PAGE EIGHTY

Instead of getting angry at him, she turns his hostile thrust back on him by responding with grace and humor.

On p. 80 of GR, Sarah is describing her mayoral reelection battle against ex-Mayor John Stein. At the bottom of the previous page, she recounts the insulting language that Mr. Stein employed against her during the campaign: He called her a "Spice Girl" and a "cheerleader."

At the bottom of p. 79, she dismisses his words with her customary and wonted wit and humor: " 'A cheerleader?' I thought. 'Come on, don't insult cheerleaders like that.' I was just a jock and I couldn't hold a candle to their pep and coordination.

" 'At least get it right,' I laughed when it was my turn to respond. 'Call me "Sporty Spice" ' "

At the top of p. 80, Sarah continues with this account. She says, "I thought the whole thing was hilarious because a TV station was covering the debate and I knew that his sexist remark would play to my advantage. (As Napoleon said, 'Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.') A young female reporter, brand new to Alaska, caught Stein's 'Spice Girl' comment.

" 'I can't believe what that candidate just said about you!' she told me, appalled and sympathetic.

"I shook my head in a 'can you believe what we women have to put up with?' way and milked it for all it was worth. 'I know, I know,' I said. 'But you just have to rise above all that and plow through! Look, we have to work twice as hard to prove we're half as capable as men think they are.'

"Then I gave her a wink and whispered the old familiar punchline, 'Thankfully, it's not that difficult.'

"I won the election with about 75 percent of the vote in a three-way race. In my second term, I had the honor of serving my peers from around the state as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.

"In that position, I led dozens of other mayors in dealing with statewide issues, such as municipal revenue sharing and advocating for local control of government. I loved being able to help other communities, and it allowed me to expand my contacts around the state."

As we see so very often in her masterpiece, there are multiple layers of instructive and illustrative material contained in these few lines!

She immediately perceives the political and personal advantage that will accrue to her from the fact that Stein's insult has been shown on TV, and that her response will also be viewed by many people. Thus, instead of getting angry at him, she turns his hostile thrust back on him by responding with grace and humor.

And I think this tactic worked because it was real: She is naturally a person of wit and good grace, so her counterthrust against Stein, I am sure, sprang with laughing spontaneity to her lips and to her eyes, and resonated resoundingly in the hearts of that TV audience!

Look how she wins over the young female reporter. Sarah possesses the magical personal touch more than any public figure, I think, since Reagan. If this reporter was a citizen of Wasilla, we can be sure that Sarah got her vote for mayor. Certainly she got her vote if the reporter was still living in Alaska when Sarah ran for Governor some years later!

We could multiply this incident ten-thousand fold and more. So many ordinary men, women, and children have experienced Sarah's one-on-one gentleness and kindness and charm since Sarah Palin Day, 29 August, 2008.

Ah, then there is that wink. I think that Sarah is a master of the Art of the Wink. In this case, only a lone person, a lone reporter witnessed it. However, on 2 October, 2008, tens of millions of Americans witnessed her power with this tiny but mighty gesture. She wielded the Sword of the Wink as one of the multifarious weapons that she unleashed upon joe biden as she blew him out in the VP debate that night!!

Also behold her literary skill in juxtaposing the data about her overwhelming margin of victory, 75% in a three-way race, right next to and after the incident with Stein and the reporter. I think that she is saying that, in politics as in life in general, seemingly tiny incidents and events can lead to stupendous results.

I just wonder if, in a national debate against obama, a similar small episode and moment could help lead to an overwhelming victory in November, 2012, maybe not 75%, but huge nonetheless!

We may note too that she served as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She does not explicitly state it here, but leaves implicit the fact that her fellow mayors, I would assume, elected her to this post. That is quite a tribute from her peers. Sarah, however, with her characteristic modesty, leaves this fact implicit in her narrative.

We may be sure too that, just as her many, many trips around our country in the last three-plus years have prepared her for national office, so her activities as president of the mayors' conference helped prepare her the Governorship of Alaska.

Also, while expanding her reach and her horizons to include "statewide issues," she also remained focused on and devoted to "local control of government." She broadens her horizons, but never loses sight of the "little people" and their local communities.

She will bring this same wisdom to the White House: A world stateswoman who also sees and is concerned about each State in America, each local community in America, each family in America…EACH INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN in America, from the youngest to the oldest, from the smallest to the greatest, from the weakest to the most powerful. A Providential Hand always seems to be guiding her!

However, with all of these observations that have been made, I think that the most important words on this page, for our current situation, may be her citation of Napoleon:
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

Would it be too strong and too much to say:

That the GOP establishment is Sarah's dire enemy (almost as much as are obama and his Chicago thugs)?

That the GOP establishment has made a terrible mistake not only by failing to help Sarah, but by disowning her, by abandoning her, by actively opposing her?

That Sarah, with that political savvy and wisdom that crown her brow and head like an Olympian wreath and garland, is RIGHT NOW QUIETLY LEAVING THEM ALONE AS THEY MAKE MULTIPLE MISTAKES AND HANG THEMSELVES???

As I said yesterday in similar remarks about p. 79, I do not know if this is Sarah's strategy right now, but, based on her past actions and words, it well could be.

Anyway, let us persevere, guys, in praying and sacrificing ardently and indefatigably for her.

She has so many forces arrayed against her:

The GOP establishment;

The obama Dems;

The lame-stream news media;

The "academic" world;

Hollywood;

obama's one billion dollars…

…BUT, IMHO, she has on her side:

The Lord and the best and noblest and bravest part of the American People.

My money is on SARAH!!!!

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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