Andrew Halcro- Writing the Wrongs

 Maybe it hasn't come soon enough…the end I mean. After all, book critics have been tearing into the mind numbingly absurd pages of the Palin propaganda piece for almost two weeks.

It's getting unbearable. The daily updates on her book tour which comprises stops in communities where apparently the only people reading her book are those who fear for their life, liberty and Medicare coverage. People who can't name one public policy or foreign policy position Palin endorses but can only say "she's real"

Real what?

Look sister, until you have enough guts to roll the rogue express down Broadway and hold a book signing in Manhattan, you're not real, you're just really fooling yourself about your marketability and your rogueness.  

In fact, judging from film coverage from the small Midwest towns where Palin has dared to venture, if Palin's book tour were a Starbucks, it'd be a sea of plain Vanilla steamers at a time when the country is becoming more of a complex carmel macchiato. 

Yeah, I know the story line. Those who line up to buy her book are disillusioned by the perceived East/West coast "elitist, smarty pants" mentality that they believe looks to the heartland with a disparaging eye. Talk about a red herring.

Do the parents in Port Washington, Pennsylvania really hope their kids grow up "not smart enough" to have a shot at getting into the best (dare I say elite) colleges in the country?

Ironically, the people in rural America are supported heavily by the federal income tax dollars that flow from East and West coast inhabitants, that pay their farm subsidies, auto industry bailouts and Ma and Pa Jones Medicare and Social security.  

But they apparently want a return to the simple times when you could gather around the kitchen table and not worry about the complexities of a global economy and the real challenges of governing a country where our greatest strength is our diversity.    

It's all noise, generated by the Sarah Palin's of the world who want to distract from their inability to articulate real solutions to real problems by repeating meaningless phrases. Last week in answering about a dozen questions from Rush Limbaugh, Palin said some combination of "solutions," "conservative" and "commonsense" twenty-five times.

Here's a tip: If you have to repeatedly qualify what you're saying is a commonsense solution, than it's not really a commonsense solution.

The beauty of commonsense solutions is that they are common without having to be labeled as such. In fact it's all common "nonsense."

A desperate attempt to conjure up a bogeyman for the ills of America and pretend things like we can send more troops into battle without having to face the reality of supporting them, not just with yellow ribbons and empty pep rally rhetoric but with ways to pay for them. 

This however is an anathema to the twenty something percent who still believes Sarah Palin is lucid. This approach creates an uncomfortable reality that without someone to demonize, they'd be force to accept responsibility and offer real solutions, not soundbites.

In short, Palin has become the definition of Twitter. She's limited to 140 characters no matter what the topic.

And lets face it, the more you read or hear about her 413 page affront to known facts and basic intelligence, the more you realize just how thankful we should be to be that she came along at a time when enough Americans believed that having a grasp of issues was more important than entertaining a delusional narcissist.

But I digress.

We've had our fun here at with our take on Palin's book. The videos inspired by Tony Hopfinger at ( proved that not sometimes, but every time, laughter is the best medicine. However in closing the discussion for one final time about Palin's "somebody done someone wrong song," I feel compelled to respond to what was not in the book rather than rehash what is in the book.

The first thing that is noticeably absent is the lack of any character arc.

There is no personal growth in the entire book, from the beginning where she blames the old boy network (Ruedrich, Allen, Stevens, Murkowski) to the final chapter of blaming the new boy network (Schmidt, Bitney, Wallace et al.) she exhibits no personal growth as a person, a candidate or in her role as an elected official.

In every capacity she is always the aggrieved party, even when she is in charge and has the power to change the circumstances. But more importantly, her tale of woe proves one thing; Sarah Palin is no Barracuda, she's more like a spineless jelly fish.

She writes about former Public safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's bad behavior in her book, but did she ever talk directly to Monagan? No. In fact she had her acting Chief of Staff fire Monegan, but not before she cowardly got on a plane to Philadelphia.

Now there's a leader you can be proud of.

How about Chuck Kopp; why isn't their a page or two dedicated to his brief ten day tenure as Monegan's replacement? At least Palin could have done is explain why she hired him so quick then paid him $10,000 to leave just as quickly.

Palin reportedly regales readers about how hard she paddled years ago to induce labor, so how come she didn't tell us why she paddled so hard just last year to get away from Kopp while dropping ten grand of taxpayer money in the wake to make him go away quietly.

Again, more signs of a trusted leader and a competent manager.

And what of young Frank Bailey? Not one page dedicated to the man who made an "unknown and unauthorized" call to an Alaskan State Trooper in order to get Palin's former brother in law fired. I would have expected a truthful explanation of what happened and why it took her three weeks to discover Bailey made the call after denying any phone calls or pressure had been brought to bare.

In addition, why didn't she explain why an employee who supposedly misrepresented that he was calling on her behalf was punished with a two month paid vacation.

She writes harshly about John Bitney, but did she ever talk to him directly about his Blackberry or anything else she took issue with? No. In fact when Bitney was fired, he found out only after trying to use his state issued Blackberry to call his office and it was turned off.

Then to blame him for not communicating with lawmakers about her vetoes is another sign of her ability to lie. The fact is in June 2007, in the weeks leading up to Palin's vetoes, lawmakers knew she was considering cuts to the capital budget and tried desperately to meet with Palin but she refused.

Again, a competent leader who is not afraid to show spine.

And then there are the things she conveniently left out about during her two hundred word assault on me. Oh the stories I could tell…and will in time.

Palin writes about how my gig as a radio host and blogger was a "step up from my previous job as a limo driver at Todd's cousin's wedding." 

Why didn't she write that I owned the company and I was driving because the chauffeur originally scheduled for the run was sick? I guess in Palin's world a small business owner should take the same approach she did when faced with a challenge; give up and quit instead of taking care of your responsibilities.  

And why did she leave out that when I was elected to the State House in November of 1998, she sent me a hand written note congratulating me and saying she hoped I'd bring my "small business" experience to Juneau?


Because in doing so Palin would reveal what many of us found out years ago; her inability to tell the truth is only second to her inability to accept the truth.     

And of course my favorite part she left out was the truthful nature of our very limited and brief discussions prior to the 2006 campaign. 

She left out how we were brought together to meet by Andre McLeod and in fact we only talked twice…twice, about our thoughts regarding the upcoming gubernatorial campaign; once at Cafe Del Mundo in December of 2004 and again in June of 2005 in Palin's living room.

Why did she exaggerate our discussions? Because the third time we met we were both well on the campaign trail and that was the infamous April 19, 2006 meeting at the Hotel Captain Cook when she looked across the table and said: "Andrew, I watch you at these debates with no notes, no papers and yet when asked questions you spout off facts, figures and policies and I'm amazed. But then I look out into the audience and I ask myself, does any of this really matter."

I'm proud to say that quote was printed in almost every newspaper from the New York Times to the London Times during last years presidential race. If it caused one person to change their view on Palin's competence, I'll gladly take full credit.

The truly amazing thing about her 2006 quote was it still had shelf life two years later. Her lack of public policy knowledge captured in that 2006 conversation was her Achilles heel in 2008 and a major reason why she had the highest negative ratings of any Vice Presidential candidate in history.

When you think about it, a year has passed since the defeat in last years Presidential race and the book represented Pain's best opportunity to address critical public policy issues and provide a blue print for the future.

However Palin's diatribe does little more than simply reinforce the growing belief that she is only able to play the role of the cheerleader not the leader, the victim not the protector and the mean girl instead of the compassionate Christian.    

But to Palin's defense, she's never been forced to change or as some would say, mature. Her supporters love her for what she is, not what she knows. In fact it was one of the most interesting phenomenon's of the 2006 campaign was that she was never forced to compete on ideas because her populist appeal was so strong.

Even after being summarily dismissed by a majority of voters in November 2008 and growing evidence that the more the country heard from Sarah Palin, the more they believe she is unqualified, her supporters defended this as a quality to be cherished.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ken
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 17:05:00

    vanila middle america?????????? keep going that alinski book will slip out sooner or later,


  2. Jesus
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 15:11:00

    Here's a terrific five star review of GOING ROGUE which has been voted "the most helpful favorable review" on Amazon!


  3. Syrin from Wasilla
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 23:26:00

    I appreciate the link. Excellent review.. I won't waste my time reading it… 🙂


  4. JBodine
    Dec 05, 2009 @ 18:08:00

    Oh wow, something to agree with you about. Good on you for not wasting your time reading it. Sorry to say, I wasted mine.
    As to Mr. 9% Halcro. Sounds like he is still bitter that Sarah kicked his ass in the election. After all of his criticisms, it would be wise for him to stay away from elective office. He has created a standard he will not be able to live up to.


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