"I was just three months old..."

On p.7 of Going Rogue, we make a sudden bound and spring back through time. At the bottom of p.6, Sarah was taking THAT phone call from Senator John McCain in the final, dying days of August, 2008; on p.7 we are suddenly back in 1964, the year of Sarah's birth; the year of the great Good Friday earthquake in Anchorage.

Sarah describes that time as follows.

"From Sandpoint, Idaho, where I was born, via Juneau, Alaska, I touched down in the windy, remote frontier town of Skagway cradled in my mother's arms. I was just three months old, and barely sixty days had passed since the largest earthquake on record in North American history struck Alaska, on Good Friday, March 27, 1964."

And further down on the page, she continues:

"The quake altered the topography of Alaska forever. Mother Nature showed her might and reminded us that she always wins. But that did not scare my parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, who weren't about to change their minds about pulling up stakes in Idaho, where my dad was a schoolteacher, and settling in America's untamed North. Instead, my parents thought the Good Friday quake--with a 9.2 magnitude, the second largest ever recorded--added to the aura of rugged adventure that lured them to the forty-ninth state, which was then only five years old."

I have two strands of reflections and thoughts to share with you about the connection between these two events of the Year of the Lord 1964, the birth of Sarah and the great earthquake (and earthquakes in general).

First, obviously, we should contemplate the guts and the hardy spirit of Sarah's mom and dad. They were already planning to migrate to the Great North Country, the Last Frontier...then this terrible disaster struck. It was like a test of their courage and resolve. Would they boldly persevere, or would they take the safe path of abandoning their dreams? They chose the Road of the Brave!!

Now, of course, little kids are very sensitive to all that goes on around them. This is why infants learn a language so thoroughly and completely when they hear it all around them in their first months. As we get older, we lose this "absorbent" faculty, as other powers and faculties replace this one. This is why, as adults, we cannot learn languages in quite the same way we did as infants.

So, can we doubt that Sarah, as a baby, sensed the great-hearted spirit in her mom and dad!?! Already, in those first months, she was absorbing an example of noble, brave, and loving hearts. God bless Chuck and Sally forever for all that they have done...but especially for this crucial and fateful decision they made in the springtide of '64!!!

The second line of thought I would like briefly to pursue is the idea of balance and compensation, if I may so put it, in Nature. I may illustrate what I mean by an example. It is a well-known phenomenon that people who become blind develop a particularly keen sense of hearing. Other examples of this kind can easily be cited.

I wonder if it may be true too that at least some people who live in earthquake-prone country, if they have strong characters in general, develop a firmer spirit, a stronger resolve, as a result of their environment. To put it another way, perhaps, because the ground on which they stand is shaky, they become more grounded mentally and spiritually. Or, to put it in yet a different way, maybe for such people a psychological compensation develops, one that is parallel to the example of physical compensation cited above.

Anyway, whether or not there is any truth in this, we know for sure that we have, in Sarah of Alaska, a great lady who is grounded in all the principles that made America great in the past, and can and will make her great in the days and years to come!!


That's a hell of an earthquake she is going to bring with her from Alaska to Washington when she is inaugurated in January of 2013!!!


Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:


All sidebar photos are from Wikimedia. I have tried to post all royalty-free images or to get permission, but in a few cases I could not locate the original source of a photograph or find a way to ask permission.

Contact info:

Other Great Going Rogue Reviews:

Jedediah Bila:

"Palin’s inviting first-person narration that is sometimes whimsical, often confident, and always patriotic...Going Rogue is truly one of those reads in which you put the book down after your eyes graze the final lines and you somehow feel like the writer is someone you’ve known all your life."
John Ziegler:

"I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime..."
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata:
"Her book washes away all doubts that any reader might have had about her readiness to be president. She comes across as exceptionally bright, dedicated, and passionate about public service. Her moral compass is strong, pointing true North in this case. And she has a wicked sense of humor."
Don Surber:
"Conservatives know why Palin is still standing — and standing taller today than those who tried to bring her down. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Thank you, Tina Fey."

Sarah Palin is Coming to Town

Review by Stanley Fish:

When I walked into the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan last week, I headed straight for the bright young thing who wore an “Ask Me” button, and asked her to point me to the section of the store where I might find Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She looked at me as if I had requested a copy of “Mein Kampf” signed in blood by the author....

A few days later...I had begun reading Palin’s book, and while I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done....

First, the art. The book has an architectonic structure that is built around a single moment, the moment when Palin receives a call from John McCain inviting her to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party. When we first hear about the call it is as much a surprise to us as it was (at least as reported) to her, because for six pages she has been recounting a wonderful family outing at the Alaska State Fair. When her phone rings, she hopes it might be a call from her son Track, a soldier soon to deploy to Iraq, but “it was Senator John McCain asking if I wanted to help him change history.”

And that’s the last we hear of it for 200 pages. In between we hear a lot about Wasilla, high school, basketball, college, marriage, children, Down syndrome, Alaska politics, the environment, a daughter’s pregnancy. The re-entry of John McCain into the narrative on page 208 introduces Palin’s account of the presidential campaign and its aftermath, especially her decision to resign the governorship before the end of her term....

Paradoxically, the effect of the neatly spaced references to the call is to de-emphasize it as a dramatic moment. It is presented not as a climax, but as an interruption of matters more central to Palin’s abiding concerns — her family, Alaska’s prosperity, energy policy. (She loves to rehearse the kind of wonkish details we associate with Hillary Clinton, whom she admires.)

Indeed, it is a feature of this narrative that events we might have expected to be foregrounded are elided or passed over. Palin introduced herself to the nation with a powerful, electrifying speech accepting McCain’s invitation to join the ticket. It gets half a sentence (“I gave my speech”)....

The only event that receives an extended discussion is her resignation. It is important to her because as an act it reflects on her integrity, and she has to be sure (as she eventually was) that she was doing it for the right reasons.

Resigning was a moral act for which she was responsible. The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay.

For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything...

I find the voice undeniably authentic...It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.

It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?

And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.”

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

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