Palin attends rally at the Wasilla sports arena

On p. 78 of GR, Sarah continues her account of her time as Mayor of Wasilla. She writes, "In the mid-1990s, many of the city's main roads were still made of dirt. Even the runway at the municipal airport was gravel. I knew businesses--and thus jobs--wouldn't locate in Wasilla if the tools weren't there for the private sector to grow and thrive.

"So, in an effort to attract businesses, we built and paved roads, and extended water and sewer lines. Within a few years, established mom-and-pops were growing, and new ones sprang up, and stores like Fred Meyer, a Wal-Mart Superstore, and other national chains opened their doors in our city.

"In 2002, we put a city bond measure before the voters that would fund construction of a multiuse sports center. Voters approved it and the half-cent sales tax to pay for it, and we broke ground on this project, which for decades had only been a dream for Valley residents. The arena was named after our good friend Curtis Menard, Jr.

Palin at the opening of the Curtis C. Menard II Memorial Ice Arena

"The year before, Curtis Jr. was piloting family members back and forth between a Cook Inlet sport-fishing site when his small plane went down, and our dear friend was killed at age thirty-six. The community felt honored to name the arena after such an enthusiastic and generous soul."

Behold, my brothers and sisters, how beautifully and aptly we see expressed in these few limpid lines both Sarah's deep civic wisdom and also her profound spiritual wisdom and compassion!!

First, let us consider Sarah the Good Citizen and Civic Leader.

At EVERY LEVEL where she has either already held the sacred trust of power and authority, or where she may in the future hold them, she has perceived the needs of her community and its citizens, and has acted boldly and forthrightly on her perceptions!

We see here at the city level how she improved the life and the economy for her dear home town. Wasilla needed to upgrade its infrastructure to attract businesses and jobs, and the great Mayor Palin acted on this need, with marvelous results for her fellow citizens.

Then, when she became Governor of Alaska, she perceived and took on a different set of problems. With her "Alaska-Girl Guts," she tackled decades-old problems that no other governor and no legislators had been willing to confront. She refused to back down before the threats and assaults of Big Oil. She achieved wonders in her brief and glorious days as Governor: AGIA, ACES, Pt. Thomson, ethics reform and so much more!!

Now that she has become a national figure, she is confronting head-on a third set of problems, chiefly Crony Capitalism, and the corruption that it has spread like a cancer through much of the federal government, both Congress and the White House. If (dare I say "WHEN"!?!) she becomes POTUS, IMHO, America will enjoy a rebirth, a Renaissance, under the wise and fearless leadership of the farseeing Eagle of the North Country!!

Like a great physician who must treat many different kinds of patients, many different kinds of maladies, she always makes a profound diagnosis of the ROOTS of a disease and problem, and then acts with wise and fearless vigor to heal that disease, to solve that problem.

Now she has always been a fierce fighter and competitor (Sarah Barracuda!), but she also has a compassionate and, yes, gentle soul. Just ask all of the ordinary men, women, and children who have been blessed to meet her these last three-plus years on the '08 campaign trail, at book signings, at political events of various kinds.

Indeed, I think our Sarah is the very opposite and antithesis of a bully: Cowardly bullies kowtow to the powerful and oppress the weak; Sarah is most kind and gentle to ordinary folks, but unleashes her Mama-Grizzly force and steel against powerful malefactors in high places, like barack obama.

Let us then consider the tragedy of the untimely demise of Curtis Menard, Jr. that Sarah mentions here. Even in her few simple words, we can perceive how her heart bled for poor Curtis and for his family.

I think that we see here how Sarah combines and balances the wisdom of foresight and planning with the realization that we, with this fragile and swift-fated mortal frame of ours, can be called from this Earth at any moment, and be brought before the Lord's Seat of Judgment. This is just what happened to the Heaths' and Palins' wonderful friend, Curtis Jr.

This then is one of the lessons, IMHO, of p. 78 of Going Rogue.

We need Sarah as our President, Sarah who has the vision and eagle's eyes to gaze far, far into the distance of years and decades, but also the heart to appreciate the precious uniqueness of each moment as it comes.

Sarah has the MIND and the HEART that every great leader in history has possessed. God willing, she will be our POTUS very soon.



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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