Sarah Palin is still making headlines, and her book “Going Rogue” is now a best seller.

Much of what I have read about her and the book seems to be viewed through the “inner beltway” mindset, by those who automatically hate those of a different political persuasion. All of these opinions try to calculate how the book was planned so she can run for president.

But if you read the book, you find there is no “Grand plan”. There is Sarah, her family, and a day to day decision on what she should do.

The reason for her appeal is that she is ordinary: she lives an ordinary life, despite her life in politics, and more importantly, she can articulate the concerns of ordinary Americans in plain language.

This does not make her automatically someone I would vote for as President, but it does mean that she will continue to be able to influence the way people think about issues, for better or worse.

The book is a “chatty” type of book, one that reminds me of the “Hollywood” autobiographies.

President Obama’s biography (in the words of Toni Morrison) showed

  “his ability to reflect on this extraordinary mesh of experiences that he has had, some familiar and some not, and to really meditate on that the way he does, and to set up scenes in narrative structure, dialogue, conversation–all of these things that you don’t often see, obviously, in the routine political memoir biography.

In contrast, Caribou Barbi’s book is plain spoken and open. No lyricism here, folks, just the facts.  The elites will mock it, but this time, ordinary folks will have read the book, and will recognize Palin as someone they know.

Palin is the lady who runs the PTA. She is the policewoman who finds the thugs who robbed your store. She is the teacher who helped you pass Geometry in high school. And she is the lady next door who comes in with a casserole when you are sick.

She is the strong independent lady who used to be admired before bimbos and bitter single feminists became the role model for women.

No wonder she is hated: She loves her husband, she likes men, and she gets along with women. No victimology here about hardships.

She worked her way through college, she worked on her husband’s boat, she has kids, and she takes them with her to work.

She not only goes to church, but she “walks the walk”: In a country where 90 percent of disabled babies are aborted, she choses to give life, relying on the Lord.

Next to the calumny and obscenities by various writers trying to destroy her and her family, her defense of herself is also straightforward, without calling names.

The “falafal lady” is one of the strongest examples of name-calling in the book, used to describe a civilian who filed numerous trivial ethical complaints against her.

The consultants in the McCain campaign who excoriated Mrs. Palin to scapegoat her for their campaign’s loss are described in her book as professionals, whose ideas were opposed by her own political sense. The disagreements are discussed, but their ideas are merely contrasted with Mrs. Palin’s own ideas of what should be done, and why she thinks she was right.

So should you waste your time to read the book? I’d say yes, for two reasons.

One, it is a quick and easy read that points out what is wrong with American politics.

The numerous trivial lawsuits led to a debt of half a million dollars that the Palin family didn’t have, and is one reason that she resigned the governorship. Such a trivial sum in the world of Washington Politics is nothing; a fact that says more about political class than it does about Palin.

Two: Many people compare Palin to Ronald Reagan; they are wrong. I myself see her as Harry Truman.

People nowadays forget how the press and political elites hated “that damned haberdasher”, but Truman beat them by going over the head of the press and the elites to win elections. Unlike politicians who get sweetheart mortgages to buy affluent homes, Harry went home to an ordinary house in Independence Missouri to retire, and Palin went home to the house that Todd built.

Like Palin, he took criticism like an adult: The buck stops here” said the sign on his desk, but he didn’t ignore the lies of those who opposed him. And like Palin, “give’m hell Harry” fiercely hit back at those who criticized his daughter unjustly.

Of course, Truman “power walked” instead of jogging, and Palin looks better in running shorts than Harry did in his three piece suit, but you get the idea. There are tides in politics, and after four or eight years of intellectual Utopian leadership, the American public just might be ready for a “give’m Stuff Sarah”.

Three: A quick read of her biography  will show you  why ordinary people distrust the press. A “he said she said” story is one thing; but reporting rumors without checking on where they come from and getting another point of view is wrong, and ordinary folks know it, because they see how their own opinions are distorted and ridiculed.

Indeed, if her disastrous interviews had been edited to make her appear stupid, as she claims, a release of the unedited tapes would show the truth. And it says a lot about American media that no one thinks that this charge is serious, or has asked for a third party to review the tapes.

Four: The biography says a lot about the cultural bias against women in politics.

If this distortion was limited to Palin, one could blame it on her personality; if it were limited to Republicans, one could blame it on a press who distrust right wingers. But in last year election, Hillary Clinton faced a similar distortion of her speeches and past record, whereas Senator Obama was given a pass on his history. Mrs. Palin says if she and Secretary Clinton could someday meet, they will disagree with each other’s policies, but would get along on a personal level, because both of them faced similar challenges and a similar press bias against them.

Mrs. Palin not only praises Hillary Clinton, but at one point, her praise of Geraldine Ferraro led to a telephone call from that pioneering lady. Congresswoman Ferraro had been the first woman Vice Presidential nominee, yet since that time had been discarded and ignored by those in her party.

Yes, I know. I left out the details of the book. You’ve read the press stories, so now read the other point of view. If you are a speed reader, you can finish it in a minute.

Governor Palin may or may not run again for higher office, but her ability to communicate will continue to make her a thorn in the side of political operatives of both parties. So maybe you need to find out why.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes about human rights at Makaipa Blog.

Be Sociable, Share!