The former GOP vice presidential candidate is reportedly working with Robert Barnett, who brokered deals for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Some reports say she is seeking as much as $11 million.
By Michael Muskal
11:22 AM PST, January 22, 2009
If you thought being governor of Alaska and a new grandmother would be enough to fill the cold, dark nights in the Arctic state, you underestimate Sarah Palin, the failed vice presidential candidate.
Palin has reportedly enlisted the services of Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who represented President Obama, would-be President Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in their multimillion-dollar book deals.
Barnett declined to comment. But a variety of published sources, including the Hollywood Reporter, said that Barnett was on board in helping to sell a Palin book.
Presumably, the book would tell her side of the 2008 presidential election, when the GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, plucked Palin out of relative obscurity and offered her the vice presidential spot. Though she was a darling of conservatives and ignited the Republican base whenever she appeared in public, Palin has made it known that she had a difficult time with McCain's strategists.
Throughout the campaign, Palin was kept under wraps by staff, and her appearances were carefully orchestrated in the failed hope of protecting her from ridicule. Frequently when she did engage the media, she appeared ill prepared at best and hopelessly naive at worst. Her comments on Russia and politics were a steady diet for late-night comedians.
During the campaign, there were charges that Palin tried to censor books at the Wasilla, Alaska, library when she was mayor of that community. Though the reports turned out to be overblown (she did ask the librarian about removing some books and then dismissed her along with other officials), the ink stuck to her, helping with conservatives and hurting with other voters.
Still, for many on the right, keeping Palin on a tight leash was one of the campaign's significant failures. The GOP ticket was ahead in some polls going into September, when the economy tanked and McCain's drive to White House faltered.
The economy could also be a factor in how much Palin, whose family is not wealthy, could earn from any book. In recent months, reports of her wanting as much as $11 million for her memoirs have surfaced, though she could get far less. Former First Lady Laura Bush just sold her memoirs for less than $2 million.
But there is more than money at stake. Palin has been trying to stay in the spotlight, presumably with an eye on 2012, and a book could help as well as giving her some sort of a base beyond Alaska.