The list of governors threatening to decline federal stimulus money last month read like a list of Republicans considering running for president in 2012: Governors Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin led the anti-stimulus charge.Governor is an especially hard political job in a recession, and I think throughout the entire stimulus debate we always kind of knew that nobody was really going to turn down stimulus money. Hard to know exactly what the long-term effects of this will be on these governors, but I don't see how this isn't a tremendous loss of face for these three.
But what began with a bang is ending with something closer to a whimper. All three of those governors have been forced to scale back their expectations, to varying degree, as the push of conservative philosophy gave way to the pull of political reality.
All three found that praise from the conservative movement in Washington meant nothing to furious state legislators of both parties. And in the end, along with other conservative Republican governors, the three submitted letters in recent days asking to be eligible for federal funds, a spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget confirmed.
Friday, April 10, 2009
GOP govs: We'll take that money after all
Ben Smith's story about how GOP governors have had to kind of come around to accepting stimulus money seems like it marks a significant moment: