One year ago, Sarah Palin burst onto the National Political stage like a locomotive until she became the Campaign's most successful train-wreck. Her new memoir Going Rogue has dominated the media this week with an implied threat that she might come back for seconds in 2012.
Our own Beth Arnold wrote a compelling argument to "just don't click" on anything Palin. Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel appeared on Larry King Live with others to discuss the most pertinent person du jour and Going Rouge, An American Nightmare a brilliant counter balance to this circus. Although these might be a better tactic to create a Palinless world, I couldn't help but buy a copy after seeing that the feared and respected book critic, Michiko Kakutani, couldn't resist the temptation to get her hands on the ghost-written memoir either. Kakutani writes,
"All in all Ms. Palin emerges from Going Rogue as an eager player in the blame game, ungrateful to the McCain campaign for putting her on the national stage. As for the McCain campaign, it often feels like a desperate and cynical operation, willing to make a risky Hail Mary pass to try to score a tactical win, instead of making a considered judgment as to who might be genuinely qualified to sit a heartbeat away from the Oval Office."
Although most progressive people are getting heartburn from Palin's current publicity blitz, and annoyed as hell that she is masquerading as a feminist being oh-so offended by her half naked Newsweek cover, there is always reason to be thankful. When her chances of becoming second-in-command crashed into smithereens last November, the falling shrapnel acted as a sort of fairy-dust. She suddenly felt overqualified for her day job as governor, and went spinning into the stratosphere to write her memoir, and it is indeed the best place for her.
As we watch her wax and wane on the massive book tour, we might be reminded this week of what could have been. Although Obama's current trip through Asia might be showing the diminution of U.S. influence in the region, remember what happened 17 years ago? President H.W. Bush vomited on Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's lap during dinner. Most Americans (conservative and progressive) turned pale with the realization that if something dire happened to Herbert Walker Bush, that yes, Dan Quayle would be in charge.
So, I didn't feel so ashamed when I called my local bookstore to grab a copy of Sarah's index-less memoir. My friend Gerald, at Explore booksellers in Aspen, was puzzled when I asked for a copy. "I think we do have a copy somewhere, even though we didn't order it."
What I take from the bizarre memoir is a welcome alternative to what could have been a nightmare. Yes, Sarah Palin will probably be a powerful money maker for the GOP fundraising machine (provided they kiss and make-up after her numerous McCain staff bashing fits). This is not a profound realization for anyone, but it's always good to find some love in a time of Palin, so let's thank the heavens that she is where she is -- in orbit.