Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Book I Just Might Buy

An interesting excerpt from Sarah From Alaska, a couple of reporters wrote it who tailed Palin during the campaign:

The day after the debate, Palin caused more headaches when she told Fox News's Carl Cameron that she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull resources out of Michigan, effectively ceding the state to Obama. She had not been consulted on that critical move in the chess game, which leaked out in a report penned by the Politico's Jonathan Martin the previous afternoon. "I fired off a quick e-mail and said, 'Oh, come on. You know, do we have to? Do we have to call it there?'" she told Cameron. "I want to get back to Michigan, and I want to try."

The e-mail that Palin sent was, in fact, essentially how she described it to Cameron. She wrote to her traveling staff and top McCain advisers, "If there's any time, Todd and I would love a quick return to Michigan-we'd tour the plants, etc. . . . If it does McC any good. I know you have a plan, but I hate to see us leave Michigan. We'll do whatever we had [sic] to do there to give it a 2nd effort."

A senior aide replied, "Michigan is out of reach unless something drastic happens. We must win oh and hopefully pa."

Palin replied that she "got it," but her subsequent interview with Cameron had shown that she hadn't. She acknowledged as much in a postinterview e-mail to senior staff, writing, "Oops-I mentioned something about that to Carl Cameron and it's now recorded that I'd love to give Michigan the ol' college try." Later in the day, she tried once more. "It's a cheap 4hr drive from WI. I'll pay for the gas," she wrote.

Though senior aides had firmly rejected her request, Palin continued to press them on it in the coming days and weeks. A natural optimist but a novice when it came to national campaign strategy, she was inclined not to give up anywhere, much less on a state that had been a prime target for months. She remembered the massive crowds that had greeted her and McCain in Macomb County the day after the convention ended and in Grand Rapids a couple of weeks later. They were good, God-fearing, salt-of-the-earth people. She figured that she could introduce them to her husband, who liked to ride snowmobiles and hunt, just like Michiganders did. Her instincts told her that if she just had a chance to talk to some laid-off automobile workers face-to-face, she could convince them to vote Republican.

"I know what I know what I know." She repeated that mantra to the people around her throughout the campaign. Sometimes she was right, but her growing determination to do things her own way became a continuing headache for the campaign's strategists, who were more interested in polling data and documented fact than they were in the vice presidential candidate's instincts.

Palin sat in her hotel suite in Costa Mesa, California, on the night after the Cameron interview and began to muse with traveling staffers about what she could do to win back Michigan, despite top aides' firm decree that it was out of reach. She was the candidate after all, and it was time for her to take more control over her own destiny. What if they descended upon the state unannounced in the middle of the night and brought Jay Leno or David Letterman along to cover the triumphant surprise visit? Several of her traveling aides loved the idea, as unorthodox as it sounded. There was a growing consensus on the plane that the powers that be at headquarters were holding her back unwisely. The late-night comedian idea was probably pushing it, but maybe they could wait until the next time they were in Ohio and commandeer the campaign bus at the end of the day's events. They could drive it across the border into Michigan, hold a dramatic public appearance to draw in local media, then drive back to Ohio overnight in time for the next day's rallies.

Though many of her aides were on board with her sentiment, other campaign staffers were becoming irritated by how often she brought up her ideas for campaigning in Michigan. There was a growing sense that the vice presidential plane was becoming a renegade operation, increasingly comfortable with acting on its own. Rick Davis was so concerned about the possibility that the governor would ignore orders and travel to Michigan on her own that he attempted to order Secret Service agents to prevent it. Of course, agents would have been obliged to follow the candidate wherever she decided to go.

I'm not sure how much of the book is fact and how much is fancy, there's a couple parts that look a little fishy, but overall it looks interesting. I can just see Palin and her aides plotting about how they would hijack the campaign bus and roll into Michigan!

1 comment:

Greg said...

If you put Sarah Palin into the search engine at Amazon, you come up with 800 items. Most of the books written about her are on the first several pages, I counted 34. There are a couple of real hateful ones, but most aren't. If you check the ratings on these books you will find that many of them are outselling books by or about Hillary Clinton, or about Michele 0bama.

Who knows how many there will be 3 years from now, but I'd guess there will be 50-75. What other potential candidate on either side have inspired such an outpouring of books? Answer: none.