Sarah Palin's painful 2011 continues. After her widely-criticized response to the Tucson shootings last month, and more bad polling numbers, a damning book written by a former aide has been leaked to the media. Based on 60,000 private emails, the book by ex-aide Frank Bailey details Palin's obsession with her adversaries, and how she becomes "consumed with every slight, real or perceived." Whether or not Bailey is just a "quintessential disgruntled employee," as one Palin ally has charged, the as-yet-unpublished In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years certainly contains plenty of juicy allegations. Here, five of the worst:
1. Palin resigned as Alaska's governor because she "hated" her "damn" job
Palin quit her job as governor of Alaska in July 2009, claiming that it would just be "politics as usual" if she "[embraced] the conventional 'lame duck' status in this particular climate...." Bailey's memoir, however, suggests that Palin was simply sick of the criticism, and was more focused on her national image than on life in Alaska. "I hate this damn job," she vented in an April, 2009 email. What's the big deal? asks Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. "Even people who love their jobs have those moments, especially jobs with large responsibilities."
2. Palin called Gingrich an "egotistical, narrow-minded machine goon"
Palin was bumped from a GOP fundraising dinner in June 2009 in favor of fellow Republican Newt Gingrich. A "scathing e-mail" sent just after that incident illustrates her "distrust of Republican insiders," say Ben Smith and Andy Barr at Politico. She referred to Gingrich and Co. as "egotistical, narrow minded machine goons," and suggested it was a blessing in disguise that she'd avoided "introducing him and acting like that good ol' rich white guy is the savior of the party.” This might be the book's most "relevant/entertaining" revelation, says Dan Amira at New York. It will certainly resonate "the next time these two try to pretend to like each other."
3. All networks but Fox News are the "bad guys"
Palin's distrust of the "lamestream media" boiled over in the summer of 2009, after NBC conducted a "sickening" interview with Levi Johnston, the father of her grandchild. Thenceforth, Bailey says, Palin told her aides she would only speak to Fox News, the other networks being "the bad guys." In an email, she wrote: "Lesson learned. Final one. Networks are not our friends. Talking to them harms my family, admin, record, reputation, Tripp, etc. No more." So Palin is "obsessed with how the media portray her," says Alex Pareene at Salon. "Surprise!"
4. Palin cultivated media "surrogates" to speak on her behalf
After she blackballed all networks but Fox, Palin's media strategy involved gathering a horde of "surrogates" to whom she would email talking points or messages. They included: Bill Kristol, Mary Matalin, Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly. "We could normally expect them to repeat any coordinated message we sent," says Bailey. Kristol, notes Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish, is the worst of these "propagandist[s] posing as journalist[s]"
5. Palin maintains a "secret" Facebook account
Bailey's manuscript has inadvertently unmasked Sarah Palin's other, non-official Facebook account, says Jack Stuef at Wonkette. One of the emails published in the book contains Palin's personal Gmail address, which Wonkette used to find "Lou Sarah," which seems to be Palin's secret Facebook identity (her middle name is Louise). This identity has 12 friends, is a fan of Palin's own public page, and has written repeatedly on her daughter Bristol's fan page in recent months. "Apparently Palin is not reading the liberal newspapers and other publications that provide news about Facebook privacy settings."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- As deadly skin cancer rates keep climbing, surgeon general says to stop tanning and wear sunscreen
- The 5 best and worst states for a well-lived life
- What religious traditionalists can teach us about sex
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Why Texas' abortion rates aren't falling as quickly as everyone expected
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
Subscribe to the Week