for being a hypocrite, good, good, keep it up.

    I hope everyone has seen the video where Sarah Palin is at church doing a speech claiming that the Iraq war is a task from God. The woman’s nuttier than a squirrels lair.


  • Dreadsen


    That is pretty damaging if it is true! I was not aware of this. Care to list your credible source on this info?

  • As most people know, the government (no matter which country it is) isn’t quick to do anything. But people would have us believe that within a couple of days of Obama swearing in as a senator, he’s managed to add an earmark for $1Million onto a bill and get it passed and his wife pockets 1/5 of that.

    If this is true then I’m more impressed than concerned that something like this could happen so quick.

  • Annette

    The source is from a book: The Case Against Obama, (David Freddoso) and his sources are footnoted at the end of each chapter. He provides extensive documentation for what he writes in the book. Since she is an employee of the Univ of chicago Hospitals, her salary is a matter of public record. Her salary went from $121,910 in 2004 to $316,962 in 2005 after he became a U.S. Senator. (sorry, not quite $200,000 more). The book is well worth reading.

  • John

    What Freddoso leaves out is Michelle Obama was promoted to more while B. Obama was running for Senate, It just went into effect AFTER he won the election. Convenient omission for a swift boat book. ALSO Univ of Chicago Hospitals asks for state and federal money every year..its not because Michele Obama works there. It the University of Chicago Hospital for christ sake!. It where you want to go when you get cancer for all your rethuglican lies

  • Dan

    So Annette, is there any actual evidence to link Michelle Obama’s pay increase to Obama becoming a Senator or is it simply a coincidental fact that some people mistake for conspiratorial? Do you know what Michelle Obama does or why her job might be deserving of such a salary? Did she gain an additional qualification that year? What the raise written into her contract? Was it a one-off loyalty bonus? David Freddoso might footnote his sources but that doesn’t mean his interpretation of those sources is in anyway correct.

    As for the 1 million in funding for University of Chicago, is this directly linked to Obama in any way or another coincidental fact that is used conspiratorially? Was the allocation of such funds irregular? How much did it comprise of the University’s budget? Was it allocated for a specific project? And, if so, was an application submitted for those funds and when was it submitted? Before Obama’s election or afterwards? I don’t these answers but I would say that $1 million is chump change for an organisation the size of the University of Chicago. Moreover, the hospital is under the auspices of the University but that is more in name than actual running of the place.

    Come on, it’s important to think critically about these things rather than specious information to confirm already held prejudices. Moreover, if you don’t like the guy and don’t intend to vote for him, that’s fine. I’d have more respect if you could just admit that you’re a racist.

    Of course, I’m not serious about that accusation – it might be true but I can’t determine it from your comments on this page. It was more intended to serves as an example of the distinction between facts (in this case, your citing of funding/salary) and interpretation (claiming to know your motive in citing such figures).

  • “Especially since they are trying to steal his “change” platform.” Dreadsen, I think if you’ll do a little research you’ll find the “change” platform previously belonged to Bill Clinton AND George Bush. And if I’m not mistaken, Jimmy Carter as well. So who’s the thief here, if there is one.

    News Flash for everyone here – http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=EarmarkRequests_2008_Senate

    Barack Obama has pledged NOT to request any more earmarks to the CAGW. Which is saying he’s NOW against them. Now we can start the discussion over.

    For a more detailed listing of Obama’s previous stand on earmarks, check my previous commentary “McCain Pins the Tail on the Donkey”.

  • Annette

    Actually the earmark is for the University of Chicago Hospitals that she works for. The timing is interesting. When an individual’s job doesn’t change but the salary increases by nearly $200,000, that is a little odd don’t you think? The earmark is specifically for the University of Chicago Hospitals not the entire university.

  • Palin-LIES/ tt from tx

    Honsetly, even if Obama agrees to earmarks, he still has requested less money than Palin. Palin is from a small state, population wise and Obama is from a large state popluation wise. The story is that she has requested more money for her state than any other state.

    In as far as the bridge to no where, Palin, yes, was for the bridge before her election. After her election, she denounced the bridge as wasteful spending. This of course came after there was ridicule about the bridge and funding was denied. The statement that she told them if they (Alasks) needed a bridge they would build their own is incorrect also. They infact told her that if the great state of Alaska wanted a bridge they would have to build it themselves. She didnt tell them that until they told her first.

    As you can see, there are a lot of unknowns about this person. I am scared to death that many of her songs of praise about herself are not accurate. We should all do our homework before we allow someones style, gender and spoken words sway our vote!

    Please think and research your canidate before your vote~regardless of who you vote for.
    Do we really want more of the same?

  • Dan

    The salary increase is coincidental. I don’t know enough about the industry to know whether it’s “odd” or not. Do you?

    And what exactly are you insinuating by drawing attention to this?

  • Annette

    Your questions about the contract, bonus, etc. are interesting but it would seem the Obama campaign would clarify this rather than let it stand after the Chicago area newspapers questioned it.
    You are correct; I won’t vote for him. I voted for him for Senator (what choice was there?) but he hasn’t been in Washington to do the job he was sent to do. He said early on that he wouldn’t run for the office of president because he was not qualified to do so (his words) and that it wouldn’t be fair to the citizens of Illinois that sent him to Washington to be a senator.

  • “Honsetly, even if Obama agrees to earmarks, he still has requested less money than Palin.”

    Palin-lies, earmarks, or pork barrel spending, is requested through bills in legislation. Mayors and Govenors don’t submit bills to Congress, Senators do.

  • Rich Brown

    All of this is noise. If I’m curious about the candidates in particular, and who is throwing the most mud (apparently the McCain camp is winning both the “most deceitful ads” contest and the flip-flop contest), I go to factcheck.org.

    Platforms are the thing. If you truly compare the platforms of sponsored by McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden, you just vote for the one that suits you.

    However the GOP is making it very hard to compare platforms. My Mom saw the Palin speech and really liked her. When I informed her that Palin’s policies supported abstinence-only education and was pro-life (even in cases of rape or incest), she was shocked. Now if you support those things, that’s fine – everybody is entitled to their beliefs. However all my mother saw was the speech, and she had no other information on Palin at all. This is what the media needs to do – inform people of the platform that the candidates support.

  • Dreadsen


    “Your questions about the contract, bonus, etc. are interesting but it would seem the Obama campaign would clarify this rather than let it stand after the Chicago area newspapers questioned it.”

    Well i will say I had that book. And for the most part most of it was true. But the author has a partisan spin on some things and some things he wasn’t truthful about. So Obama may have addressed this but i’m sure he wouldn’t note this anywhere. I’ll tell you some of the things I noticed wrong in his book.

    On page xii the author claimed that Obama’s “liberal supporters … support military strikes within the territory of an American ally without that nation’s permission” because “Obama apparently made a slip of the tongue in August of last year and advocated such incursions into Pakistan.” Freddoso’s source cited this article


    But freddoso claimed this was a slip of the tongue. But if you look here it was prepared long time ago. So this was no slip.

    He also gave some references hoping that you wouldn’t check it out. Check out page 30-31 where he references page 124 of David Mendell’s book Obama: From Promise to Power in characterizing a piece of ethics legislation Obama passed in 1998 as “relatively harmless,” and claiming that the bill merely made Obama “look like a reformer.” In fact, Mendell wrote something very different from what Freddoso claims. He did not in any way characterize the bill as “harmless,” but instead noted that pushing the bill through the state Senate “was a tough assignment for a new lawmaker, since he was essentially sponsoring legislation that would strip away long-held privileges and perks from his colleagues,” and that Obama received opposition from his colleagues regarding the ethics legislation. Mendell further wrote that Obama “worked the issue deliberately and delicately,” and that upon its passage, the bill “essentially lifted Illinois, a state with a deep history of illicit, pay-to-play politics, into the modern world when it came to ethics restrictions.”

    If you want i can copy and paste the entire page he references so you can cross reference with your book. But it does show that you have to check that guys references out because in some cases he hopes you won’t or you can’t find them.


    The Change platform has belonged to Obama in THIS election. McCain has never mentioned change. The media, friends and foe have all talked about his “Change” platform. (I’m sure you have heard the joke “the only change he’s going to bring is change in my pocket”) Like a musician who does a cover song of a past artist and it becomes a hit. Imagine if another popular artist who competes with him tries to release the exact same cover song at the exact same time his opponents is at the top of the charts.

    I looked at the link. It says that Obama has pledged to not request any earmarks. But where did he say that he is against them? Not requesting them in no way means that someone is against them. Has he actually stated that he is against them?

    And there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE from Palin coming out the gate making anti earmarks a platform of her campaign and Obama being really quiet or not saying much about his stance on earmarks. ( i may be wrong about his stance but i have never seen or heard anything). She hired a lobbying firm for the purpose of getting pork for her. But i looked at the list and i will say all 27 million bucks she got for only 6,700 people looked like things they actually needed. A couple things looked like something only a liberal person would have gotten. I see why the town liked her so much. It’s a shame she can’t use this to help her because she is now campaigning against making those types of efforts when her example would be one of “not wasteful spending”.

  • Dreadsen, I’ll find the quote for you from Obama where he said his previous attitude in favor of pork was not a good one. You are such an avid supporter of Obama, I would think you would have already done this homework for yourself. It’s a position he “changed” quite a while ago.

  • Dreadsen

    Actually my candidate dropped out in Feb. and my 2nd one dropped out in July.

    I’m just arguing for the sake of arguing!

  • *ROFLMAO* And who were your candidates, Dreadsen? That’s interesting, I could have sworn you’ve been drinking the koolaid for months. I like to play devil’s advocate myself, but you can’t do that after everyone knows where you stand. 😉

  • Todd

    Oh Babs I’ve known where he stands but he still managed to get me going.


  • Todd

    I have finally come to the conclusion, can’t believe it took me so long, (and it has been the case ever since I have been on this site) We are all going to vote for who we like and nobody is going to convince us differently, it’s giving me a headache now

    In 2004 Obama himself said he wasn’t qualified

    and McCain has given up his “Maverick” stances in order to satisfy the Sean Hannity wing of the Republican party.

    For me I think McCain goes back to the more moderate person he really is, if he wins

  • Was McCain ever really a maverick? or just someone who kept forgetting who he was and where he was?

  • ambryo

    I just read Obama’s earmark page and from what i read i saw no pork, what i saw was request for real programs that may help teen age girls, college research and agri-research national defence, police equipment and research grants that will or may help all Americans. What i did not see is John MCcain’s list, which i had to hunt down and you know what he has some too. Further more Obama has never said he did not request earmarks.

  • John McCain has never put pork in a single bill, that’s the record on CAGW, and the fact. Programs that might help teenage girls – are you referring to the $4.1 million his daughter’s dance group got?

    Todd, I came to that conclusion a long time ago. *L* But every once in a great while, we manage to score points for our candidate through debate, and the debate itself makes us dig deeper into our candidate. For the thousands that read this site but don’t participate, they are getting facts (sometimes) that could help them make their decision. I don’t think anyone here thinks they are going to change anyone’s mind, we just open up a debate for the readers, I think. 😉

  • Lorax

    Throwing in a word here:
    Palin earmarks this past year in Alaska / persons living in alaska
    $197.8 million / 700,000 people = $282 per person

    Obama earmarks during time in senate / persons living in Illinois.
    $980 million / 12.8 million people = $77 per person over his entire tenure….

    These do not even remotely equal eachother…

    Oh and Palin gave her citizens a rebate of $1200 per person living in Alaska…

    That’s not fiscal responsibility, that is not being a “Maverick”

  • Dreadsen

    Well long before anyone was running I was looking at Hilary because she was the only one running on an anti Iraq war platform who i thought had a chance at winning, then I got Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. I had hopes that those two would be in the finals because i would have been happy either way. But i would have been more happy with a conservative who was anti war than a liberal. So Dennis bit the dust in Feb pissing me off because the Dems running the debates butted him out and Ron Paul bit the dust in the summer which also pissed me off a little bit because Fox didn’t invite him to some of the debates and he didn’t get invited back to a debate til it was already a one horse race.
    Now i’m looking at the 4 3rd party candidates.

    But I will admit I did come to Obama’s defense because i didn’t think the attacks on him were fair. Especially when the other side is just as guilty. When you are a 3rd party follower ( i voted for nader in 2000) you realize that both of these guys are just as bad. McCain followers would attack him for things they were guilty of themselves. Also if he gets in he may be able to end the neo con ideology of Iraq. Being that the plaent seems to like him except the people here he would be good candidate to get us back in good relations with the world. Some people call Ron Paul and isolationist which i agree to an extent. But McCain and the neo cons are also isolationist because they are willing to spread war all over the middle east by themselves while at the same time losing allies and angering other countries who were not hostile to us previously. So they are both isolationist i just think that Ron Pauls wouldn’t be pissing everyone off raising tensions around the world like the neo conmen are doing. And for the crazy ideas he has i figure that Congress would curb him on the rest. ( or i would hope)

  • Karl

    Your little ditty points out a very important distinction between Obama and Palin. With earmarks, as with many other glowing claims Palin makes about herself, like being against the bridge to nowhere, they don’t measure up to the facts. The difference is integrity. Obama has never denied taking earmarks. As you say, he disclosed them publicly. Alaska has had the highest rate of earmarks per capita of any state during Palin’s service. I wonder why she never pointed that out or disclosed her own. You can debate the right or wrong of earmarks because both Palin and Obama have made them. Your point is about integrity: do you claim one thing that doesn’t match the actually record. On that score Palin is far behind. Ignorance reigns because the average American doesn’t want to look beneath the surface. Your ditty is one example. When they start digging beneath the lipstick and beauty queen voice, hopefully America will listen with their brains in tact and not with those butterfly flutterings in their stomachs.