"I am disturbed by this item," wrote Bill McAllister, director of communications for Gov. Palin, referencing a blog entry from last night in which we referred to an article in the liberal magazine Mother Jones noting that Palin -- after what seemed like a campaign against earmark abuse -- was back at the proverbial trough.
The adjective proverbial grows from the noun proverb, which means old saying. It roughly means "widely known" or "legendary."
The image of a pig eating from a trough is a popular way of picturing dishonest politicians. Another is the expression fat cat.
The writer is saying that even though Sarah Palin says she doesn't try to get big grants from the federal government, she really does - her snout is in the federal trough. In other words, she's dishonest.