Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Fact-Checking Palin’s Speech

Gov. Sarah Palin. Photo: Roger H Goun

Photo: Roger H Goun

Many people aren’t familiar enough with her to be able to know, for example, whether she supported the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ For Newsweek’s report on Obama’s acceptance speech, see Obama’s Speech Sometimes Stretched the Facts.

Below is an excerpt:

Palin: “But listening to him [Obama] speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate.”

Ha, ha, ha. I gave a rundown of Obama’s accomplishments in the Senate here. They include the Lugar-Obama bill on non-proliferation, and an ethics reform package that the Washington Post called “the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet.” Ruth Marcus summarizes his record on reform:

“He helped pass a far-reaching ethics and campaign finance bill in the Illinois state Senate and made the issue a priority on arriving in Washington. Much to the displeasure of his colleagues, Obama promoted an outside commission to handle Senate ethics complaints. He co-authored the lobbying reform bill awaiting President Bush’s signature and pushed — again to the dismay of some colleagues — to include a provision requiring lawmakers to report the names of their lobbyist-bundlers. He has co-sponsored bills to overhaul the presidential public financing system and public financing of Senate campaigns.”

Not a single major law or reform, indeed.

And I wasn’t aware that writing memoirs was something to be ashamed of. Obama has, in fact, written only one. McCain (with Mark Salter) has written at least two.

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