SEVENTY-FOUR

"People thought I had this big, fancy desk when it was 
really just a kitchen table."

On p. 74 of Going Rogue Sarah discusses an incident that occurred during her tenure as Mayor of Wasilla. She writes, "One day, an elderly resident insisted on a private meeting in my office. It was all very hush-hush.

"On the appointed day, she sat down across the desk from me. I had used a pretty marble table from my own kitchen. I'd known it was just a matter of time before the kids thrashed that table with Sharpie markers and Matchbox cars, so I rescued it by moving it to my office. People thought I had this big, fancy desk when it was really just a kitchen table.

"I smiled at the lady who had come to me. 'Okay, what's this about?'

"Her brow furrowed with deep lines of concern, she said, 'Well, I want you to know that I'm here for you if you need help. Know that I'm praying for you and am so sorry.'

"I was a little confused. 'Sorry for what?'

"She hesitated, then plunged ahead. 'Your children. We understand that your daughter was caught smoking pot.'

"I opened my eyes wide and creased my face into a worried look to equal her own. 'She got caught?' I asked incredulously. 'Dang! Which daughter? My toddler or my kindergartner?' "

[It turned out it was the wrong mayor!!]

Well, what do we see and witness here in this charming little vignette?

We behold Sarah's gracious dexterity in turning aside "missiles," both those that come from Sharpie pens and those that come from sharp tongues.

Think of the different manner and mode in which she could have responded both to the dire :-) danger to her marble kitchen table and to the verbal slings and arrows of the perhaps well-meaning but sadly misguided lady.

She could have allowed her table to be torn up and marred forever with pen marks and with Matchbox-car grooves and slashes and cuts. She could have bawled out her kids, and told them to leave the table alone (that sure would have worked!!) But no. She judiciously transferred both the forum and the function of her marble table. It became the Mayor's Desk!!

In the same way, she could have waxed indignant at the perhaps kind-hearted but certainly officious and misguided lady who came to her about pot and her kids. Instead, Sarah tossed a salutary pinch of salt and humor on the whole situation, and thus diffused it.

What she demonstrated in small affairs in the past, she now manifests in great matters!!

When her enemies sought to disfigure and mar forever the table and tapestry of her splendid and ground-breaking gubernatorial administration in the wake of the '08 national campaign, she transferred the "table" to a new location, to a new field of battle.

With her heroic and much-misunderstood resignation, the Governor's Table was transformed into the Round Table of the Knights of the Tea Party. This brilliant chess play on Sarah's part will someday be analyzed by historians as one of the most scintillating, daring, courageous, and imaginative political moves and manoeuvers of the early part of the twenty-first century!!

In the same way, Sarah has responded with aplomb, with courtesy, with humor to all of the foul force of the vicious and vacuous verbal assaults that have been flung and hurled at her since Sarah Palin Day, 29 August, 2008!!

This great lady neither runs and hides from the thunderbolts of the Left, not does she answer ugliness with ugliness.

She possesses a perfect and subtle and serene FLEXIBILITY in tactical and temporary matters that require nimbleness of character and of mind and of tongue; she flashes and flourishes a tactful and infallible sense of humor and sense of timing. However, she is INFLEXIBLE in core and crucial matters of strategy, of principle, of profundity!!!

I think we love her so much because she is so genuinely human.

She FLASHES that twinkle of the eye and that inimitable smile.

She FLASHES the battle sword that she has held drawn and unsheathed since her April 18 Madison, Wisconsin challenge to obama: "GAME ON"!!! (Isn't it great, guys, that the DVD of "The Undefeated" includes this great oration as a special feature?!?)

She FLASHES the light and the life of a beautiful and fearless soul that reflects the beauty and bravery of America herself, "the land of the free and the home of the brave"!!

She moves tables; she moves hearts; she moves her pieces with a Bobby Fischer-like dexterity and deftness and decisiveness…

…and we stand with her, our hearts stand with her own…..BRAVEHEART!!!

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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