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McGinniss' "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin"

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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 01:24 AM
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McGinniss' "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin"
It might say more about me than the subject of Joe McGuinness' book if I mentioned that it was the first thing I treated myself to with my birthday Amazon gift certificate. I looked forward to this book as if I expected that I would learn something new about Sarah Palin, political phenomenon, hockey mom, American woman, once (and future?) candidate. She fascinates me, not just because I am a political blogger, and because all things politics fascinate me of necessity to some degree. She fascinates me as a personality whose appeal I simply don't and maybe can't understand. It seems as if for every, let's say--dozen people like myself who just doesn't get her, there is at least one fan. Someone who gets her, or at least thinks he or she does. And what they feel is like love, or loyalty, and it makes them support her and even want to....do things.

I don't get it. This book still doesn't help me get it, and it really didn't tell me so much more about Sarah Palin and her story than I've already read on blogs, in magazines, and from newspapers (Katie Couric could never stump me with her unfair gotcha-elitism regarding the subject of reading material--let me tell you!) But the story of the story--McGinness's own story about his experience as the Palin family's temporary neighbor and the reaction of Team Sarah to his journalistic endeavor--was as much a part of the Palin story as anything else, and maybe was the part that I did begin to understand.

Joe McGinniss' career seriously kicked off in a big way with The Selling of the President when he was absurdly young. It's something of a political classic. He's written a lot of nonfiction/crime/etc. since then. And yet, Palin represented his efforts as if he were a tabloid panty-sniffer and worse. As if she weren't a worthy topic for his interest, having been a vice-presidential candidate and a possible future presidential candidate! As if her in her tank top and the possibility of witnessing--what, I don't know--with binoculars through the windows of the Palin compound were somehow the actual draw!

Any dirty old man might get more satisfaction travelling not quite so far, thankyewverrymuch. The reflexive pose of victimization and the response of her fans says it all. Every question is a "gotcha" and every line of inquiry is prying, when one would rather remain an enigma--

Or is it more like, the great and powerful Oz hoping the curtain doesn't get drawn back?

In any event, the story of "The Real Sarah Palin" probably doesn't tell us all that much more about the real Sarah Palin, or even the ersatz icon beloved by thousands, than her watchers already knew. Bits about possible racism, censorship, homophobic bigotry, and ethical lapses are recounted, but their shock value is muted--heard it all before, have I! Even her theocratic bent and Joel's Army connections, her palling around with secessionists and so on, are all old hat. The recounting of the brushes with the law of her children and the accusation that she might not be so much the righteous "Grizzly Momma" she holds herself out as almost seem like unfair slams--and anything about the "Trig-trutherism" of course, is below the belt, because of course she can produce a birth certificate for her youngest child (whoever that may be!)

The point actually seems to be whether these things can be said quite enough, or with quite enough authority. There is something unschooled and unschoolable about Sarah Palin, something that is ambitious but lazy, privileged but resentful, anointed but disappointed. She has a Nixonian quality, but is an Othogonian with none of the rectitude, real or imagined.

McGinniss' book wasn't sensationalistic, and was good, even if it delivered little more than I already knew or suspected. Consider me, however, a blogular lib-media freak, and appreciate what McGinniss' writing and insight might lend to some slightly gone-over material. Andrew Sullivan called it "unputdownable"--I say one might read it in a day, if one was so wired, making it's unputdownability immanently livable.

I can't however, suggest it would do a thing for deprogramming Palin-Heads.
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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. To understand Palin, look up the word "grifter".
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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It seems like this is the best answer--
Edited on Wed Sep-21-11 01:46 AM by vixengrl
she has a great ability to figure out what people (her people) want to hear and give them that. She is rewarded with attention and even money. What befuddles me is the degree to which she does this consciously. Does she just strike out on instinct and happen to say an attention-getting thing for which she is rewarded? Or is she actually a very conscious political operator? That part eludes me. Which is worse? That she does it by cleverness--or that there might be no real intent at all?

Edit: can so spell.
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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Very good questions. I suspect she's very street smart,
because she's the one on stage reciting the lines. I suspect hubby Todd helps with her over all messaging, but it's only my guess work. I think she knows exactly what she's doing, thus my "grifter" comment.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. My take on her is that she really has never gotten
over being Miss Wasilla. Although she's not entirely stupid, she has gotten by on her looks for so much of her life, that she's never learned how to use the brain she has. She attended the kind of undemanding schools (six colleges in all) and got a degree in one of the more undemanding majors out there: communications. I doubt she wrote even one actual research paper in her entire college career.

She seems almost as uncurious about the world as Uncurious George, otherwise known as W. She has spent her whole life in small communities, the kind of places where she could be the big frog in the little pond, and it didn't hurt that she was one of the prettier girls in all those small places.

Like most people who get by on their looks, her instincts are impeccable when it comes to giving people what they want. Except that does not work well on the larger stage. I do find it frightening that many thousands, maybe even millions, of people are charmed by her ignorance, bullying, and hypocrisy. That speaks to the dumbness of much of the electorate more than anything else.

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frankcjames Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-11 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've been waiting for that book
I'll get a copy pretty soon. It amused me how much McGinniss upset the Palin family simply by moving in next door. I have a strange feeling that it will stop any attempt by Palin to run next year. Although I seriously doubt she planned to run anyhow.

Palin had rather make money than be president.
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Z_I_Peevey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-11 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. I read it in a little over a day,
and it's true, it's fascinating, although as the OP notes, there's nothing new here. Piling one Palin escapade upon another, though, gives a new perspective and really highlights the stunning immaturity and narcissism of not only Miss Thang, but the whole family.

She has no intention of ever going away. Be very afraid.
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fegi052li Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. +100
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