03 December 2009

Going Rogue

I just got done with "Going Rogue" and enjoyed it immensely.

I was not a fan of John McCain because I thought he violated the oath he took first as a Naval officer and then as a Senator when he co-authored the legislation known as McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform (but what should be known as the Incumbent Protection Act). When the McCain campaign called me asking for my support, I let them know in no uncertain terms that McCain-Feingold had torpedoed their campaign as far as I was concerned, and that I could think of nothing that would make me vote for them.

Then they nominated Sarah Palin for VP, and it all changed. In Sarah I, as many Americans, found someone that I could support, someone that I could vote FOR, instead of supporting because the opposition was worse. I was disappointed in the media hatchet job that she got during the campaign, I was angered by the treatment the McCain staff gave her both during and after the campaign, and it just drove home for me the feeling that John McCain may have been honorable during his stay in the Hanoi Hilton, but he was no longer that man. If he had been, he would have hammered the staff members that instigated the treatment, instead he said nothing.

In the book Going Rogue Sarah Palin speaks about growing up in Skagway Alaska, about being elected to the Wasilla City Council and then as Mayor, and finally as Governer. She talks about the issues and problems and the steps she had to take to overcome those problems. It's a refreshing insight and it makes me more convinced than ever that she would have been a good VP and a better President.

Unfortunately she made a huge mistake.

Governor Palin, if you somehow stumble onto my little corner of the world and read these remarks, please understand that I'm not finding fault. In truth I wouldn't have done so well, and in fact would have probably done worse. I know this about myself, which is why I have never attempted a run at public office. I don't have the temperament for it. But you do.

The mistake surfaces in the book when she meets the man who would serve as her campaign chief of staff. The guy was an economist who had no clue as to how a campaign was to be run. "It seemed odd that we were being put in the hands of a man who had never run a campaign before," she writes, "but Andrew seemed like a nice guy, and it wasn't my call."

It was your call Governor. As soon as it wasn't the mistake was made. Later on you remark that your hometown media proclaimed "And the Sarah Palin we once knew, is gone." "I wasn't" you say, but in fact as soon as you let the campaign manage you instead of you managing it, you were.

In your run ups to previous offices you took the bull by the horns. You managed your own campaign, sometimes by instinct, and always did what you thought was right. Your mistake was in not continuing that when you ran for VP. Those people were not going to serve in the office, and as soon as the campaign was over they would be gone. We were not coming to rallies to see them, we were coming to see you. They did not have an incredible approval rating as the Governer of the Union's largest state, you did.

Don't let anyone change you from being who you are, because we love who you are and that's why we supported you. Your instincts were right. If the campaign wasn't going to let you be who you are, you should have told them "Sorry, I don't think this is going to work out for either of us" and then gave the whole story to the Alaska press, the ones who knew you, when you got back home.

It will be interesting to see what comes next.

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