Jake Turcotte / AP photos
If it surprises you that a Republican has spoken out in favor of Obama's stimulus package, this next point will surprise you even more: There's a Republican in Vermont!
The home to the only self-described socialist in Congress (that would be Senator Bernie Sanders), Vermont is not exactly a hotbed of conservatism. But apparently there is at least one Republican there. He also happens to be the governor.
Governor Jim Douglas doesn't oppose President Obama's mega-gigantic spending package at all. In fact, he likes it. He likes it so much that President Obama showcased him this morning in the Oval Office.
"This is a serious matter," Douglas said sitting next to Obama. "It is a kind of recession that is deep and appears to be long. The only way we're going to get the country moving again is a partnership between the states and the federal government."
"No one understands this better than governors and mayors and county officials who are seeing the devastating effects on the ground of the contraction in the economy," President Obama said. "People are being laid off and that means governors like Jim are having to not only deal with declining revenue but increase social services to provide support for people who are unemployed as they are seeking work."
Other GOP support
Douglas isn't the only Republican governor who apparently supports the package. The CATO Institute actually breaks it down, putting those who support the package in the "give me my pork" category. In that camp reside GOP governors Tim Pawlenty, (Minn.), Charlie Crist (Fla.), Sarah Palin (Alaska).
Well, it depends on the definition of what support is.
"Palin, darling of many 'movement' conservatives came all the way to Washington to lobby for the bill," the report reads. "[Florida Governor Charlie] Crist worked the phones, unsuccessfully trying to convince Republican House members from Florida to support the bill. [Minnesota Governor Tim] Pawlenty admits some concern over the bill’s impact on the federal deficit, but says, governors 'are entitled to ask for our share of the money.'"
Over at the conservative website HotAir there's a big ol' battle being waged as to whether Palin supports it or not.
Writes AllahPundit, "I wasn’t suggesting she loves the bill on the merits, or that she’s suddenly a fan of trillion-dollar spending outlays. My point was that, like (Louisiana governor Bobby) Jindal and unlike (South Carolina governor Mark) Sanford (maybe), she’s willing to accept federal spending as a way of kickstarting the economy provided it’s directed to “good” projects. I thought the grassroots conservative position on economic recovery was for the feds to either do nothing or do it all through tax cuts. Am I mistaken?"
Whatever, Palin's name on the CATO list led a Daily Kos blogger to heap some praise on the Alaska governor.
"For those who aren’t playing political games, the stimulus package actually brings both archconservative and moderate Republican leaders, like Sarah Palin and Charlie Crist, together with Democratic leadership," writes brownsox. "That sounds pretty gosh darned bipartisan to me, also."
No way, Jose
On the other side of the aisle stands Jindal (although according to CATO if it passes he'd probably take the money). But Sanford says no way. Even if they throw millions at him.
“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 US dollar,” Sanford said.
By the way, if you're a Rod Blagojevich fan make sure to tune in David Letterman tomorrow night as the former governor continues his worldwide media tour on Letterman's show (fittingly the worldwide pants company). Read more about that here.