PAGE 106

"A tough road to barrel down in the dark..."

On p. 106 of GR, Sarah is discussing her campaign for the Governorship of Alaska in 2005-2006. It was too expensive to fly, so she often had to drive to campaign events. On this page, she is describing a drive through Thompson Pass in the middle of winter and in the middle of the night. She reflects on the road she is traveling, both literal and metaphorical, and on her decision to run for Governor.

She writes, "There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was on the right road now, but it was a tough road to barrel down in the dark.

"I'd finally decided to toss my hat in the ring to replace Frank Murkowski as governor, and I was having a ball working long, intense days. Road trips became our campaign MO since we didn't have funds to fly, especially when I wanted to take the kids to a campaign event….

"Now, with the dark ribbon of highway unfurling in the headlights, my thoughts drifted back to a question my friend Rick Halford had asked me that summer: 'Do you remember the story of David and the five stones?'

(And further down the page):

" 'You have the five stones,' Rick said in one of those calls. 'You have the right positions on ethics, on energy, on government's appropriate role. It's an out-of-the-box idea and you won't get the establishment's support, but I think you should run for governor. Our state is ready for change.' " (The citation continues on to page 107 by a couple of lines.)

Notice how Sarah, as she drives along her dark and perilous route, turns in thought and reflection to her five "stones" of David, and to her friend's wise counsel. She knows indeed that she is on the right road, as she says.

So we know that we are on the right road, even if that path is rather dark and obscure at the moment in regard to its specific political destination:

Who will win the Presidency this November?

Which Party will control the Senate and the House?

Will the Governor run for POTUS for the year 2016?

What will her future hold for herself and for her country?

As Sarah notes, in a part of the passage from the previous page, p. 105, she was getting sleepy on her long and arduous drive. What does she do to stay awake? Well, she empties her "last sugar-free Red Bull," starts to play the kids' Toby Keith CD, and opens her window for a blast of some ten-below-zero Alaskan fresh air!!

But what else?

She starts to reflect on the words of her friend, Rick Halford.

We too then, if we are tempted to "fall asleep" on the dark road down which we are now driving, we too will do well to turn in grateful reflection to our friend, Sarah, and to all the words of wisdom that she has sent our way since 2008. We have received admonitions on "stones of David" from the hands and from the heart of the Governor!

"There wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was on the right road now …"

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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