The book consists of five parts.
Part I: Life up to the call from John McCain. The book I read and appreciated earlier, Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down was instrumental in her selection, along with the heroic work of a band of bloggers, covers most of this ground so the first half will be old hat to those who followed Palin before she became VP. Stuff better told here includes Todd being the Big Man on Campus (BMOC) with TWO “rides” when others had none; beauty contests paid for college; eloped, terrible pain of pregancy, lost second child, Exxon Valdez killed fish prices down 65%, lost some bids for office, and very meaningful for me, with respect to Downes syndrome, she asked “why us” and Todd responded “why not us.”
Part II: Photos, very disappointing for pre-campaign, better for campaign but over-all TERRIBLE.
Part III: From the call through the campaign to resignation and a fairly rotten “what lies ahead section. I tried to help her, as did so many others, but when I volunteered at the McCain campaign headquarters I was told that the Vice-Presidential Operations section had been fully staffed (by Bushies) three months before she was selected, and I knew in that moment that McCain was being set up as a fall guy. Although the book is relatively kind in its delivery, the second half made me angrier….and angrier…and angrier, confirming my worst fears about McCain's campaign staff. She is way too nice, making nothing of the fact that she is “given” a staff and told what to say etc. There are a few things here I was not aware of, including a discussion of the CBS hit job in which a great deal of flim was taken to be distilled down to the worst of the worst, and I feel sympathy. I will probably never be a candidate for President or Vice President, but if I were, I would follow Lee Iacocca's model, and kick out the first person to dare to tell me what my positions are going to be. It's time we send the “staff” to muck out the stables, and leave only principals to deal with substance. She thinks Joe Lieberman is a nice guy–he may be nice, but he cannot be trusted and is more a representative of Israel and Wall Street than he is of Connecticut or the rest of us, this one sentence left me completely dismayed.
Part IV: Dewey Whetsell, “A View from Alaska” ends the book, with six excellent summaries of good things Sarah Palin accomplished for Alaska, and that alone is worth the price of the book.
Part V: Missing in Action–the parts not there. The Index is not here, but after reading the book, which is very light on substance, that is not as important as it might be. There is a great deal more that should have, could have been in this book, from more detail on the abuses she suffered at the hands of staff to more about the “alternative” campaign she started ginning up in self-defense, to more about Obama-Biden and some of the dirty tricks their campaign pulled, and finally, a better discussion of why she resigned as Governor instead of leading the Alaska Independence Party in declaring secession an option, inviting Christian Exodus to homestead on lands no longer “federal,” while also negotiating with Russia, Yukon and Nortwest Territories, Greenland, and Denmark to create a Northern Circle of opportunity and prosperity. Sorry to say this, this was a mistake, giving up the power of Alaska to nullify federal over-reach..
There are two helpful references that go with this book [hot links added here):
1. The index of who gets praised, whacked and ignored, look online for “POLITICO A guide to who gets whacked”
2. Facts that are not, look online for “FACT CHECK: Palin's book goes rogue on some facts”
Neither of the two references, while helpful, is fully satisfactory, and neither can be said to discredit the book in any significant way.
If McCain had purged his staff of the Bushies, let Palin be “First Mom” and herself, history might have been different. Still, seeing Obama-Biden as a continuation of Bush-Cheney (White House as theater and out of control) might yet be the best thing that could have happened, a necessary stimulus for the sleeping Republic.
I certainly agree with her condemnation of Rahm Emanuel, but have to observe that Newt Gingrich is the one who first destroyed the bi-partisan model in leading the $300 million a year “buy out” of the government from schoolhouse to White House, and in destroying Speaker Jim Wright, a story told in The Ambition and the Power: The Fall of Jim Wright : A True Story of Washington.
This is a very “lite” book that will be very satisfying to those who see in Sarah Palin a populist who may not have all the world smarts (news flash: most in Washington do not either) but is, as she coins the term, a “Commonsense Conservative.” I love the term, I believe it has staying power.
Two political books that are better than this one are:
Stand For Something: The Battle for America's Soul
America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions, Straight Answers
I am concerned that Chuck Hagel is following Bill Bradley into discredited oblivion. Both smart men, both appear to have concluded that America cannot be saved from the axis of evil between Wall Street (and the Mafia) and the corrupt Congress and equally corrupt–if not irrelevant–White House. Obama-Biden are Empire as Usual, the Bush-Clinton crime families continue to hum along with their gold certificates, and the only losers are us–We the People.
For those who are angry at me for speaking truth and not being all goo-goo over Sarah Palin, suck it up. I love the quote from Fedor Dostoevsky: A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else. Sarah Palin has a LOT of rough edges.
For those who cannot comprehend my admiration of her and my acceptance of her as an emergent leader who speaks for tens of millions angry at being treated like second-class citizens, betrayed by Senators and Representatives who have sold out to Wall Street, allowed the hollowing out of pension funds, sold out to military-industrial, intelligence-industrial, prison-slavery, and hospital-pharmaceutical complexes, I also say, suck it up. She's here to stay, if she does not drive Todd away with pretentious airs and being too much of a girl dog around the house.
Put simply, I embrace Sarah Palin as one who must be at the table, along with Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Jackie Salit, Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, Carol Mosley-Braun, and a number of others who have been neglected by the fradulent media (include FOX and CNN, neither of which can put together any intelligent thoughts about the real world). The BAD NEWS is that none of these people plays well with others. Sarah Palin has enough star power to host a Sunshine Cabinet that creates Commonsense Conservative policy inside of a balanced budget, and I would love to see her harness the Collective Intelligence of the Republic and be in Obama-Biden's face every day. Biden is trying, but he is surrounded by partisan hacks, loyalists, sychophants, and serves a President who was bought for $750 million and knows his place, playing the role of major domo in the world's most expensive and useless of theaters, the White House (Buckminster Fuller said this first).
I'm going to use my remaining seven links in three groups:
Group A: Death to the two parties
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
Group B: Harness the Collective
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential
Group C: Serious Reading for Sarah Palin
Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography)
I could have deleted my pre-review and the 307 negative votes, but I treasure the 57 smart people that understood what I was getting at, and “stand pat.” It is what is, I am what I am, get over it. May God bless the Republic and the Constitution, and protect us from the despicable creatures that have dishonored our flag, our morals, and the goodness of America the Beautiful.