So, as you may or may not know I am on a personal quest to read every book I own and this week’s blog installment was harder to write than most, because it meant I had to admit to several things that I’m slightly mortified to own up to… However, this whole endeavor is supposed to be about learning and growing, so I’m just going to have to suck it up and get back to business.
Now some of my friends and family will be appalled simply by the title of this week’s book, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin. So I have to issue a disclaimer early on in this entry… This is a memoir written by Frank Bailey (with Ken Morris & Jeanne Devon), that chronicles Mr. Bailey’s time as a key member of Palin’s campaign staff. It is not supportive of the former Governor of Alaska. I got this book in one of my many trips to Border’s Going out of Business Sales. I believe it came home in a pile with a bunch of other biographies and memoirs, including those of Hillary Clinton, Lewis Carroll, and the real life Anna from the King & I.
(OK, now for one of those difficult admissions)
I was fascinated by Sarah Palin. This is really difficult for me to admit, as I am a card carrying liberal democrat! Her social policies are so far from my own, and her personality is rather hard to stomach. That being said, it was fabulous to watch her step into the national spotlight. It was like watching a train wreck. Morbid curiosity drew me in… I watched Tina Fey spoof her on SNL (a show I hadn’t watched since college), read the articles in my local newspapers, watched more political coverage than usual just because of this polarizing woman. She served the Republican Party in was that they couldn’t have imagined. Her presence on the political scene made me stand up and take notice. If the GOP had chosen another standard Republican stuffed shirt to run with John McCain I would never have become as politically aware as I am now. I can honestly say that while I am still by no means a Republican I have opened my eyes to a much more diverse political spectrum.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can get back to discussing the book:
Reading this book was a lot like trying to piece together the backstory on Palin’s rise to political stardom. The author’s gave readers significant factual information, some personal opinions and the contents of a great number of email messages. I couldn’t believe how much information Mr. Bailey had access to, as he was a relative newcomer to the workings of our government’s political machine. I can honestly say that I wasn’t really surprised by the underhanded nature of campaign politics. I was however, fascinated to see the glimpses into Palin’s personality and that of her family. (OK, here’s my second embarrassing admission: I’m a reality TV junkie. I love the Real Housewives, Survivor, Big Brother, Dance Moms, Tabitha Takes Over. Just about any type of reality show will draw me in. Except The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Those shows are just terrible. Oh, and anything with Flavor Flay and those idiots.) This book was a lot like a season of reality television. We were given a sensational view of a public or semi-public figure, but it wasn’t the whole picture. After having read the book I can see why Sarah Palin’s camp came out against the publication as severely as they did. I am also fascinated enough to want to explore the subject further. Maybe I’ll have to find a copy of the movie Julianne Moore starred in, or watch TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska, or the episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with Bristol Palin and Joan Rivers.
Any suggestions for other ways to broaden my horizons on this polarizing issue???