Going Rogue: An American Story is a memoir written by Sarah Palin offering a sharp focus on the political life of Sarah Palin. The book offers a clear perception of Palin’s take on the John McCain campaigns, challenges, divergence in ideologies in the team as she gunned for one of the topmost national offices in America. The former Alaska governor comes out open on various accusations that had been leveled on her by campaign-mates, the fourth estate and the general public(Whetsell,5). The name “Going Rogue” is derived from the phrase coined by McCain political advisers who were not party to her divergent views and public deviation from the carefully crafted campaign message. Sarah Palin, in this memoir, expounds on her political journey from a humble Alaskan background to eventually become one of the strongest female political personalities in the United States history. In the Going Rogue Sarah Palin defends her conservative views and beliefs. Critics however point out that the memoir dwells on her resentment on the McCain-Palin campaign team chief advisors. They argue that the book acts as her tool to exonerate herself from the blame games that rocked the campaign team. The sub-title An American life resembles Former American President Ronald Reagan’s political autobiography written in 1990 after his exit from active politics.
The first Chapters open up the readers to the early life of Sarah Palin in Idaho, Sandpoint. In the book she reveals her family life a third-born in a family of four. Sarah Palin cites in her book her close relationship with her parents: father Charles R. Health and Sarah Sally Heath, as what inspired her conservatism. Her early life as portrayed in Chapter 1: The Last Frontier shows her deep affection for the Alaskan culture. Her attraction for multicultural heritage is expounded by her love for her then husband Todd who is of Indian (Yupik) line. She manages to illustrate her family’s ethnic diversity within her own nuclear family.
In Chapter two, the writer tells of herself as a newbie in the political world. She explains of the political dealings and machinations that led to her resignation as the chairman of the energy committee AOGCC. The Troopergate or Tasergate issue or scandal is greatly discussed where she tries to correct the misconception of this issue in the public domain. She also faults Andy Halcro report that she terms as false and misdirected. In Chapter three (Drill, Baby, Drill) touches on the Sarah Palin journey to clinching the Alaskan governor. The campaign highlights her resolve to work for the expansive state of Alaska as she cites “our campaign would focus on cleaning house in government ”Palin wanted to tap the huge profits of the natural gas in Alaska. The move had a good goal but a bad end. Sarah Palin wanted to clean house by combing through to identify various investments in Alaska to kick out any “whiff of impropriety”.
The Fourth chapter (Going Rogue) up to the sixth chapter ushers in the crux of the matter in this memoir. The chapter targets Steve Schmidt. Schmidt is described as a tough person to work with and had all systems running against her. She cites John Kerry as a victim of Schmidt’s antics. She complains of the management of McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Schmidt though one of the key brokers of the Palin-McCain ticket, is said to have neutralized the course by demanding that Palin sticks to a strict line of thought that angered Palin. Palin was more pro-traditional republican approach in the presidency campaign. Schmidt is also termed as biased against Sarah Palin’s notions and what she presented in the American political domain. The chapters also expound on Palin’s on how the campaign went wrong and what would have been done to be salvaged. She also defends herself from the perception that she was polarizing during the campaigns and expounds on her input in the expansive McCain campaign. She also strikes a reconciliatory tone by citing that she would have to “have a tea” with her Democrat opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the fifth chapter, she talks about her resignation as a governor for Alaska and other negative turn of events in her political life and that of her allies such as Senator Ted Kennedy. In the last Chapter (The way Forward), she reaffirms her conservative ideals in a populist manner (Palin, 287). She tries to sell the conservative ideals in a way that seeks to shift more Americans to her line of thinking more like making conservativeness look hip and in resonance with the great part of the general public.
It is clear that the author appeals to the passionate heart of many Republicans through her constant support of conservative party ideals in the memoir. Sarah Palin, in my opinion, rise in the political arena is really inspiring taking account of her background and gender. Her simplistic approach in politics is what makes both loved and hated in equal measure. The memoir corrects the misconception that Sarah Palin was picked out of nowhere to be John McCain’s running mate bypassing the likes of the then Florida Governor, Charlie Crist.
On the flipside, the book tries to revise history as the American public knows it. She dwells the latter half of the book by justifying her shortcomings and also blames herself for much of what went wrong. The blames are also leveled on the media that she says was biased against her from the start. She particularly points out the Katie Couric interviews during the campaign period that were framed in a manner to expose her in unfavorable terms to the general public(Palin, 329). To me as a reader, Palin tries to insinuate that the media was majorly pro-Democrats or rather the Obama-Biden team. She says Katie took advantage of her and got under her skin in the interview exposing her in order to increase her low television ratings. The media, also she says, did not respect her familial privacy through its expose of her daughter, Bristol’s pregnancy in the wedlock.
In recap, the memoir, Going Rogue: An American Story offers an insight into Sarah Palin’s life as an ordinary Republican. The book shows her rise from a humble background to the top spheres of the American politics. Her disdain for Steve Schmidt is evident in the book making the book come out as self serving in her mission of cleaning behind her tracks. The book, in my opinion, will be crucial; in her comeback in the national politics as it has help her set the record straight in the political arena. Her ideals though conservative are portrayed in a very tasteful way that may positively impact on the public opinion of her.
Conney, Brenia H. "Book Review: "Going Rogue: An American Life" by Sarah Palin." Pajiba: Sweetened by Mock, Lightened by Droll. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.
Rae, Nicol C. "Review of Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin." The Forum (2010): n. pag. Print.
Sarah, Palin. Going Rogue, an American Life. Harper Audio (Harper Collins Publisher: 2009, n.d.. Print.
Whetsell, Dewey. "Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists." Goodreads. N.p., 17 Nov. 2009. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.