Politics & Policy

In Her Own Words

Excerpts from Sarah Palin's book.

Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue goes on sale today. There are tons of excerpts and reviews already out there. But for a quick tour of the book, here is a compendium of Sarah Palin in her own words.

Palin says she tried to change the statement that went out about Bristol’s pregnancy because it suggested she and Todd were happy about the pregnancy. The statement went out anyway. A McCain campaign source says it was an innocent mistake, which Palin says might be possible. However,

Perhaps it was just an honest mistake, and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But after a few similar incidents, I questioned [Steve] Schmidt about what headquarters would and would not allow me to say. Schmidt was a busy guy; he didn’t have a lot of time to elaborate, no doubt. He replied coolly, “Just stick with the script.” (p. 235)

The use of the word “bullcrap” is characteristic Palin:

At about the same time as the pregnancy story broke, another bullcrap story entered the wider media bloodstream: “Who Is Trig’s Real Mom?” Formerly reputable outlets like The Atlantic ran with the loony conspiracy theory that I was not Trig’s mother — perhaps it was Bristol or Willow, they suggested. (p. 238)

Before she gave her convention speech, she had a Trig moment:

Just before I left the hotel room to hit the convention stage, on the evening of September 3, I noticed that Trig needed changing. I also noticed that we had run out of diapers. After a frantic, hotel-wide search, someone found a stack, and the last thing I did before heading down to give the biggest speech of my life was to change the baby.

It’s the kind of thing that keeps you grounded. (p. 240)

She describes being deeply moved by “the number of special-needs kids and adults” who would show up — and in increasing numbers — along the trail, inspired by Trig’s presence in her life and the campaign. Of one rally in Pensacola, Fla., she writes:

Up in the stands, I spotted a group of 15 kids with Down syndrome wearing shirts that said, we love trig! and trig in the white house. I thought, Wow! How great that these precious people have someone associated with a national campaign that they can identify with. . . . 

She adds:

Down syndrome comes in a range of severities. Some people with Down can live self-sufficient lives. Others may be totally dependent. They spend their lives knowing they are different from other people. So it blessed me in ways I can’t even describe to be able to help bring them from the fringe into the bright spotlight that most often seems reserved only for the privileged.

It was after meeting all these amazing people that Todd and I proudly displayed the bumper sticker a very cool group from Arizona sent us, which read, my kid has more chromosomes than your kid! (p. 251)

Palin bristled at what she considered her media captivity. She says she was kept from the Alaska press and recounts this incident when a reporter from Anchorage tried to talk to her:

He yelled out “Alaska!” But as I tried to holler back, different pairs of hands hustled me into the campaign’s Suburban. It was not a respectful thing to do. I had turned my back on our own local press. Right then and there, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. (p. 255)

On the run-up to the Couric interview:

From the beginning, Nicolle pushed for Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News. The campaign’s general strategy involved coming out with a network anchor, someone they felt had treated John well on the trail thus far. My suggestion was that we be consistent with that strategy and start talking to outlets like Fox and the Wall Street Journal. I really didn’t have a say in which press I was going to talk to, but for some reason Nicolle seemed compelled to get me on the Katie bandwagon.

Katie wants people to like her,” Nicolle said. “She wants you to like her.”

Hearing all that, I almost started to feel sorry for her. Katie had tried to make a bold move from lively morning gal to serious anchor, but the new assignment  wasn’t going very well.

“You know what? We’ll schedule a segment with her,” Nicolle said. “If it doesn’t go well, if there’s no chemistry, we won’t do any others.” (p. 256)

Charlie Gibson as photographer before the Alaska interview:

At one point we jumped out of the van to film in front of the pipeline when a truck full of hunters swung in on their way to a moose camp up the highway. They asked for a picture, and I was delighted. Charlie straightened his collar, but the guys in their hunting gear and camo vests just handed their camera to Charlie and asked him to take snapshots of me standing with them by their truck.

Then we headed to Wasilla, where Charlie wanted to interview me inside my old high school gym. Same thing happened. Some teachers and students stopped us, handed Charlie the camera, and he patiently snapped the pictures of me in Warrior territory. They seemed not to recognize him — or maybe they just figured, hey, he’s the media guy, let him take the picture. Charlie was a great sport and appeared to take it in stride, but he did seem a bit grumpy during the later segment filmed at my home in Wasilla, where he peered skeptically at me over his bifocals like a high school principal. (p. 271)

More Wallace and Couric after the first interview:

Then Nicolle walked over:  “That was great! Now for tomorrow what we’re going to –”

“There’s going to be a ‘tomorrow’?” I asked.

“Yeah, there’s another segment — you were really good today.”

I thought, Dear Lord, if that’s what you call a good interview, then I don’t know what a bad one is.

As I walked away, I glanced back and saw Nicolle and Katie share a friendly hug. They posed for pictures. (p. 272)

Here is the backstory to “Can I call you Joe?”

During rehearsals, I accidentally called Randy [Scheunemann, playing the senator in debate prep] “Senator O’Biden” — a slip-of-the-lip combination of Obama and Biden. The blunder struck too often, even tripping up campaign staffers. (Jay Leno later made the same slip on his new talk show, so we were in good company.) We laughed about it but knew that if I said it even once during the debate, it would be disastrous.

Then somebody said, “You ought to just call him Joe.”

“Oh, I can’t just call him Joe!” I said. Senator Biden was a senior statesman. He’d been sitting in a U.S. Senate seat since I was nine years old. I believed calling him by his first name without his permission would be disrespectful.

Randy seemed to read my thoughts and offered a solution. “In every debate, you cross the stage and shake hands with your opponent,” he said. “When you shake hands, just ask him for permission to call him Joe. He’s certainly going to say yes, because he’s a gentleman.” (p. 289)

She recounts an almost disastrous run she went on during debate prep in Sedona:

I lost traction and crashed, tumbling into the dirt, gravel slicing into my hands and knees. It took a second to register what I had just done. One of the Secret Service agents helped me up. It was quite embarrassing.

My hands and knees were a bloody mess, and one thing was scarlet with road rash. Suddenly I was very thankful for the agents. They helped me into the golf cart, and I tried to manage a laugh — between winces. (p. 290)

On the already infamous f-bomb before the VP debate (we understand Schmidt denies it):

I looked up to see Schmidt barrel through. Immediately, he began to bellyache about Gwen Ifill. “You know she’s going to f*** with you?”

I’m thinking, Why are you telling me this? Last minute . . . what’s the point? And no more f-bombs around Piper, please? (p. 294)

Right before the Biden debate, Palin could see the senator standing directly across from her backstage. She tried to catch his eye but couldn’t:

Then the senator started to stretch. Literally.

He put his hands on his hips and, staring grimly at some point behind me, began to bend at the waist, bouncing first to the right, then to the left. Then the neck roll started, presumably to get rid of all that nasty tension from being the front-runner. After that, the senator from Delaware began stretching his quads, grabbing his dress shoe and pulling it up behind his designer-suited rear end. Right leg, then left.

I’m thinking, O-kay. Didn’t know this was going to get physical.

I looked at Jason to mouth, What the heck? Should I be doing that too?  (p. 296)

Gtting thrown under the bus for the Ayers attack:

Headquarters issued an approved sound bite about Obama “palling around with terrorists,” and I was happy to be the one to deliver it. As more information was made public concerning Obama’s associations and the fact that he had kicked off his political career in Ayers’s living room, the sound bite was written into a rally speech. The Left went nuts, accusing me of lowdown rhetoric unworthy of presidential politics. And although it was headquarters that had issued the sound bite, the folks there did little more than duck. (p. 307)

Giving Oliver Stone the cold shoulder:

Josh Broslin, Mark Wahlberg, and the singer Adele were also on the show that night, as was director Oliver Stone, who made a cameo appearance. Unbelievably, he is a supporter of Communist dictator Hugo Chávez, who in a 2006 speech to the United Nations referred to the president of the United States as “the devil himself.” I did not shake Stone’s hand.  (p. 313)

Palin recounts showing Nicolle Wallace her wardrobe back in Alaska, when she returned for the Charlie Gibson interview:

While the crews turned my kitchen into a television studio, I took Nicolle into my bedroom and showed her what I thought I should pack for the trail. She flipped through my wardrobe with raised eyebrows.

“No . . . no . . . no,” she said as she slid each garment aside on its hanger. But I did manage to sneak that pink Dolce & Gabbana jacket plus other pieces onto the trail with me. (p. 316)

On the media, Palin makes a “for the record” complaint:

What used to be called the “mainstream” national media are, in many respects, worthless as a source of factual information any more. The sin of omission glares in their reporting. . . . Perhaps national press outlets just don’t have the resources any more to devote to balanced coverage. Perhaps they’ve all just given up on themselves, so we’ve given up on them, too, except to treat their shoddy reporting like a car crash — sometimes you just have to look. The time has come to acknowledge that it is a counterfeit objectivity the liberal media try to sell consumers. We are moving into a new, more intelligent realm to gather information differently in order to hold our government accountable. (p. 348)

On the Fairness Doctrine:

Thank God there are still a few credible broadcasters on cable news, plus informative talk radio, commonsense blogs, and some fine, fact-based print publications. Beware of the left’s attempts to silence these — as they have already with the bogus “Fairness Doctrine,” which attempts to blunt the force of conservative talk radio — and join me in being all over it when censoring efforts crop up. (p. 348)

Palin on the divorce rumors, again in inimitable Palin style:

That day in sunny Texas when the divorce rumors were rampant in the tabloids, I watched Todd, tanned and shirtless, take the baby from my arms and walk him back to the ranch house so Trig could nap while I made calls. Seeing Todd’s blue eyes smiling, I chuckled.

Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?  (p. 352)

Another “only Palin” turn of phrase:

But now partisan operatives were using the reformed ethics to level charges against me that were as trivial as they were absurd — charges that were eagerly reported by the press as though they were actual news.

What a bass-ackwards way of doing the people’s business. (p. 356)

Let’s be glad she wasn’t reading the Corner the night of her resignation!

As Kris, Mike Nizich, and family members stood in my kitchen, my brother turned up the television just to get a read on what kind of bizarre theories the press was cranking out this time. Before long we told him to just turn off the news. And we just had to say it: “What a bunch of buffoons.” (p. 378)

 

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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