Sports over boys. Sarah, far left. Coach Chuck Heath, center.

On p. 31 of Going Rogue Sarah is still discussing sports, as she has been for several pages. She now introduces another theme too: boys!

She says:

"One night at the dinner table, Dad noticed some ink marks on my hand.

" 'What's that?' he asked.

"I quickly put my hand under the table. 'Nothin'.'

" 'Looked like somebody's name to me.'

"I didn't say anything, just stared down at my spaghetti.

" 'You have a choice between boys and sports,' Dad said sternly. 'You're at the age where I start losing my good athletes because they start liking boys. You can't have both.'

"I stood up, walked to the sink, and washed the kid's initials off my hand. Some might see that as the wrong way to set parameters. But for me, it was fine to have these high expectations made clear."

As with so many seemingly simple passages in this magnificent tour de force that is her Going Rogue, multiple threads and lines of thought come crowding into my brain, each one clamoring and crying for attention and pride of place!! Let me just set down, quickly and succinctly, some of these reflections. Please forgive and indulge me if they will come in a somewhat haphazard and random fashion.

Ah, how much easier it would be if I could talk to you guys about her book with the flaming sword of the living and spoken word. Writing can be slow, and I am not a good nor a fast typist. I could talk to you guys for hours and hours and days upon days about this marvelous book!!!!

Notice that Sarah, free spirit though she is, was willing to accept her dad's wisdom, the fruit of his life experiences. She didn't talk back to him; she didn't run out of the room; she acknowledged the truth of his wise counsel, and washed the name from her hand and from her heart!!

Notice too what I may term the vital and living symbiosis and dynamic between Sarah's book and her ongoing life. What do I mean by this high-falutin' language? Something like this.

This passage, while it is very serious, is also very funny. Millions, when they first read these words last year, chuckled, I am sure, as they pictured Sarah saying "Nothin'," and then getting up to wash away the name from her hand. However, the passage means even more since the famous incident when the media rebuked her for having notes for an interview/speech written on her hand. She, in a move and maneuver of sheer political genius, turned their blades of attack right back into their own entrails!!

She now mocks and laughs at the press, while delighting those who love her (us), by writing notes on her hand all the time. Heck, yours truly even followed her example in San Diego when I wrote notes (two names) on my hand for the talk I gave at the first C4P meet-up :-) !!! The point is that, since the publication of GR, the incident in this passage has gained even more significance.

Another way to put it is that Sarah continues to write Going Rogue, in a certain sense, even today: Her daily acts of courage, of charity, of humor, of laughter, of joy in combat, of political savvy and sagacity, both add "pages" to the book, and shed further light on passages and pages already written.

Sarah is truly the daughter of the One she loves and follows: The LIVING WORD of God!!! Going Rogue is a living and vital thing, an ongoing work, not a dead and static thing confined and caught between its two covers, because Sarah herself is so ALIVE!!!!

Let me add, as a parenthesis, that I may contrast Sarah's vital opus with so much of the DEAD DRIVEL I have had to read in the academic world over the span and space of so many years. Their works are dead and lifeless even before the ink is dry on them; Sarah's work lives right at this very moment, as you guys read these words, and it will live for generations unto generations.

I must wrap this up, so let me just make a few more obvious observations.

Chuck Heath's firm and wise counsel, and his daughter's adherence to it, kept her involved in sports, with all of the wonderful effects that flowed from athletics for both her body and for her spirit; it led to her finding her TRUE LOVE, TODD, the wonderful guy who came into her life at just the right moment; and, I think, the memory of her washing the name from her hand probably fixed this practice in Sarah's mind, so that she now replicates and repeats it in a practice that, the more it confounds and infuriates the Left, the more it endears her to us, and commends her to our hearts, to our our love!!!


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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