Guest Post by a Politicalgates Reader
Joe McGinniss surpasses my expectations for this long-awaited book, which documents his return to Alaska--site of his 1976 best-seller, "Going to Extremes"--this time to explore the state's Idaho-born ball of thermonuclear fission that is named Sarah Heath Palin. Those who've been following the linguine-like tangles of the Palin saga still will find a great deal of new and fascinating information, presented in McGinniss' engaging, can't-put-it-down fashion. Even if you haven't been paying attention to Sarah Palin at all, The Rogue will knock your socks off.
McGinniss speaks to many of the individuals on the record who have been bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated by Palin in power, including former Wasilla mayor John Stein, former Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan, and ex-Alaska state senator Lyda Green (Chuck Heath Sr. reportedly inquired winsomely of Green before her retirement, "Why don't you quit now, you fat old cow?"). From his first days in Wasilla, McGinniss experienced first-hand the reign of terror and lunacy that was set into action by Palin's election as mayor in the mid-'90s. He also recounts dozens of acts of hospitality and kindness, having been offered a WELCOME sign, state flag, keys to the houses of total strangers, blueberry pie ("I figure Sarah Palin didn't get around to it yet," which she hadn't), freshly caught fish, festive dinners of yak burgers and yak loaf, and innumerable firearms. McGinniss declined only the guns. The state of Alaska is a character in this book as well, described with tenderness and exasperation, like a family member. It's easy to see why people fall in love with the place--and why so many residents, documented by McGinniss, are disgusted to have the image of their state co-opted by someone who quit her job to cash in on being a semi-professional Alaskan.
The lack of an index is my only quibble about this fine contribution to my Palin shelf. Read it alongside Geoffrey Dunn's "The Lies of Sarah Palin" for as close to a complete look at a unique American figure that one can find... as of this writing.
Joe McGinniss writing at his blog reveals that he has been on a tour of the USA via satellite radio. He also discloses that his publisher backs both the the publication of The Rogue and its author. Many readers here at Politicalgates believe that it would be a good thing if Sarah Palin actually does dare to sue the publisher as "discovery" would be a great thing.
In an effort to appease her rabid fans, last night Sarah Palin announced that she still hasn't made a decision as to whether she is running or not, and don't expect a decision in the next 24 hours from her either. Sarah Palin does not keep her promises, even to her fans -- are we surprised? No --- she imposed the deadline and now seems unwilling to keep to it. Typical dithering Sarah. Still, the longer she takes in her deliberations the crazier her fans will become and that can only be a good thing.
Of more concern during the interview Palin further distances herself from the two main parties which she regards are embroiled in the politics of "crony capitalism". A concept that she is not exactly unfamiliar with as our contributer Nomadic View has already outlined in a previous post. For Palin "crony capitalism" is just another popular sound bite that she has embraced alongside "American exceptionalism", "The Little Guy", "Commonsense" and even more recently the resurrected slogan "I'm a maverick". If she runs I believe that she will run as a third party candidate because the GOP doesn't want her and it is also my view that her rejection by the GOP was probably engineered by none other than Palin herself.
Palin has sensed the mood of a sizeable number of Americans who feel flattened by a poor economic climate and she smells blood in the air. Distancing herself from the decision making that has led to the present situation may certainly do her no harm. I also expect that Palin thinks that a lot of the negative issues that presently surround her will have quietly faded into the distance by the time the actual election period commences. In the meantime the problem Palin faces is how to make herself relevant in a positive sense rather than a negative one. Can she do that? I don't think so.
Note what Palin says at the end of the interview:
"Whatever it takes to retire this permanent political class that has embraced it (crony capitalism) we're gonna do it."
That sounds as if it could get ugly to me.