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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Going Rogue: More than a Memoir

Obviously Going Rogue: An American Life is Governor Palin's memoir, but it is so much more than that.

Writing Style

Governor Palin kept journals all her life and has a journalism degree. Her book is 413 pages of pleasant, easy reading. You will not find any political double-speak, euphemism, or gobbledygook here. Governor Palin writes in plain, easy-to-understand, clear language. She engages you, the reader and maintains your interest throughout. You will not find a single boring passage. Governor Palin's excellent sense of humor and razor-sharp wit reflect in her writing. She has also mastered the art of the drawing the reader in, then closing a thought with cutting, hard-hitting sarcasm.

Governor Palin knows very well how to write a good "belly whopper." Al Chioda (deceased) who edited the Airport Press during my tenure there as a reporter and production manager coined the term. A "belly whopper" is a story that leaves you feeling like you were punched in the stomach and left doubled over. Going Rogue has several belly whoppers in it.

Memoir: Bonding with our Sarah

For purposes of this segment, she is simply Sarah -- transcending any titles she has held. You cannot help but bond with her from the first words on the first page. Now, before I read Going Rogue, I knew quite a bit about Governor Palin -- Sarah. I never realized what I did not know about her. I found myself having to stop roughly every two paragraphs to either laugh with her, or found myself blubbering. Other colleagues have had a similar experience.

Of course being deeply in involved in matters pertaining to Sarah; knowing and working regularly with some of the people she references in the book, reading Going Rogue for me was a very emotional experience. It all started the day I heard a woman's voice on the radio. Two months after that, the Sharpie in her hand would sign my shirt and laser engrave my heart. I would be 30 feet away from her eight months after that at an IGHL award gala -- so near yet so far away. And five months later, she would sign two copies of her own book in my presence. I would meet her mother and father there that night and see two of her children: three generations of Heaths and Palins all in the same space, interacting with us ordinary folk.

Sarah is not some distant celebrity in an ivory tower. For most of my colleagues and friends -- for myself -- the bond we have with our Sarah is very tight. That bond extends to her family, friends, staff, and even her contractors.

Her populism and love of the ordinary person shows and is extensively documented. And ordinary people's love of her is also documented. Reading her words leaves you feeling like you're reading the work of a close friend or a sister....all the more so for my colleagues and myself.

Policy Manual

Rush Limbaugh described Going Rogue as one of the most "substantive policy manuals of our time," and that is an accurate description, as delineated in Gary P. Jackson's entry on the subject. Governor Palin delineates at great length throughout the book the core values that underpin her approach to governance. But, the overarching value to her is strict adherence to the Constitution -- no matter what other values that may conflict with.

Further, Governor Palin delineates her policy positions in plain, clear, engaging language that the average person will understand and maintain interest. Policy is usually dry, boring subject matter, but not in Going Rogue.

Campaign Operations Manual

Governor Palin explains in great detail exactly what went wrong in the McCain campaign, how it went wrong and why. Going Rogue is very instructive on how to and how not to manage a campaign. Governor Palin devotes nearly a fourth of the book to this subject. Going Rogue should be mandatory reading for candidates and their campaign managers, as the real world lessons contained within can avert a possible repeat of what went wrong in the McCain campaign.

Post-Graduate MBA Review -- From the Real World

Need a refresher on Transformational Leadership, Human Resources Management, Micro- and Macro-Economics, Marketing, Accounting? You betcha...pick up a copy of Going Rogue. For less than $20, you will have an MBA review from an executive who has nearly two decades of experience, including -- yes some admitted poor decisions. Governor Palin outlines in intimate detail why they were poor and why she would never repeat them. To learn this material in a post-graduate course would cost several thousand dollars and it would be all theory without the real world experience to back it up.

Naturalist's Field Study Guide

Governor Palin has significant knowledge of botany, biology, and geography, and she shares it with us in Going Rogue. She delineates in detail her view on evolution, and her view is not what people on both sides of the issue stereotype it to be. If you want to know Governor Palin's real position on evolution, it will not be disclosed here on Accomplishments. Buy a copy of Going Rogue.


Yes, Going Rogue is a travelogue, in that Governor Palin describes in loving detail the places she has been, as well as what she has seen, felt, smelt, and tasted. When you read her words describing where she is at any given point, you feel like you're right there with her. Her words transport you. You will walk, run, drive and fly with her to all the places she has been.


Governor Palin is not a poet in the strict and traditional definition of the word, but there is a poetic sub-current when she describes natural phenomena. She has poetry in her soul, and it does reflect in her writing.

Simple Christian Faith

Governor Palin delineates the role her simple Christian faith plays in her life in Going Rogue in a pleasant, easy-going, matter-of-fact way. She does not proselytize for any denomination; preach; sermonize; delve into theology, dogma, and rituals; or appear "holier than thou." In fact, she cannot stand the latter types and specifically says so. She expresses belief in Providence and disbelief in coincidence. Adrienne Ross' review is centered on this concept. Indeed as her life story builds, the reader cannot help but conclude that Governor Palin's life's events happened for a reason. It is up to the reader to decide what that reason is.


That Going Rogue should be mandatory reading for anyone who works for and supports Governor Palin in an official or unofficial capacity should be obvious.

For those of you "sitting on the fence" about her, Going Rogue is strongly recommended reading. Perhaps, you've been reading and listening to the myriad rumors, innuendos, lies, and half-truths that have been spread around about Governor Palin. This is an opportunity to read her story in her words. Then you can make up your own mind. Chances are, she will win you over.

For those of you who consider yourselves center-left, you will be pleasantly surprised: Governor Palin is not a "right wing ideologue" and she is not a stereotypical neo-con. What you will find is a common-sense political view that ranges center left to full right. You will find she is one of the last living pioneers; you will read about a populist who loves her country and the people she serves; you will discover why many of us find her inspirational and are hard to the core in our support of her.

Just like many of us -- you may fall and fall hard -- like I did the day I heard an unknown woman's voice on the radio and pulled over to the side of the road....

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