PALIN’S BAD TIMING…. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), about 20 hours after President Obama apologized for his Special Olympics joke gone awry, condemned the president in a press release. “I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community,” the controversial governor said, adding that she was “shocked” at the poor attempt at humor, which was “degrading” for “precious and unique people.”

As Greg Sargent reports, her timing could have been better.

[L]ess than 24 hours before hitting Obama this way, Palin turned down nearly $40 million in Federal funding for programs catering to special education kids.

The funding for special needs kids, it turns out, is buried in all that stimulus money for Alaska that Palin drew national criticism for turning down last week.

Specifically, the recovery package passed by Congress and signed into law by the president would have directed around $36 million to Alaska in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act money, including funding for the same Americans who participate in the Special Olympics.

We can hope that Gov. Palin’s position on this federal funding does not reflect how she truly feels about the special needs community.

For what it’s worth, last week, around the same time Obama was talking to Jay Leno, Palin was talking about rejecting stimulus aid. Explaining her decision to turn down aid, Palin complained about the dangers of “growing government,” and described recovery funds as “a bribe.”

Today, facing public criticism, Palin’s lieutenant governor said Palin isn’t necessarily rejecting the stimulus aid, but just wants a public debate about the funding.

Funny, I thought the “bribe” line made her position rather clear.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.