Going rogue goes out on a limb

COLBY QUALLS – Hoof Prints Staff

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s book has been a long-awaited release. Even though many students probably do not even know who Sarah Palin is, the staff felt this book would be noteworthy enough to review. Before I get into details, I would like to state that I am a Palin supporter/fan. I will do my best though to give an objective view, but of course, some of my views are biased.

Sarah Palin’s book starts off from the beginning of her life. She reminisces about her childhood days on the wild frontier of Alaska. She uses this background to help readers not only understand her circumstances and platform, but also as a way to view her on a more personal level. It’s easy to forget how human politicians and government officials really are. From these personal experiences, she portrays a middle-class, hard-working woman. A fine example of this is her description of having to be in a pageant to help pay for college tuition. It is quite obvious that she is attempting to relate to the common man. Many of her anecdotes are folksy in nature, but was there any other way expected?

From her expressed humble beginnings, she begins to describe her climb up the political ladder starting from the local scene. Throughout the book, even though she felt led to be part of the political game, she is sure to distance herself from this “blood-sport.” She emphasized how much politicians have gone astray and the need for many levels of government to clean house. Accompanying this view of public service, she provided her own dossier of working in government positions. Most instances she provided of her work were positive on her part. Some may criticize this, but isn’t that what all people do? Magnify their more positive aspects to appeal to the people? She is basically trying to sell herself to us. With us more informed of her record, we are able to be in the know.

Even though Mrs. Palin is part of the GOP party, she reminded us that she is a very independent person. Relating several examples, she proved that she did what she felt was right for the people instead of what the political machine wanted. An element that was even more present than her independent spirit was her faith. Her very role in government she claimed was influenced by providence. She paints a picture of an ordinary, Christian woman, ready for real change.

The most controversial section of her book was her relating her experiences of the presidential campaign with John McCain. Many other reviews and media outlets have criticized that she made-up stories, brutally attacked her opponents, and practically created a fiction story that suited her. I couldn’t disagree more. Now, she did fire a few shots at her critics in this book, but was she not justified? The media practically crucified not only this woman, but her family as well. For anyone to play with the idea that Palin was treated fairly throughout the campaign and in the media is definitely obtuse and ignorant. Palin used this section to justify herself and make her story known. Some parts such as her revelation on the Couric interview did seem a little off. She did not bash Couric near as much as others claim though. It was actually very tame. This first-hand account of all the behind the scenes action is highly anticipated and it will not disappoint. Some parts are probably stretched for convenience, but mostly it helps show the political underbelly.

The last section of her book describes her view of conservatism and its contrast to the liberal left. She goes on to explain why she feels that common sense conservatism is what this country needs instead of the rhetoric of the liberal change. Coupled with this and throughout other parts of the book, pieces of her campaign are brought out. In my opinion, this book is a good indicator that she plans to run for the presidential election in 2012. I think that she will make that decision based on the success of this book. It is quite obvious that this book has an ambitious purpose.

Overall, I feel Palin did an excellent job building her image and addressing important issues. She was not afraid to pull punches especially against the media. What do you expect though when the media has a personal vendetta against you? I believe that some people who didn’t know how they felt about Palin will now be won over through her charm. For the most part though, her fans will love her more, but her enemies will hate her more. I don’t think this book will have enough of an impact to reach those who have already turned away from her message. Either way, I give this book a “yay.” I highly suggest others to read it even if you aren’t a Palin fan. Maybe you will gain more respect for her through this book, or you might at least get a good laugh. Either way, this book is a must read.