Sarah was attending the Alaska State Fair when she got a call from John McCain to meet in Arizona.
She had been the subject of rumors and media inquiries about a possible Vice Presidential nomination but she had not taken them seriously until this moment. She had met John and Cindy McCain in February of 2008 at the Governor’s Conference in Washington D.C. It was a warm and cordial meeting and they had shared interests among them was the fact that the McCain’s had two sons in the military and Sarah’s son Track was in the Army and she was also head of the Alaska National Guard which had units in Iraq.
However nothing was discussed or decided at this meeting and she was not an insider in the McCain coterie. In fact outside of children Sarah does not seem to be in the same camp as Cindy McCain who is independently wealthy, runs a worldwide charity for children and is not an out spoken person politically. She seems to have the same role Todd has in the Palin family in the McCain family.
When the fateful call came she “slipped out of Alaska “ and went to Arizona on a charted flight with her family, Davis White a McCain staffer and Kris Perry her assistant and friend. They landed at night and went to the home of Bob Delgado, CEO of Hensley and Co., the beer distributorship owned by Cindy McCain. It was five days before the Republican National Convention and who would be the Republican nomination for Vice President was the primary topic in the media.
There, she had an interview with Steve Schmidt, McCain’s veteran campaign manager, a gruff no nonsense man, who asked her questions to determine the extent of her political knowledge on Iraq and its history. He also was interested in her views on abortion, gays and evolution or creationism, and any” skeletons she had in the closet.” She told him she had once got a “D” in college and that she was pro life, anti gay marriage but not anti gay and that she believed evolution occurred with the guidance of God. Humans were God’s creation and did not evolve from one cell creatures or from fish that grew legs and walked out of the sea. She also believed the theory of creationism should be debated in the schools along with evolution which is no longer a theory but a fact.
She mentions that one of her “best friends” from college lived an openly gay life style and she accepted that.
She perceived, by talking to Schmidt, that he was focused on the war in Iraq as the principal issue in the campaign and did not recognize that ultimately the main issue would be the economy and the need for change. She had believed she was always an outsider who would bring “change” to the way government was run. However during the campaign the Obama camp “co-opted’ these issues.
The fact was that a principle difference between Obama and McCain was the Iraq War. McCain was a hawk on Iraq and voted for the War Resolution in 2002 and supported the Bush Administration’s policy on Iraq including the surge in 2007. Barrack Obama was not in the Senate in 2002 but he was opposed to the war and authored a bill to prevent the surge in 2007 and de-escalate the war which did not pass. McCain acquired the reputation as a Republican maverick because he did not support the Bush Administration’s policies on many domestic issues including health care and taxes. He also co- authored the McCain- Feingold Campaign Finance Act recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. His campaign sought to disassociate itself from the Bush Administration on domestic policies which it failed to do. While the surge helped, the turning point in the war was when the Sunni leaders decided to support the Coalition Forces against the Al- Qaeda terrorists who were driving the insurgency. Unfortunately for McCain, the voters were split on the Iraq War and were against the Bush Administrations free market and tax policies which as a Republican he was linked to although he had opposed some of them. Thus during the campaign the Iraqi war was still raging and the economy was going into a steep recession and all were perceived as Republican failures. Also he does not have the oratorical charisma Barrack Obama has and he was not seen as an agent for change nor was Sarah Palin.
This left Schmidt between a rock and a hard place on viable campaign issues with a woman thinking about going off message in the back of her head.
She says Schmidt already knew about Bristol’s pregnancy although she thought it was a well kept family secret. One wonders why she didn’t disclose this as a “skeleton” that might become a campaign issue.
He also knew details about her political career as mayor and governor and the way she handled issues including the firing of her Public Safety Commissioner. She says it was for insubordination and budget issues and not for refusing to fire Chuck Wooten her ex brother in law.
She discloses that she also spoke by telephone with the lawyer in charge of the vetting team that gave Schmidt all his information. He was Arthur Culverhouse Jr . a partner at O’Melveny and Myers, a Los Angeles law firm where one time Secretary of State under William Clinton, Warren Christopher, is a partner. It is also the firm that defended Jeffrey Skilling in his recent criminal case involving the Enron collapse.
After the meeting with Schmidt and his deputy she was driven to the McCain ranch in Sedona, Arizona where she met John McCain and his wife Cindy. McCain offered her the Vice Presidential nomination and she accepted. She mentions she was in awe of Cindy’s “up market elegance” Palin mentions that she had heretofore worn only three Ann Taylor suits when traveling. “More power to her (Mrs. McCain) she thought.”
The announcement was made at the 12000 seat Nutter Center in Dayton Ohio in the “Road to the Convention Rally” on August 29, 2008. Prior to this McCain had trouble drawing a crowd and it is doubtful he would have been able to fill the center by himself. So this was a test prior going to the convention in Minneapolis for confirmation that she could draw an enthusiastic crowd when McCain could not in Ohio , a crucial swing state. It was McCain’s birthday and also his rebirth as a viable candidate a gift from Sarah Palin. Her family was thrilled at the campaign hoopla and proud of their mother.
Then she and McCain went onto Minneapolis were they were validated as the Republican Party candidates for President and Vice President.
SARAH PALIN IN A NUTSHELL: Going Rogue; Book Review: GOVERNOR PRIOR TO RUNNING FOR VICE PRESIDENT: WHERE WAS MOMMIE DEAREST?
WHERE WAS MOMMIE DEAREST?
There are so many misconceptions/misperceptions in this book about herself, her family, her role in life and her motivation one can only think she must be a solipsistic megalomaniac and not a committed mother or politician with strongly held ideals and values
Palin glosses over much of her time as Governor with anecdotes about her children and family life. Track, for instance, graduated from high school and didn’t follow a career in hockey or go to college but joined the National Guard and was sent for training to Georgia. Up to now the reader got the impression Track was going to be a professional hockey player. Further Track, although he was a star player on the Alaska All-Stars team, spent most of his senior high school year in Michigan where he played AAA hockey and then returned to Wasilla to graduate from Wasilla High School in June 2007. He joined the Army National Guard in September 2007. No mention is made as to why he didn’t go on to play college hockey or even professional or semi- professional hockey. Bristol becomes pregnant as an unwed teen in 2008. Palin herself becomes pregnant and conceals it. Did all this happen because she sacrificed her family’s welfare to her political career? Track was shipped off to Michigan in September of 2006 and she took office as Governor on December 2006. Bristol gave birth in December 2008 in the year that Sarah ran for Vice-President while still Governor of Alaska.
Pages in the book are devoted to a cat fight between the President of the Alaska State Senate and the Scheduling of the State of the State speech so she could attend Track’s graduation from Army training. She treats this event like a momentous milestone in Track’s life like getting married or graduating from college drama queen that she is. Perhaps she was trying to make up for shipping him off to Michigan while she went off to be Governor
She also was President of the Oil and Gas Association so she was called upon to speak to that organization usually outside of Alaska in the lower forty eight. Was this conducive to a stable family life or even in the interest of Alaska or maybe just in her self interest?
When she became pregnant with Trig she was afraid to go to her OBGYN to confirm the pregnancy because of the publicity? A woman going to an OBGYN is not unusual, and not necessarily an indication of pregnancy and if it was so what. Why did she want to keep it a secret? One has to ask himself or herself that question of a woman that alleges she had two miscarriages before Trig.
She waited until she was speaking at an Oil and Gas meeting in New Orleans before sneaking out to a drug store to buy a pregnancy test kit. The test proved to be positive for pregnancy.
She then went to her OBGYN and got advice on her pregnancy. Later she learned the baby would be a boy with Down syndrome. By then the cat was out of the bag but she admits she toyed with the idea of abortion but her “beliefs” would not allow it.
Confronted with this fact she heard from God that that was what he wanted for her and her family. She wrote a letter to her family as if it was authored by God explaining his reasoning for her to have the child.
She was scheduled to speak at an Energy conference in Dallas, Texas five weeks before Trig’s due date, however when she got there she became aware of signs that the baby would be born early perhaps in Dallas. However she waited and delivered her speech and then flew back to Alaska leaking fluid and then had the baby in the Mat-Su Valley hospital. So Trig’s Alaskan birth qualified him for the benefits of claiming he was a native born Alaskan and part Eskimo. Luckily he survived his mothers self serving agenda.
She recounts her trips to Texas including the one where Trig’s life and health were placed in jeopardy by her “speaking schedule” with great fondness. Texas is a great source for conservative political donations and she has made many speaking trips to Texas before and after the presidential election. So she went to Texas for her own benefit over the danger that she might miscarry with Trig as she had twice before.
During this time Bristol also became pregnant. She alleges she was unaware the she was having sexual relations. Levi Johnston, the baby’s father, says he was living in the Palin household and sleeping with Bristol when the baby was conceived. Apparently her “principles” would not allow her to counsel Bristol on ways to avoid pregnancy and the consequences of failing to either take precautions or abstain so nature took its course. Now Bristol has become a television “expert”persona on unwed teen childbirth.
Strangely Sarah doesn’t describe the mother and daughter relationship she had with Bristol and the advice the gave her prior to allowing Levi to sleep with Bristol in her house. This book is as vague about important family matters as it is vague about politics up to this point.
She alleges for the first time that the enactment of the Alaska Gas Line Act was passed with the help of Democrats in the legislature and not her sole accomplishment although earlier in the book she speaks of it as if it was solely the result of her efforts.
There so many misconceptions about herself, her family and others, her role in life and her motivation one can only think she must be a solipsistic megalomaniac and not a committed mother or politician with ideals and values strongly held that drive her in a quest to benefit her family and the public rather than herself.