Well, I guess there is one good thing this stimulus bill will do for republicans. It will help us weed out the fake conservatives from the real conservatives. No, not in Congress. Rather, it is the republican GOVERNORS who are now pushing for the bill to pass. You remember the governors, right? They're the ones we're most likely going to have to choose from in 2012 to be our nominee. So which ones are acting on their conservative principles and which ones are going to the feds asking for a handout? It may surprise you.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, planned to meet in Washington this weekend with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other senators to press for her state's share of the package.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist worked the phones last week with members of his state's congressional delegation, including House Republicans.
Those are two projected candidates that are actually lobbying congress for their share. Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty are also asking for money, but they seem a bit more hesitant about it:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a former member of the House, said he would accept the stimulus money but would have voted against the bill if he were still in Congress.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is widely viewed as a potential presidential contender in 2012, said governors have little choice but to accept the relief being offered. "States have to balance their budgets," he said. "So if we're going to go down this path, we are entitled to ask for our share of the money."
But Pawlenty expressed reservations about the cost of the plan and its impact on the federal deficit, which has already grown to over $1 trillion.
"I'm quite concerned about the federal government spending money it doesn't have," Pawlenty said. "We're on an unsustainable path of deficit spending and borrowing."
As usual, there remains one governor who is remaining steadfast in his conservative principles and has been speaking out against these bailouts from the very beginning (though he hasn't officially said that he will reject this round of bailouts):
The most outspoken critic has been South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who has warned for months of a steep spike in inflation and a severely weakened dollar if Obama's plan passed. His state is on track to receive $2.1 billion of the stimulus money; Sanford has not yet said whether he would accept it.
"It's incumbent on me as one of the nation's governors to speak out against what I believe is ultimately incredibly harmful to the economy, to taxpayers and to the worth of the U.S. dollar," Sanford said in an interview. "This plan is a huge mistake and is going to prolong and deepen this recession."
Sanford outlined his concerns in December when the then-president-elect met with governors in Philadelphia to discuss the stimulus proposal. Sanford said he had heard nothing from the White House since then.
Associates say Sanford, who recently was elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has been disappointed in how few of his GOP colleagues have joined him in speaking out against the size and scope of Obama's plan.
I'm sure times are tough, but if you want my vote for the GOP nomination in 2012 I sure don't want to see you lobbying the feds to get bailout money! I would have loved to have seen every GOP governor out there with Sanford BEGGING the government not to do this. Unfortunately that isn't happening. Kudos to Haley barbour as well:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he wasn't sure whether he would accept the approximately $3 billion his state would be in line for.
"Yes, we need some help and we appreciate the help," Barbour said in an interview. "But I don't know about the details and the strings attached to tell you if I'll take all of it or not."