PAGE 132

2006 Open House

On p. 132 of GR, Sarah continues her discussion of her family's first hours in the Governor's Mansion in Juneau following her election in 2006 as Governor of Alaska.

She writes, "The first night in our new home, I tried to light a nice, cozy fire for the kids in one of the eight fireplaces. Problem was, it hadn't been used in years. I didn't know the dampers were closed, so the house filled with smoke and alarms summoned the local fire department. Next some revelers 'welcomed' the First Family on our lawn, and our neighbors had to call the police department. It was nice to meet Juneau's first responders.

"We got the house in order by the next day, just in time for Juneau's annual cookies-and-cider open house. We couldn't have done it without our patient and kind house manager, Erika Fagerstrom, and her fun family full of teenagers, who would become friends of the Palin kids. And after thousands of people came through the mansion for Juneau's annual event, staff member Diane Diekman and her helpers turned the formal house back into a home.

"Later, after Trig was born, the staff became even more like family. They'd come to work early and we’d all congregate in the kitchen and have a cup of coffee together before our official workdays would begin. Before friends would arrive to help take care of Trig, and I headed off to the Capitol, the staff would kiss Piper good-bye and send her on her way to school."

I would like to share a few thoughts with you this morning on various aspects of this charming and bright passage.

First, in regard to the initial paragraph that is cited above, let us observe the Governor's wonderful spirit. She tries to light a fire for the kids and it all goes wrong. Later the police have to come because of some overly-exuberant revelers. However, she laughingly sees the best in and gets the most out of these distressing situations. And, as we have seen before, she is a genius with humorous understatement. The final words of the first paragraph above are, IMV, Classic Sarah: "It was nice to meet Juneau's first responders."

This sense of proportion and of wit in straitened minutes and moments is no insignificant virtue. We witness it here in a relatively small matter. However, the same cast and contours of soul came to her aid, I think, on the evening of 3 September, 2008, as she was delivering her RNC VP acceptance speech to a vast hall full of people, and to a television audience of tens of millions. Her teleprompter failed (and was likely sabotaged).

The broad and generous heart that said "It was nice to meet Juneau's first responders" probably said something like "It will be nice to speak to all these people from my gut and from my heart, and not just from a script." From the sabotaged teleprompter came, not the failure of her great speech, as her enemies were hoping, but rather the glorious and unforgettable moment that has bestowed for all time its name and its crown upon it: "The Lipstick Speech." Such are the ways of Divine Providence in working with a brave and gallant spirit like Sarah's!!

BTW, this same quality will stand her in good and sturdy stead when she faces various crises in the White House as our President!!

In the third paragraph, let us observe Sarah the Unifier, even in small matters. She and the staff share common things, namely friendship, conversation, and coffee, before they head off in the morning to their very different duties and responsibilities. The Governor does not look down upon and despise the staff. They are not (just) the "help"; they are friends … family even.

I think that this is how she will view all Americans when, God willing, she takes up residence in the White House. Leftists and RINOs may pay lying lip-service to this concept, but it is clear that in reality they regard the American People as peons, subjects … even slaves. Sarah, by contrast (and what a contrast!!), views us with respect and love as fellow citizens!!

Finally, let us note the distinction that she makes in the second paragraph: The Governor's Mansion is a house, but it is also a home. The staff had to turn "the formal house back into a home" after the annual open house.

I think that it would be fruitful to reflect for a moment upon the distinction between "house" and "home," especially in connection with that House and Home that we hope Sarah and Todd and their family will be occupying from 20 January, 2017 and on.

A house and a home may "materially" occupy the same place. But the house is like the physical "matter," the BODY … that which breathes life and vitality and spirit into the house; that which makes it a HOME, may be regarded as the SOUL of the place.

The physical edifice of the White House remains more or less the same from President to President.

However, I believe that our Sarah has the power to make it a true HOME in spirit, and not just for her own family, but for ALL AMERICANS.

Not all of us will be able physically to visit the White House during the Palin Years, but I am sure we will all feel:



When Sarah moves into the White House …


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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