Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sarah Palin may be shopping a book

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.

Palin to news organizations: Leave my kids alone

By RACHEL D'ORO – 17 hours ago

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going on the offensive against news organizations and bloggers she says are perpetuating malicious gossip about her and her children. But political observers say the former Republican vice presidential candidate can't have it both ways: trotting out the children to showcase her family values, then trying to shield them from scrutiny.

Palin's criticism also raises questions about her motivations because she has said she is open to a presidential run in 2012.
"I think she's positioning herself. She's attacking the media as a way to generate support among a base she hopes will support her," said Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communications at American University in Washington and an expert on the presidency.

Palin shied away from interviews during the campaign, although her children often accompanied her on her travels, including her oldest daughter, Bristol, who was pregnant at the time.

But in recent weeks, she has personally reached out to media outlets such as People magazine and The Associated Press to complain about information she claimed is wrong.

She slammed reports that 18-year-old Bristol Palin and the teen's fiance are high school dropouts. The governor insists the two are not dropouts because they enrolled in correspondence courses.

The couple last month had a son — the governor's first grandchild.

The governor said she is speaking out to set the record straight, not because of any political aspirations.

"It's all about the family," she said. "I'm wired in a way that I can take the criticism. I can take the shots. But any mother would want to protect their children from lies and scandalous reporting."

In a Jan. 5 interview with conservative filmmaker John Ziegler, Palin also questioned whether Caroline Kennedy's quest for a New York Senate seat was as heavily scrutinized as her vice presidential campaign.

When her comments were reported, she chastised journalists for taking her remarks "out of context to create adversarial situations."

Steinhorn is not alone among experts who believe the first-term governor is trying to keep her name in the spotlight. A newcomer to national politics when she was nominated, Palin energized the Republican base but also attracted intense criticism that she had little substance.

Palin "does seem to have ambitions, and this is one way of staying in the public eye," said Janis Edwards, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Alabama and an expert on women candidates. One of Edwards' classes monitored Palin's role in a project called "The Palin Watch."

Palin's grievances include what she calls "false stories" such as a talk show host's suggestion that she helped Levi Johnston get a job in Alaska's North Slope oil fields, circumventing eligibility rules since he does not have a high school diploma.

Johnston's father, an engineer for an oil-field services company, has said his position accounted for any help Levi received in getting the apprenticeship job.

Palin also lashed out at bloggers and others perpetuating Internet rumors that her 9-month-old son, Trig, is actually Bristol Palin's child from a secret previous pregnancy.

Her decision to strike back at news organizations seems to contradict the governor's earlier statements on how politicians should respond to media coverage.

Months before she was named John McCain's running mate, Palin attended a leadership forum in Los Angeles and was asked her opinion on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's allegations that she was being unfairly treated by the media during the primaries.
Palin said Clinton did herself a disservice to even mention it. The governor said it bothered her to hear Clinton "bring that attention to herself on that level."

Palin said her opinion has not changed since the March 2008 event and insisted that defending her children is her only motivation.

"I'm not whining about the treatment of the press, but I am calling reporters on the family aspect of this," she said. "I think it's unprecedented in some respects what I have seen with my children."

It's not unprecedented. The children and spouses of high-profile politicians always draw attention.

Early in President George Bush's first term, his twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, made headlines after an embarrassing run-in with the law for underage drinking.

So did Kitty Dukakis, the wife of former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, when she was treated for alcoholism after her husband's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1988. She later suffered a relapse and was hospitalized after drinking rubbing alcohol.

Two weeks before President Obama's inauguration, his daughters Sasha and Malia were escorted to their new schools past a line of waiting photographers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sarah Palin Snubbed for Obama Inaugural Dinner Honoring John McCain?

The word is out that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will NOT be attending President-Elect Barack Obama’s dinner for GOP opponent John McCain this next week.
But, why?

On the night before Barack Obama is sworn in as the nation’s 44th President, his inaugural committee will host a series of dinners honoring public servants it deems champions of bipartisanship. To be feted are Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Colin Powell, and John McCain, whom Obama vanquished last November. At the McCain dinner, the GOP senator, who managed to suppress his bipartisan tendencies during the hard-fought 2008 campaign, will be introduced by one of his closest Senate confidants: Senator Lindsey Graham. But McCain’s No. 1 booster during the last year will not be among those hailing McCain. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, his controversial running-mate, will not attend the dinner, Bill McAllister, a Palin spokesman tells Mother Jones.

Here is the official Palin office explanation:

According to McAllister, Palin will spend next week in her home state preparing for the legislative session, which begins on Tuesday, and for her State of the State address on Thursday.

Was she even invited? “I don’t know if she was invited,” McCallister says. Don’t know? How could that be? It’s hard to miss an invitation from a presidential inauguration committee. For its part, Obama’s inaugural committee has declined to say whether an invitation was sent to Palin. Repeated phone calls to its press office produced no answer to this simple question.

So, is there still bad blood between the McCain and Palin camps of the Republican Party? Is McCain pissed off about Palin’s latest attack on her media handlers and the MSM in general. And, what about McCain’s daughter refusing to discuss Sarah Palin for the blogs?

Or is McCain just being “The Maverick,” deferring to “The One” and being politically correct while not having that bible thumper, “UNQUALIFIED” HICK around? Part of McCain’s political rehabilitation with the media and Washingtonians, perhaps?

If Palin was left off the guest list, it’s not clear whether the snub came from McCain or the Presidential Inaugural Committee. But it’s not terribly hard to imagine why she might not make the cut. There appears to be lingering bad blood between the McCain and Palin factions, over such issues as the profligate spending spree to attire the vice presidential candidate and her family (Silk boxers for the first dude?) and the McCain campaign’s botched media roll-out of Palin. The Alaska Governor still appears to be holding a grudge against the McCainiacs, as evidenced by recently released excerpts from her interview with conservative filmmaker John Ziegler, whose forthcoming documentary explores the “media malpractice” that supposedly paved the way for Obama’s election. In the interview, she lashed out at the media, but also criticized her McCain campaign handlers for allowing her to become a campaign punchline in multiple disastrous interviews with CBS News’ Katie Couric.

Flap bets it was McCain who deemed it unwise to invite Sarah Palin. After all, isn’t after “The One,” isn’t it all about McCain?