Leaked copies of two speeches Sarah Palin prepared for last year’s US election night have revealed she planned to salute her husband Todd as the nation’s “first ever Second Dude” in the event of victory.
In defeat, which she suffered with Senator John McCain at the hands of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Republican vice-presidential candidate wanted to tell Todd to “get ready for the Iron Dog snow machine race!”.
A new book, Sarah from Alaska, details how the then state governor fought tooth and nail to introduce Sen McCain on stage in his home town of Phoenix, Arizona, in the early hours of the morning.
She decided not to tell her own staff members that permission had been denied by senior McCain staff hours before the candidates took the stage, apparently in the hope of a last minute reprieve.
After formalities were over, authors Scott Conroy of CBS News and Shushannah Walshe, formerly of Fox News, who were “embedded” with Palin’s campaign, revealed that McCain aides “literally turned the lights out on Palin when she retook the stage later that night to take pictures with her family, fearing that she would give the concession speech after all”.
The candidates’ lack of rapport was demonstrated by the absence of any post-campaign celebration or wake of any kind.
“Instead, Palin and her entourage accidentally ran into McCain in the parking lot as they were making a quiet exit. McCain’s wife Cindy was already in the Chevy suburban when Palin halted them by calling out, ‘John, is that you?'” the authors wrote.
In the months after the poll McCain aides poured anonymous scorn on Mrs Palin’s refusal to toe the line and ignorance of policy.
The book disclosed that shortly after Sen McCain’s shock appointment of the virtually unknown conservative governor, his aides had to prepare dozens of flash cards to get the candidate “up to speed on foreign affairs and major national issues”. One card noted that the “Prime Minister of the United Kingdom” was Gordon Brown.
McCain aides were worried an election night speech, apart from being unprecedented, would deviate from the respectful tone that the war veteran senator struck to wide praise in his own remarks.
Mrs Palin’s draft in fact paid rich and appropriate tribute to the victorious Mr Obama.
“If he governs America with the skill and grace we have often seen in him, and the greatness of which he is capable, we’re gonna be just fine,” she planned to say.
“And when a black citizen prepares to fill the office of Washington and Lincoln, that is a shining moment in our history that can be lost on no one. Barack Obama has achieved a great thing, for himself and for our country, and I congratulate him.
“It would be a happier night if elections were a test of valour and merit alone, but that is not for us to question now.
“Now it is time for us go our way, neither bitter nor vanquished, but instead confident in the knowledge that there will be another day.”
“And I said to my husband Todd that it’s not a step down when he’s no longer Alaska’s ‘First Dude’. He will now be the first guy ever to become the ‘Second Dude’.
“Had it gone the other way tonight, we would not have returned in sorrow to the great State of Alaska. We would have carried with us memories that are forever, and joyful experiences that do not depend on victory.
“This is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just the party line.”