PAGES 42 - 44

Sarah graduates from the University of Idaho


PAGE FORTY-TWO

On p. 42 Sarah writes about her experience of spending her first semester of college in Hawaii. She says, “It turned out that Hawaii was a little too perfect. Perpetual sunshine isn't necessarily conducive to serious academics for eighteen-year-old Alaskan girls….After that first semester, we realized we'd better transfer back to something closer to reality (emphasis mine) so we could actually earn our degrees.”

"A little too perfect": Perfect!! Places like Hawaii are an exception to the more normal rhythm that, in both the Order of Nature and in the Order of Our Lives, rules us, directs us, teaches us.

Pleasure/pain; joy/sorrow; light/darkness; warmth/coldness: these are the oscillations that ground us in reality. As we read in the Old Testament:

Tempus nascendi, et tempus moriendi…Tempus occidendi, et tempus sanandi…tempus flendi, et tempus ridendi…etc.--"A time to be born, and a time to die…a time to kill, and a time to heal…a time to weep, and a time to laugh, etc."

These opposing and balancing forces hold and keep us in spiritual and psychological equilibrium.

I think that Sarah's heart and mind have always been most firmly founded in reality, in things as they are. There is perhaps a certain irony here: She may have learned more about herself and about Nature through the process of finding the right place for her studies than through any formal classes in any school she attended.


PAGE FORTY-THREE

Miss Wasilla, 1983

About the prospect of participating in a beauty pageant to win scholarship money, she says on p. 43, "It would be humbling at best, risky and embarrassing at worst. But a scholarship was a scholarship, and in the end, pragmatism won out."

I think that it should be noted that Sarah characterizes her prospective participation in the pageant as being perhaps "humbling," "risky," or "embarrassing." Certain other terms shout forth, so to speak, their absence from this list. No "immoral"; no "evil"; no "wrong."

When, indeed, has Sarah ever been deterred from some action because it was potentially "humbling," or "risky," or "embarrassing"?

Running for the city council of Wasilla; running for mayor of Wasilla; resigning from the chairmanship of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; running for lieutenant-governor of Alaska; running for governor of Alaska; running for vice-president of the United States; striding forth to deliver a speech at the RNC before tens of millions of witnesses and a hostile media…playing basketball on that injured ankle…challenging barack obama and his insane agenda…travelling to disease-wracked Haiti…mountain-climbing…jumping into a little plane to go hunting in a remote location in an already-remote part of the Alaskan wilderness…bringing the treasure of her Trig into this world…on and on it could go.

She thinks, not of her own pride or safety or ego, but only of the best thing to do in a given situation.

They, the GOP establishment, the lefty politicos, the media, can huff and bluster and puff; they will not stop Sarah from running for the highest office in the land, if she deems it the right thing to do.


PAGE FORTY-FOUR

Miss Alaska pageant, 1984. Sarah finished third
and was named Miss Congeniality.

On p. 44, Sarah is giving an account of an old video from a Q&A session from the beauty pageant. A pageant judge has just asked her, in light of Geraldine Ferraro's recent vice-presidential candidacy, if she thinks a woman could be vice-president.

Sarah's answer: "Yes. I believe a woman could be vice president. I believe a woman could be president (emphasis mine)."

Is it not characteristic of Sarah that she jumps ahead of her interlocutor, and raises the inquiry to a higher level?!?

Later on the same page, after, inter alia, cataloguing Alaska's "best attributes," she utters these words:

"That exchange, a quarter century ago, now seems either strangely coincidental or a Providential signpost pointing toward my future. And I don't believe in coincidences."

Enough said!!

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:

Credits:

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: bbrianus@gmail.com.

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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