Of all the prevailing theories about why Sarah Palin may have quit the governorship in Alaska perhaps the most intriguing has to do with books--her own and others--and the race to finish the definitive Palin narrative. Palin's frustration with "the media" is one of the reasons she cited for resigning, so it stands to reason that she's craving to craft her own lasting legacy.
It's been widely reported that Palin has a multi-million dollar book deal with Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins. Even with a good ghost writer - and Sarah Palin's journalism degree background - the earliest the book is scheduled to come out is January 2010.
There are other Palin books coming out within the year, but of all of them, perhaps the one she fears the most is the campaign tell-all by self-proclaimed McCain adviser Martin Eisenstadt. Titled I Am Martin Eisesenstadt: One Man's Wildly Inappropriate Adventures with the Last Republicans, the book is due for release at the end of this October through publisher Farrar, Straus, Giroux. You'll recall that Eisenstadt is the controversial pundit who claimed to be the source for the FoxNews story that Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent.
Alaska sources confirmed to me tonight that among other reasons, she was "very concerned" about damaging revelations that will be coming out in several upcoming campaign books, including my own....
Recent articles in Vanity Fair, Politico and CBS News reports (from an upcoming book) accusing her of being a "rogue diva" and tying her to damaging emails about her association with the secessionist Alaska Independence Party continue to hound her. But I can't personally help but wonder if she also became aware of related allegations I make about her in my own upcoming book
While I continue to enjoy a warm relationship with my publisher and editor at FSG, I can't help but wonder if the timing of Palin's resignation is somewhat suspect. Just this very week, FSG started to send out early galleys of the book for review. I have no reason to initially suspect any of FSG's direct employees of leaking the galleys to Palin. But did someone in the media who got an advance copy somehow slip it to a Palin ally? Or maybe an outsourced subcontractor at a print shop? At this point, there's no way to be sure.
So, will Palin's lawyers clamp down on Eisenstadt and FSG in the same way they recently threatened Alaska blogger Shannyn Moore, or will they rally public outrage against his book like they did with David Letterman? Only time will tell. This much is certain, though: No matter what Sarah Palin's next step is, her campaign legacy will be fought in bookstores and Amazon pages in the upcoming months.
[Full disclosure: There are those who would argue that I am actually one of the co-creators of "Martin Eisenstadt" and co-author of his upcoming book. Eisenstadt, though, has always disputed this point.]