Newsweek Editor Says She Seems Out to Repudiate Critics But Thinks “Going Rogue” Shows Her Lacking “Mastery of the Issues”
There’s lots of high drama surrounding Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue.”
The former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor’s book hits store shelves Tuesday, but it’s already a best-seller.
Portions have leaked, and they’re stirring controversy.
What type of chapter will the book write for her political career?
She’s the latest in a long line of potential presidential hopefuls to pen a book, and Newsweek Senior Editor Michael Hirsh says it could show she, too, is gearing up for a run at the White House.
“I think very much so,” Hirsh told “Early Show Saturday Edition” substitute co-anchor Debye Turner Bell. “There’s a long and storied history there. And Palin has put her own particular stamp on this tradition. Whether it’s going to get her what she wants, which is apparently a national stage leading into (the next presidential race in) 2012, is another question.
“There are a couple things that were somewhat disturbing about Palin that appear in this book,” Hirsh observed, “(including) this streak of vindictiveness toward her political enemies, which we see now include many in the (Arizona Senator and former GOP standard bearer John) McCain camp.
“Basically, the book confirms all of the stories that have been out there for many months about the dissensions within the McCain camp, as well as some of the questions about her mastery of the issues. We see that in this book as well.
“So, ‘Going Rogue’ is probably an appropriate title,” Hirsch said. “Whether it’s the kind of president America wants, assuming that Sarah Palin is gearing up for a presidential run, is another question.”
Bell pointed to a line in the book in which Palin says, “Before my plane even touched down in Anchorage, shocking character assassinations of those I love had begun.”
Hirsh says that might have been a reflection of what Bell referred to as Palin’s possible “naivete.”
“Again,” Hirsh said, “she seems to be mainly out for repudiation of her critics here, and what you see is a lot of self-involvement. And, again, is that the kind of thing that the American people want in a presidential candidate, with all these other issues pressing?”
Bell spotlighted another quote from the book, in which Palin, referring to reports she and Todd Palin would seek a divorce, writes, “Dang. I thought, ‘Divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?'”
Asked whether that sounds “presidential,” Hirsh responded, “There have been those stories out there and, of course, she abruptly quit the Alaska governorship, and the stories swirled that she was having personal problems with Todd Palin. But they’re still together. And, look, it’s also what people like about her: She’s very blunt. Whether that makes her a presidential candidate, again, is really something that people are going to have to decide as the book sells.”
Does Hirsh think “Going Rogue” will help or hinder any presidential aspirations Palin might have?
“I think it’s going to help her with her base, her relatively narrow Republican base,” Hirsh replied. “I don’t know if it helps at all with what she would need to actually be elected president, which is to appeal to something beyond the conservative base of the Republican Party.”