Tag Archives: Steve Schmidt

Vanity Fair Discovers Sarah Palin is Loud and Secretive

Excellent detailed piece on Sarah Palin by journalist Michael Joseph Gross in the October 2010 issue of Vanity Fair

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Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury

Former Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on August 28, 2010.

Even as Sarah Palin’s public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her. Following the former Alaska governor’s road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits—a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family—and the sadness she has left in her wake.

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“Going Rogue” Review: Sarah Palin Shows She Knows How to Hate; Needs Injection of Pinocchio Serum

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Outgoing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (2nd L), her husband Todd (C) look on as incoming Governor Sean Parnell (2nd R) is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Daniel Winfree (L) during the annual Governor's Picnic July 26, 2009 at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska. Parnell' wife Sandy held the bible for the ceremony. Craig E. Campbell was sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor.

Last July in Fairbanks, with Todd smiling at her side and Piper sitting in her lap, Sarah Palin watched Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell take the oath to fill out her term in office as Governor of Alaska. Then she vanished. For the past four months the Forty-Ninth State has seen neither hide nor hair of the woman. No speeches at chambers of commerce luncheons. No sightings on the street. No Sarah cheering on the sideline at Wasilla Warriors girls basketball games. No Sarah sitting in the pew on Sunday worshiping at the ChangePoint and Anchorage Baptist Temple evangelical mega churches. She’s been gone. Disappeared.

It now turns out that while Alaskans were hunkering down for winter Sarah was in San Diego working for a woman named Lynn Vincent, the ghostwriter HarperCollins hired to cobble together Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah’s first person account of her it-only-would-happen-in-America rise from small town mayor to small state governor to Republican Vice Presidential candidate to popular culture icon.

Since Tuesday when Going Rogue was released nationwide copies of the book have been flying off the shelves at Barnes & Noble in Boise and Grand Rapids and not flying off the shelves in San Francisco and Seattle.

Since I already have enough to read, I had intended to give Going Rogue a pass until I had time this weekend to motor over to the Anchorage Barnes & Noble and give Ms. Vincent’s word-smithing a skim. But on Monday I learned that I’m in the book. Not surprisingly, that piqued my interest. And then yesterday a friend lent me a copy.

I’ve now read it. Here’s the review.

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Trooper Mike Wooten Breaks His Silence On Palin’s Troopergate Lies

Former Alaska Public Safety Employees Association Executive Director John Cyr and Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, Sarah Palin's former brother-in-law and the Trooper at the center of the Troopergate Scandal.

Former Alaska Public Safety Employees Association Executive Director John Cyr (left) and Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten, Sarah Palin's former brother-in-law and the trooper at the center of the Alaska Govenor Palin Troopergate Scandal.

The Alaska State Trooper at the center of Sarah Palin‘s so-called “Troopergate Scandal“–which impeded her run for the vice-presidency and stained her record as Alaska governor–has broken his more than year-long silence since his embattled divorce with Palin’s sister, Molly, became a cause celebre during last year’s presidential campaign.

After reading passages from Palin’s memoirs Going Rogue that deal with his marriage and subsequent divorce, a “fed up” Mike Wooten, 37, who still serves as an Alaska State Trooper in Anchorage, called the book “a pack of lies.”

According to Wooten, Palin and her father, Chuck Heath Sr., have “interfered with my life–and my children’s lives–for at least the last five years. And it is still going on. I’m done with it.”

Characterizing his adversaries as “snakes,” Wooten said he has kept quiet long enough. “From this point on I’m speaking my mind,” he declared. “I’m speaking the truth. Let the chips fall where they may.” He acknowledged that he is considering taking legal action against Palin on multiple fronts.

Although Palin would try to claim otherwise during the presidential campaign, an independent investigation ordered by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council (composed of ten Republicans and four Democrats) and conducted by former Republican prosecutor Steve Branchflower, resulted in the finding that Governor Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.”

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Former Legislative Director John Bitney Wishes Sarah Palin Would Leave Him Alone

John Bitney

John Bitney

Former Gov. Sarah Palin‘s book, “Going Rogue,” blames her first legislative director for moves early in her term that helped poison her relationship with state lawmakers. But the ex-aide, John Bitney, calls Palin’s account a fabrication and said he wishes his former boss would leave him alone.

“I’m just pilloried right and left and turned into the big bad wolf here for stuff I didn’t do,” said Bitney, who is now an aide to Valdez Republican Rep. John Harris. “It’s like I’m this fictional character that she’s decided to make me out to be this sort of incompetent slob.”

Palin’s lawyer, Tom Van Flein, responded in an e-mail that Bitney and others have been talking about “their perceptions of, and distortions about” Palin for more than a year, since after she was chosen as Sen. John McCain‘s vice presidential running mate.

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Palin Slings Ethnic Slurs at Former Alaskan Friend Andree McLeod in ‘Going Rogue’

Andree McLeod sits during opening arguments in an Anchorage, Alaska court room Tuesday Aug. 4, 2009, in a lawsuit brought by McLeod challenging former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's use of private e-mail accounts for official business.

Andree McLeod sits during opening arguments in an Anchorage, Alaska court room Tuesday Aug. 4, 2009, in a lawsuit brought by McLeod challenging former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's use of private e-mail accounts for official business.

It’s tough getting up to the front of the line of those wanting to call Sarah Palin for the truckload of lies spewed in Going Rogue. Even John McCain has gotten into the act by charging Palin with fabricating a $50,000 bill she claimed she got stuck with for her “vetting” and by praising the two aides targeted by Palin, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace.

Up in Alaska, the line is just as contentious. Everyone from Palin’s first years on the Wasilla City Council to her gubernatorial aides have challenged Palin’s rendition of her political career in the Last Frontier.

But perhaps the nastiest and most duplicitous passages of all in Going Rogue are those directed at Andree McLeod, the longtime Republican watchdog out of Anchorage who filed many of the Alaska Ethics Act complaints that, by Palin’s own admission, hounded her from office.

Palin’s venom directed at McLeod is both racist and viciously inaccurate. Perhaps a court will one day determine if it’s also libelous.

McLeod, now in her mid-50s and who is of Armenian descent by way of Lebanon, is referred to as the “falafel lady” repeatedly by Palin throughout her book. It’s an intended slur of ethnic derision, loaded with all of Palin’s adolescent fury. It’s also reminiscent of those members of Palin’s “Team Sarah” who referred to Barack and Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Dance as the “Watermelon Roll.” The phrase is as appalling as it is infantile.

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Going Rogue Memoir Is Palin’s Payback to McCain Campaign

Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska on the campaign trail in September 2008 with Senator John McCain.

Former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska on the presidential campaign trail in September 2008 with Senator John McCain.

Going Rogue,” the title of Sarah Palin’s erratic new memoir, comes from a phrase used by a disgruntled McCain aide to describe her going off-message during the presidential campaign: among other things, for breaking with the campaign over its media strategy and its decision to pull out of Michigan, and for speaking out about reports that the Republican Party had spent more than $150,000 on fancy designer duds for her and her family.

The most sustained and vehement barbs in this book are directed not at Democrats or liberals or the news media, but at the McCain campaign. The very campaign that plucked her out of Alaska, anointed her the Republican vice-presidential nominee and made her one of the most talked about women on the planet — someone who could command a reported $5 million advance for writing this book.

In what reads like payback for disparaging comments by John McCain’s aides about her after the ticket’s loss to Barack Obama, Ms. Palin depicts the McCain campaign as overscripted, defeatist, disorganized and dunderheaded — slow to shift focus from the Iraq war to the cratering economy, insufficiently tough on Mr. Obama and contradictory in its media strategy. She also claims that the campaign billed her nearly $50,000 for “having been vetted.” The vetting, which was widely criticized in the press as being cursory and rushed, was, she insisted, “thorough”: they knew “exactly what they’re getting.”

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The Persecution of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's overwhelming vindictiveness is apparent throughout "Going Rogue."

Maybe in their business lives, conservatives are the stern, unforgiving masters of capitalist lore. But when it comes to politics, oh, do they love a whiner!

It is her mastery of the lament that explained former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin‘s appeal last year, and now her knack for self-pity is on full display in her book, “Going Rogue.” This is the memoir as prolonged, keening wail, larded with petty vindictiveness. With an impressive attention to detail, Ms. Palin settles every score, answers every criticism; locates a scapegoat for every foul-up, and fastens an insult on every critic, down to the last obscure Palin-doubter back in Alaska.

From Ms. Palin’s masterwork, we learn that the personal really is the political. Every encounter with a critic seems to be a skirmish in the culture wars, from the Alaska debate moderator who didn’t play fair once to the “wealthy, effete young chap” who ran against her for governor but who, in one of the quickest transitions from anti-snob to snob in all of literature, is also said to have served as “our limo driver at [her husband] Todd’s cousin’s wedding.”

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