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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yes, Mr. Brown, I DID Read the Book

I received this link from a friend who told me I would enjoy this article. I wrote him back and told him that I did not enjoy it. Mr. Brown, like the other lamestream media types, just doesn’t “get it.” Here are parts of his article and my reasons for recognizing that Mr. Brown, father of CNN’s Campbell Brown, doesn’t “get it.”

Did you actually read Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue? Sure it’s a national best seller. I had no plans to buy it. Nothing against Sarah. I really liked the Newsweek cover with Sarah in her jogging shorts. (She’s running-probably for President. Get it?) I wasn’t planning to shell out $28.99 to have Sarah talk me through a moose stew, but a friend gave me the book. So over a quiet Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I plowed through the numerous unique insights of this controversial lady.

From cover to cover, Mr. Brown. Not only did I read the book, I listened to the audio book the entire drive from Springfield, MO to my home. I had gone to Springfield, Mr. Brown, to have Sarah autograph my book. I thought that was an excellent way to spend my 60th birthday. Turns out, I was right!

You made a connection between the photograph of Sarah Palin on Newsweek (a supposed news magazine) using a picture that had been taken for a runner’s magazine (Runner’s World) to the idea that she is running for President. The fact is she hasn’t decided whether or not she even wants to run for President of the United States although her millions of supporters hope she does, and we hope it is 2012.

One more thing about your first paragraph, Mr. Brown. Sarah Palin is NOT controversial. She speaks very plainly so that everyone who chooses to listen to what she says instead of dissecting what they think she might have meant by it can know what is in her heart and on her mind. The media who do not believe in fair, equal and accurate reporting are the ones who make her seem controversial.

First of all it was no surprise that Sarah didn’t actually write the book. Few celebrities do these days. Writing a book of personal experiences is a long and drawn out labor of love. I know well from my own undertaking. The breezy Palin memoir was written by former Bush speech writer Lynn Vincent, but there are still enough “you betchas” in the book to give the lady’s special Alaska flavor.

Who is the writer of a book? Is it the person whose words are used or the person who ties them all together? Sarah has kept diaries and journals all her life. I believe that makes this her words with Ms. Vincent tying them all together cohesively. That may explain why Ms. Vincent’s name doesn’t appear as author of the book.

Wanting to read all the juicy tidbits first, I immediately went to the index to get an idea of what Palin listed as being of particular importance. But surprise! There is no index in the book. So no choice for me but to wade on through.

Have you ever heard of a “gotcha moment”, Mr. Brown? Well, this is Sarah’s “gotcha moment” to all who do not want to read the entire book because it just might force them to admit that what she says is true and can be believed. They might have to admit that she does have a working brain and more leadership experience than is exhibited in Washington, DC, at the present time.

There were questions during the campaign of Palin’s reading habits. Who can forget her non answer when Katie Couric asked her what she liked to read. She cleared up any uncertainty by listing such titles as cookbooks (p. 15), Reader’s Digest (P.15), Sports Illustrated (P. 27), The Wonderful World of Oz (p. 16), and, my favorite, Ranger Rick (p. 27).

Why didn’t you use the quote from Sarah herself regarding her “non-answer” to Katie’s stupid question? “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to – or as some have ludicrously suggested, couldn’t – answer her question; it was that her condescension irritated me.” (p.276)

Then of course there is Palin’s vivid description on page 302 of praying in the shower with Rev. Rick Warren. I kid you not. OK, maybe I inferred too much. She was in the shower when the California Evangelist called, so she pulled in the phone to join him in prayer.

What you “inferred” was that you are the proverbial “dirty old man.” According to Sarah, “I would never turn down prayer even with limited hours in a campaign day…” That’s what Christians do – we pray with and for each other.

And food? She makes no bones about how she loves and cooks Alaskan edibles. Her specialties include halibut tacos (p. 1), reindeer sausage (p. 1) and caribou lasagna (p. 218).How on the day she got married “we stopped by the Wendy’s drive-thru for our wedding dinner.” (p. 49). Palin also makes it quite clear that “I love meat,” particularly “the seared fatty edges of a well-done steak.” (p. 18). She follows this homily with one of the book’s more deep and poignant quotes: “If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat? “(p. 133) Nuf said.

While you did get part of it right, you left out probably the most important part of the quote you chose. “I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals – right next to the mashed potatoes.” (p. 218-219)
I am only guessing here, but do you eat alligator, Mr. Brown?

Palin has two perceived problems in building a viable and growing political base. First is her knack for self-pity; that fact that throughout her book, she plays the victim. The liberal press, in her words “the lame stream media” that is always out to get her. Her opposition didn’t play fair, and she has many scapegoats for mistakes and foul-ups that invariably happen in any major campaign. She rehashes numerous insults and indignities, portraying herself through the book as an abused woman.

I have only one remark about your interpretation of Sarah as considering herself an “abused woman.” No, she doesn’t. If you had cared to check, there are references available on the internet concerning how many negative stories were printed or reported about her and her running mate as opposed to the number of negative stories written about their opponents. Joe Public even weighed in on a Rasmussen Report.

What was missing from the Palin narrative was the voice of a leader. What did she learn from the campaign, and what would she do to address the major issues facing our country today. She has lots of “former” titles in her past. Where will she, and the country, be heading in the future? A real opportunity missed.

It is possible that you haven’t finished the book, Mr. Brown. If you did finish it, perhaps you will want to go back to page 384 and begin reading through page 395 again. Sounds like REAL leadership to me.

Her second problem is how to be t taken more seriously. There is no doubt Palin has sealed her identity as a culture-wars lighting rod who can both inspire hysteria from liberals and adulation from conservatives. But will celebrity status alone persuade non committed moderates to trust her with the reins of government? So far, she seems to have chosen personality over substance.

I suggest that it is you and other liberals in the media who believe she has chosen personality over substance. I found many instances of substance when I listened to her on the campaign trail. I see much substantive material in her Facebook postings. If you have wondered why she uses Facebook to get her message out, I suggest that the reason is because her words are uncensored. They are her words right there in black and white for anyone who wants to read them. There is no “talking head” telling us what she means. We KNOW what she means because we read what she wrote.

That might be something many should do – read them for themselves. I still think people might be surprised at the intelligence and knowledge of this experienced leader. But then, someone might have to admit that Obama lacks these qualities himself and has no business sitting where he does today.

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