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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Refrain from ""Going Rogue

As a card-carrying Liberal, I needed to get my hands on a copy of former Alaska governor, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's new book ""Going Rogue"" to decipher how it could sell 700,000 copies within one week. For comparison, actual President Bill Clinton, who legitimately accomplished things, sold 900,000 copies of his biography in its first week.

Unequivocally, ""Going Rogue"" is the largest steaming pile of moose crap published in a bastardized hybrid of Minnesotan and drunken Arctic Cat lingo this side of Mount McKinley. The story functions primarily as an extended ad pushing conservatives and nature-lovers to move to Alaska, and secondly as a point-by-point response to every criticism launched against Palin's political record.

Let me briefly do what Palin claims I cannot: objective analysis. Not as political rhetoric but simply as a book, ""Going Rogue"" is a waste of time and is blatantly narcissistic. But worst of all, it is written in faux folksy, eighth-grade level English. For her sake, I hope it was penned entirely by someone else, not just co-authored as the byline states. From a more political viewpoint, the book frequently instilled bouts of numbing terror over how close America came to electing such a person just one seat from the presidency.

Palin begins with such hackneyed, forced patriotic writing that would even make Stephen Colbert projectile vomit. She peppers the opening, the most intriguing part, with such gems as ""I looked down to see the moose's eyeballs lying in his palm, still warm from the critter's head,"" and entire paragraphs dedicated to her love of red meats.

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Palin continues with a description of Wasilla's city government that sounds ripped straight from Wikipedia. Although she panders to her base, some of the folksiness cannot be faked, including her post-elopement dinner at Wendy's.

She, perhaps without realizing, continually exercises shameless hypocrisy, arguing for a blanket reduction of government before advocating for increased regulation of oil companies and more capital works projects on the same page. Perhaps she thinks roads and interstate pipelines spontaneously construct themselves?

Palin's primary policy focus throughout is energy. Remember ""Drill, baby, drill""? Her considerable expertise in dealing with energy conglomerates is respectable and unique, but shouldn't a former potential vice president be able to discuss other pressing issues in more than mere buzz words?

Past the opening, the book is nothing but a cobbling of tales of personal crises and defenses against famous attacks from the 2008 campaign. I had hoped Palin would make some enemies and offer insights into the failed McCain/Palin ticket. Ever the politician, she peppers the book with near-scandalous and very private anecdotes to disarm the reader into believing she is telling all.

She mentions her two miscarriages, something many women would find impossible to discuss so publicly. Because of her pro-life beliefs, I appreciated Palin's frank discussion of abortion and was pleasantly surprised by her support of contraceptives, a position she claims to have held long before becoming a grandmother.

Yet she merely uses these and other juicy stories to lull the reader into falsely thinking she opened a window into the 2008 campaign, her governing style and personal motivations.

In a quick 413 pages, the book only serves as a fluff-filled snapshot of Palin's ""tortured,"" red, patriotic exterior. The end brings a sense that one has water-skied over a very deep pool.

Palin had no choice but to dedicate ink to defending her name, words and epic fails, but she did not need to portray herself as the eternal victim.

By the end of the book, I did indeed feel a sense of sympathy for the hot lady who looks like Tina Fey. She has had many personal and professional problems, many her own fault. But I felt even more certain she would have been power-crazed and dictatorial as vice president, as she nearly admits her governing style was similar at the city and state level. Even worse, recall McCain's precarious age? The thought of a possible Palin ascendancy to the White House made ""Going Rogue"" a frightening bedtime story.

Admittedly, the book answered some of my burning questions, including ""Where did you get those names for your kids?""

Track, her first-born son, was born during track season. Bristol was named for a bay Sarah's husband Todd fished in, though Palin joked Bristol was also named after the home base of ESPN in Connecticut. I can only assume Willow's namesake has something to do with the pretty tree Palin saw in Disney's ""Pocahontas,"" while Piper was named for cigarette smoke and small airplanes. Trig, the youngest, apparently won his prize name for its supposed translation from Norse as ""true"" and ""brave victory.""

Luckily for America, Palin's book success is not entirely due to a ground swell of Republicans fed up after nine months of a liberal president cleaning up the mess of eight years of Republican rule. Like myself, many liberals couldn't resist donating $18.35 through Barnes and Noble to Palin/Zombie Reagan 2012.

Jamie Stark is a sophomore intending to major in journalism and political science.. Please send all feedback to opinion@dailycardinal.com. 

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