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Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Ugly Irony of Sarah Palin's Book Title

Going Rogue. It's cute. It's sassy. It's mavericky. The title of Sarah Palin's memoir is designed to sell books. If it had been titled Everything I Need to Know I Learned Playing Point Guard for the Wasilla High School Girls Basketball Team, it might not have had quite the same zing. Perhaps the title is meant to encapsulate the fierce, independent spirit that many had learned to associate with the woman who came closer to the vice presidency than any Republican woman in history. But there are many back here in Alaska who heard Going Rogue and were horrified, struck by the ugly irony of her book title.

When the Lower 48 was still asking "Sarah who?" the GOP was relying on the talking point, "She's the most popular governor in the nation." And she was. While other governors with approval ratings in the high fifties were feeling pretty pleased with themselves, Sarah Palin was luxuriating in approval ratings that at one point approached a stratospheric 90 percent. Without that number, she would likely never have been the vice-presidential nominee.

But as it was, that statistic played a significant role in the magical attraction to this virtually unknown candidate, who appeared to be the best kept secret in the country. If people in her own state were so thrilled, then she obviously must be doing something right, people reasoned. After all, how could 90 percent of Alaskans be wrong? That question has a two-part answer.
Schmidt Calls Palin's Memoirs "Total Fiction"
To read Sarah Palin's shockingly shallow Going Rogue, one is immediately struck by how nasty and vindictive Palin is, and that her book is little more than a veiled mechanism for settling scores with old foes who have triumphed over her throughout Palin's lifetime.

Is Palin really going rogue? Hardly. Getting even is more like it.

Palin's biggest score to settle is with those senior advisers--Republicans all--in the John McCain campaign, on whose shoulders Palin lays the blame for her failed and tortured debut on the American political stage last fall. Most notable among them, of course, is "The Bullet," Steve Schmidt, who took over McCain's teetering campaign in July of 2008 and was a staunch advocate of Palin's selection as McCain's running mate.

He has told the Huffington Post that Palin's allegations against the McCain campaign are "total fiction."

Schmidt now joins a host of former McCain staffers, including Mark Salter and Nicolle Wallace, who have challenged the veracity of Palin's book even before it hits the streets on Tuesday. One McCain aide who worked closely with Palin and who "liked her personally" described Palin's account of the campaign as "blatantly and absolutely inaccurate."

McCain aides are shocked-- though not entirely surprised--by Palin's allegations. They caught enough of her act during the 60-plus days of her campaign sojourn to know that she plays "fast and loose with the truth."

During the months that she served as the Republican Party's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin had what could best be described as an acrimonious relationship with the press. Thrust into the national spotlight from relative political obscurity, the former Alaska Governor saw her professional record and personal story come under a powerful microscope. And as controversy was exposed and questions were raised, the animosity that Palin felt for the fourth estate became nearly all-consuming.

In her upcoming book, "Going Rogue," the former governor spends ample time airing her grievances with the way she was and continues to be treated by the media. The cast of characters she disparages range from the famous to the obscure, the national to the local - all of whom are accused of either peddling scandal or playing out political vendettas.
Palin pens a payback


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