Sarah Palin has a book out.
You might wonder how bad it can be. The following is not an exaggeration:
If you are in a hurry, here is the succinct version of this review: Going Rogue is shit. It is groundbreaking in its banality and disregard for facts. If you are sentient, it will pain you to read it. Imagine watching your parents 69 one another while John Madden sits behind you and bellows out color commentary and you will have some idea of how excruciating and profoundly scarring it is to plow through each page of this wholly fictional monument to self-aggrandized mediocrity. Going Rogue is to the art of writing what the Holocaust is to the concept of a just God – the piece of disconfirming evidence so overwhelming that we are left questioning whether it can exist at all.
The theme that permeates the book – and with all the subtlety of an Oliver Stone film – is Palin’s overwhelming magnanimity. The book itself was written solely for our benefit, to set straight all of our misconceptions. Her Hindeburg interview with Katie Couric was done only because Palin pitied the struggling journalist (no mention of how her personal generosity forced her to answer simple questions like a lobotomized rube who had never ventured beyond Wasilla). Her hillbilly-wins-the-Lotto shopping sprees and misuse of Alaska taxpayers’ funds to take her daughters on vacations in $3000 per night hotels either never happened (er, she “usually” eschewed lavish accommodations for simple ones) or were forced upon her by others; McCain aides practically held a gun to her head and made her buy a new wardrobe. She resigned the governorship halfway through her only term for the benefit of the people of Alaska (admittedly, she may be onto something there). Her enormous legal bills stem from frivolous ethics complaints by her enemies, and she has borne these costs for you – out of the kindness of her heart. Buying her book and electing her to the presidency is the least you can do in return, ingrate.
The book is one long "I AM SO GREAT AND EVERBODY WHO IS AGAINST ME IS TEH MEANIE!" and "ABLOOOO, ABLOOOO, I AM BEING PERSECUTED."
You might say, "Couscous, you just really hate her. She can't possibly be that self serving and contradicting her own previous statements in the book."
In a segment of her interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was posted online but did not air on television, Sarah Palin was asked whether her family had voted on her decision to accept John McCain's offer to join him on the Republican ticket in August of 2008.
"This time, there wasn't a family vote," Palin told Winfrey. "Other steps in my political life, I've polled the kids, and I have abided by some of the results of the polls that the kids have partaken in. This time, no."
"What was your family's reaction?" Hannity asked. "Was there time to huddle and have a hockey team meeting?"
"It was a time of asking the girls to vote on it, anyway," Palin told Hannity. "And they voted unanimously, yes. Didn't bother asking my son because, you know, he's going to be off doing his thing anyway, so he wouldn't be so impacted by, at least, the campaign period here."
"So asked the girls what they thought and they're like, absolutely. Let's do this, mom."
Salter was particularly interested in Palin's views on the subject of evolution vs. creationism, and according to an excerpt from "Going Rogue," Palin maintains that the McCain campaign's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, was dismissive of her point of view on the subject.
Palin writes: "But your dad's a science teacher," Schmidt objected. "Yes." "Then you know that science proves evolution," added Schmidt. "Parts of evolution," I said. "But I believe that God created us and also that He can create an evolutionary process that allows species to change and adapt." Schmidt winced and raised his eyebrows. In the dim light, his sunglasses shifted atop his head. I had just dared to mention the C-word: creationism. But I felt I was on solid factual ground."
Palin's version of the conversation contradicts the reporting we conducted for our own book, "Sarah From Alaska," which was published earlier this month.
"I'm the daughter of a science teacher. My father showed me fossils. I know about evolution, and I accept evolution," Palin said, we report in our book. "That doesn't mean that God didn't set everything in motion."
In "Sarah From Alaska," we reported that contrary to Palin's description of a pair of sunglasses shifting ominously atop Schmidt's head, both Schmidt and Salter were actually quite satisfied with Palin's answer, which dovetailed with the theory of Intelligent Design.
Two former McCain aides each independently maintained that Palin's recollection of the conversation in "Going Rogue," was inaccurate.
"If she had been, 'I am a creationist,' she would not have been the nominee," one former aide said. "McCain wouldn't have gone for that."
Another former McCain campaign aide maintained not to have recalled ever hearing Palin use the word "creationism" and said that it had been Palin, not Schmidt, who had raised the issue of her father's occupation as a science teacher.
In another excerpt of "Going Rogue," obtained by the Huffington Post, Palin provides her version of Schmidt's reaction to the "Sarkozy" crank phone call, which lasted several minutes before the embarrassed vice presidential candidate finally hung up the phone.
"Right away, the phones started ringing," Palin writes in the excerpt. "One of the first calls was Schmidt, and the force of his screaming blew my hair back. 'How can anyone be so stupid?! Why would the president of France call a vice presidential candidate a few days out?!'"
"Good question, I thought,'' Palin writes. "Weren't you the ones who set this up?"
A senior McCain aide and a mid-level Palin staffer who was with the governor during the crank call disputes this account and says that Schmidt did not call to berate her over the incident and that the chief strategist instead sent an email to staffers, rebuking them for setting up the call.
Furthermore, as Palin was told at the time, it was her own foreign policy adviser, Steve Biegun, who set up the phone call with "Sarkozy," not Schmidt.
"The call had been on the official schedule that went out to all campaign aides, but it had merely been labeled 'personal phone call,' which could have meant a conversation with her mother or son," we write in "Sarah From Alaska." "…Palin's demeanor softened a bit when she learned that Biegun, a staunch loyalist, had been responsible for allowing the call to go through. As her stunned aides looked on, Biegun was called and told what had happened. He was mortified and accepted full responsibility for not notifying the proper aides about the phone call and allowing the pranksters to get to the candidate, but Palin was determined to correct the mistake rather than reflect upon it."
The former Palin aide who remains loyal to her said that Schmidt did in fact place a phone call but that he was not singling out Palin for blame.
"He was yelling at the situation. I wouldn't say yelling at her," the aide said.
In the book, Palin claims to have helped the fishermen, Alaska Natives and other individuals suing Exxon over spill damages prevail in their legal case.
“It took years for Alaska to achieve victory. As governor, I directed our attorney general to write an amicus brief in the case, and, thanks to Alaska’s able attorneys arguing in front of the highest court in the land, in 2008 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the people,” she writes in her book. “Finally, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.”
But Palin’s claims of victory for the plaintiffs and of playing a role in achieving that victory are highly distorted, said the chief attorney for the approximately 32,000 plaintiffs that sued Exxon over damages from the worst oil-tanker spill in U.S. waters.
“That is the most cockamamie bullshit,” said Dave Oesting of Anchorage, lead plaintiff attorney in the private litigants’ civil case against Exxon and its successor, Exxon Mobil Corp. “She didn’t have a damn thing to do with it, and she didn’t know what it was about.”
In her new book "Going Rogue," the former vice presidential candidate claims that Wallace convinced Palin to do an interview with CBS News Anchor Katie Couric because Couric admired Palin as a working mother. Palin also claims that Wallace, a former CBS political analyst, told her that Couric had low self-esteem.
"The whole notion there was a conversation where I tried to cajole her into a conversation with Katie [Couric] is fiction," Wallace told MSNBC. "I am not someone who throws around the word 'self-esteem.' It is a fictional description."
Furthermore, Wallace said, the interview was set up on the day of the U.N. General Assembly to emphasize Palin's foreign policy savvy -- in other words, the interview was not about the connection Couric and Palin shared as working mothers.
"It was never made as two working gals," Wallace said. "It's either rationalization or justification or fiction."
Wallace took issue with Palin's overall depiction of her as well as her characterization of McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt.
"She hated me from the beginning," Wallace said. "I try not to take it personally, the fact is that she wrote a book based on fabrications... This book is a bizarre fixation on things that everyone else has moved on from."
But what appeared to upset her most was that about $50,000 of the legal bills was her share of the expenses for being vetted to become McCain's running mate, Palin writes.
In her book -- which is due to be released Tuesday, but which the Associated Press purchased Thursday -- Palin said that no one had informed her she would have to take care of any expenses related to the selection process.
Palin writes that when she asked officials at the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign if they would help her financially, she was told that the bills would have been paid if the Arizona senator had won the presidency, but since he lost, the bills were her responsibility.
Trevor Potter, general counsel for the McCain campaign, told the Associated Press that the campaign had never asked Palin to pay a legal bill.
"To my knowledge, the campaign never billed Gov. Palin for any legal expenses related to her vetting, and I am not aware of her ever asking the campaign to pay legal expenses that her own lawyers incurred for the vetting process," he said.
Potter said that if Palin's personal lawyer billed her for any work related to her vetting, "we are unaware of it. It was never raised with the campaign."
The 50,000 dollars was for the troopergate fiasco that began long before she was ever the running mate.
On page 214 of her memoir "Going Rogue," Sarah Palin writes the following in regard to when the McCain campaign knew about her daughter Bristol's pregnancy:
"I was impressed with these guys. They were thorough. For example, they already knew that Bristol was pregnant, a development that I thought only loved ones were privy to at the time."
Yet Palin should have known the campaign was aware of the pregnancy by that point: She told the campaign's vice presidential vetters as much, in writing, far before she was chosen to be John McCain's running mate.
Palin and the other vice presidential short-listers were asked to fill out a written questionnaire during the vetting the process, according to a "senior official close to the vetting process" who talked to reporters on September 2nd, 2008.
Palin revealed Bristol's pregnancy on this written questionnaire, adding that she wanted to discuss the pregnancy orally with the campaign, according to the campaign official.
A written report, which included info about the pregnancy, was presented to campaign manager Rick Davis as well as McCain before the campaign flew Palin down for the meeting she describes on Page 214.
She might just be so stupid as to be able to forget telling a person something that was a huge secret at the time.
WINFREY: Didn’t several times they say to you when actually you mentioned, when you were talking about pulling out of Michigan and you said I wished we’d stayed in Michigan. Weren’t you told then, Sarah just stay on script?
PALIN: Right, told after wards and that, that was always puzzling to me because if I were to respond to a reporter’s questions very candidly, honestly, for instance, they say, “what do you think about the campaign pulling out of Michigan” and I think, “darn I wish we weren’t. Every vote matters, I can’t wait to get back to Michigan” and then told afterwards that, “oh, you screwed up. You went rogue on us Sarah, you’re not supposed to be.” And my reminder to the campaign was, I didn’t know we pulled out of Michigan. My entire VP team, we didn’t know that we had pulled out. I’m sorry, I apologize, but speaking candidly to a reporter.
This was a lie. And we know it was a lie the way we know that 33 other statements by Palin are lies - because objective reality proves it so. On October 3, as Matt Corley explains, Palin told Carl Cameron that she disagreed with the decision to pull out of Michigan. How can she have disagreed with something that she now says she didn't know at the time? Here's the money section of the Cameron interview:
PALIN: Well, that's not a surprise because the polls are showing we're not doing as well there, evidently, as we would like to. But, I (INAUDIBLE) up this morning, also. I fired a quick e-mail and said, oh, come on. Do we have to call it there? Todd and I would happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants where car manufacturers [sic].
The e-mail that Palin sent was, in fact, essentially how she described it to Cameron. She wrote to her traveling staff and top McCain advisers, “If there’s any time, Todd and I would love a quick return to Michigan-we’d tour the plants, etc. . . . If it does McC any good. I know you have a plan, but I hate to see us leave Michigan. We’ll do whatever we had [sic] to do there to give it a 2nd effort.”
A senior aide replied, “Michigan is out of reach unless something drastic happens. We must win oh and hopefully pa.”
Palin replied that she “got it,” but her subsequent interview with Cameron had shown that she hadn’t. She acknowledged as much in a post-interview e-mail to senior staff, writing, “Oops-I mentioned something about that to Carl Cameron and it’s now recorded that I’d love to give Michigan the ol’ college try.”
Also, she is a gibbering moron.
From Ms. Palin’s masterwork, we learn that the personal really is the political. Every encounter with a critic seems to be a skirmish in the culture wars, from the Alaska debate moderator who didn’t play fair once to the “wealthy, effete young chap” who ran against her for governor but who, in one of the quickest transitions from anti-snob to snob in all of literature, is also said to have served as “our limo driver at [her husband] Todd’s cousin’s wedding.”
So much for tradition. The respect she shows history, though, is the kind of respect you show the flag when you soak it in kerosene and touch a match to it. “[W]e tried growing government to save the economy back in the 1930s, and it didn’t work then either,” Ms. Palin writes. It is a modest assertion, though, compared to the astonishing finding Ms. Palin reveals in the next sentence: “Massive government spending programs and protectionist economic policies actually helped turn a recession into the Great Depression.” If this is, as it seems, a reference to the New Deal, then history, per Ms. Palin, sometimes goes backwards, with the WPA and its ilk actually bringing about events that took place before they were launched.
"It's kind of what Reagan used to do though when he used to talk about, say, the Evil Empire. You're never going to find 'The Evil Empire' on a map of the world. He talked about that in terms that people could understand...Now, had he been criticized and mocked and condemned for using a term that wasn't actually there on a map or in documents, we probably would have never succeeded in quashing the Evil Empire and winning that.
Speaking on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Palin said that “some on the left, that lamestream media, they’re contradicting what I wrote in the book.”
Hannity jumped in to ask, “did you say lamestream media?”
“Yeah, lamestream,” Palin responded. “They are contradicting those facts that I laid out regarding what Reagan had to say.”
“Anyways, it’s been nonsense to hear some of the criticism of that principle there, and that is what history shows us is what Ronald Reagan did was put American back on the right path,” she continued. “We need to emulate that.”
“We need to repeat that instead of going back to the 1930s and think that some growth of government, New Deal spending is going to get us out of a recession,” she said. “It is, of course, going to cause greater problems.”
Palin did not specify who she was accusing of distorting her view of Reagan’s policies during her interview with Hannity.
Yes, she actually used the term "lamestream media."
"I believe the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon, because that population of Israel is going to grow---more and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead..."
Barbara Walters followed up by asking, "Even if it's Palestinian areas?" Palin reiterated her earlier position in response.
"I am very sorry," Palin writes to Nicolle Wallace, Steve Schmidt, and Rick Davis, with her husband, Todd, cc:ed. "u guys are working double-triple time on this blundered-up stuff that they spin bc of my visits w press - while I apologize I say I love you guys!!!"