Going Rogue by Sarah Palin

December 26, 2009

going rogue Summary: Sarah Palin is one of the most recognizable figures in American politics today. Plucked from relative obscurity on August 29, 2008 when Senator John McCain chose her as his running mate, there was an immediate media frenzy surrounding Palin. This frenzy lasted for the remaining two months of the election, and has continued even to this day — despite the fact that Palin resigned her post as Alaska’s governor and isn’t directly involved in politics right now.

Going Rogue: An American Life is a typical political memoir that will give people a better understanding of Palin, but will not reveal all the details or answers that some people might be looking for. Palin begins by describing her upbringing in Alaska, and how her childhood shaped her enduring love of sports, nature, and the Last Frontier. From there, Palin talks a bit about her college years, how she met Todd (who would of course become her husband), and the challenges of raising young children with Todd away for work most of the time.

Next up is a primer on Palin’s political beginnings in local affairs. She was elected to Wasilla’s city council, and then became mayor of the small town. Palin then ran for lieutenant governor (but lost), and finally was elected governor in 2006, garnering 48 percent of the vote in a 6-way race. She ran on a platform of change, and played up her outsider status to convince voters that she wouldn’t engage in “politics as usual” while in office.

And finally Palin talks about the national campaign with John McCain. This was definitely the most interesting part of the book, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at what went wrong during the ticket’s losing bid. Palin takes several shots at campaign manager Steve Schmidt, and also fires back at “insiders” who supposedly leaked negative stuff to the press after the election.

The book wraps up with a few thoughts about what it means to be a “commonsense conservative” and what Palin hopes to see happen in this country in the near future. She gives no indication about what role — if any — she will seek to play in that political future.


  • Let me just say right up front that I like Sarah Palin, and have always felt that she got a raw deal from the press. I cannot fucking stand it that people say they want “change” and are tired of the “political establishment”, but then when someone like Palin comes along, someone who is as close to a regular Jane as we’ll ever see on the national stage, the media do nothing but tear her down. How is smooth-talking, Harvard-educated Obama significantly different from past presidents? Oh, yeah, he’s black. BFD.
  • I love that Palin is proud of her roots and everything she had to do to make it to where she is. She didn’t get a scholarship to Harvard or Yale; she worked her way through the University of Idaho and took five years to do it. She has worked as a waitress and as a commercial fisher. She does not come from a privileged background, which makes her more like the general voting public than most any other politician out there. But again, people have to snicker about her credentials and her alma mater. It’s sickening.
  • Finally, Palin was able to answer a number of the attacks commonly made against her. She was absolutely right that the liberal media didn’t even bother fact-checking half of the crap they printed about her, and that they had no qualms about calling anyone in Wasilla a Palin “expert”. Rumors were printed without hesitation, but follow-ups were never pursued, especially when Palin was vindicated. Like remember how the media were falling all over themselves back in July, convinced that Palin resigned as governor because of a “scandal” that was about to break or because of an “FBI investigation” into her ethics? Yeah, neither of those things happened, but instead of clarifying and printing a retraction, the media just let the stories fizzle out on their own. Fucking cowards. Oh, and I thought Sarah and Todd were getting a divorce too. Another rumor printed and never retracted.
  • The chapters about the national campaign were fascinating. I can’t believe how much “headquarters” wanted to keep Palin bottled up and not let her say anything of substance. To be sure, she “went off script” a number of times, but as she pointed out, no one ever bothered telling her what the script was in the first place, so how was she supposed to stay on it? Yes, Palin has indeed said some stupid and/or regrettable things that she would probably like to take back. But show me a single politician who hasn’t made a stupid statement in public.


  • I thought the chapters about Alaskan politics and all the bickering about Big Oil and energy policy were a bit boring. I understand that Palin was trying to establish her executive/administrative experience with governing, but still… I skimmed most of that stuff.

Rating: Going Rogue by Sarah Palin is a solid memoir by one of America’s most dynamic public figures. Let’s face it: this book isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. If you already like Palin, you’ll like this book. If you don’t already like her, why would you even bother reading it? I give Going Rogue 4 stars out of 5.

5 Responses to “Going Rogue by Sarah Palin”

  1. I am so proud of Sarah Palin for what she is doing and saying. Her support for our troops is refreshing. Did you see what that idiot Chris Matthews said about her? So stupid. Do you think she will run for President? I hope so, I would volunteer for her campaign. Visit my site if you’d like to read more. Thank you again for a very educational web site. Keep up the great work!

  2. There are critics of Sarah Palin but in my opinion she is also a very good politician and she also did some good projects in Alaska.

  3. Hi and thanks for a well-written posting. I appreciate what you write.

  4. I idolize Sarah Palin because she is a woman with very strong character. She has also lots of accomplishments in the area of public service.

  5. Sarah Palin is a very intelligent woman in my opinion.

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