Give Sen. Patty Murray credit: She was able to keep a straight face when she told a reporter last week, after Boeing lost out to Northrop-Airbus in a bid to build new Air Force tankers: "I sincerely hope politics didn’t play a role in this."
In fact, politics played a role. It was the reason Boeing lost. And it was Murray, along with Rep. Norm Dicks, who played the political cards in recent years that led to the scrapping of Boeing’s original bid and setting up this win for its rivals.
They worked the back rooms and pulled out all the stops to force the government to swallow an overpriced proposal, while Boeing itself was engaging in corrupt conduct. Sen. John McCain called it all "one of the great rip-offs in American history."