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Sarah Palin's book should give Katie Couric something to read

Alaska Republican Governor Sarah Palin, the GOP's VP candidate, has a Pennsylvania crowd chanting her name, not John McCain's, during the 2008 general election campaign

Looks like Alaska's Republican Gov. Sarah Palin is gonna give Katie Couric something else to read besides her TelePrompTer scripts.

The 44-year-old mother of five has reportedly retained high-powered Washington super-attorney Robert Barnett, who's negotiated mutimillion-dollar book deals for numerous high-profile clients from Bill Clinton to his wife (who started work on her next book as secretary of State today) and the young Great Changer's audacious autobiography.

Palin, whose family is not wealthy, could make a bundle from a thoughtful book, which could also help the political reconstruction work on her image as a dimbo. There have been larger political reconstruction projects in recent U.S. history. Think, well, Big Bill himself, who was once on TV denying having sex with someone not his wife. And then a few years later reported making, what, $105 million or something in the post-presidential aftermath.

Of course, he was president and a Democratic commander in chief living in Chappaqua. She's a Republican governor living in Wasilla.

Palin showed a real ability to electrify crowds and TV audiences during her brief stint on the national stage as John McCain's VP running mate. Her amazing performance at the Republican National Convention five days into the spotlight showed a real public presence in the proper circumstances. Then her campaign handlers started putting her in exactly the opposite kind of setting, one-on-one with media sharks out to prove her a dummy. And it worked.

But she's got a fine line to walk now. She's got to keep Palin out there in the media now and then to keep her name in the GOP buzz for 2012, but she can't keep talking about last fall, even though that's what she'll surely be asked about. She's also got to be seen focusing full attention on running an open, efficient state government well.

Palin has an election in Alaska next year one way or the other, either a reelect Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stops to talk with a group of young girlsfor the governor's office or taking on GOP incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, daughter of the man that reformer Palin knocked out of power in 2005-06.

Media strategists would advise Palin to get off the "media were unfair to me" theme and use the book to look ahead, not back. To construct her platform and reason for running in 2011, as her potential GOP competitors like Bobby Jindal et al are already doing at the grass-roots level.

Less Glenn Beck. More Iowa Lincoln dinners.

As true as the media bias often was, that argument sounds petty to those who haven't endured it or seen family members demeaned. It looks rookie and it's nowhere near strong enough to run on since the media isn't up for election. How well did Spiro Agnew do with that pitch? Exactly. Who?

Few political newcomers anticipate the glare, ferocity and glee of some media in pouncing on their every perceived flaw, even unfairly, and especially if they're female. Hillary Clinton's pantsuits were fair game. Palin's hair up or down was duly noted daily. And her shoe colors. All obvious qualifications for major public office. What about Joe Biden's vanity hair plugs or admitted plagiarism? Out of bounds. That's the way it is for now.

The enduring pros get over it, ignore and move on. We'll no doubt hear some media complaints in Laura Bush's book. And she'll have ample evidence that'll get Republicans nodding in assent. But she's not pondering a political future.

For all Palin's public pluck and exuberance, she has so far shown zero ability to take any question and turn it to her advantage. She takes each question and tries to answer it. Like what she reads from Couric. She seemed surprised at such a condescending question and stumbled in answering. If she admitted N.Y. Times, some conservatives might be angry. Etc. She ended up giving the appearance of reading nothing.

How about: "What do you mean, what do we read in Alaska? Katie, we have actual newspapers and magazines just like the real world down here, except we don't need daily ozone alerts about unhealthy air to breath. And we have balanced government budgets, even surpluses. Ever been online, Katie? You can read anything there, as I do daily."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Joseph Kaczmarek / Associated Press (McCain and Palin in Pennsylvania); Associated Press (Palin stops to talk with a group of little girls).

Comments () | Archives (42)

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Palin would seem to be the right's latest "empty-suited" governor phenom. It's hard to see how she can get out of the Alaskan bush to the national stage without unmercifully flogging the conservative/pro-life base. That approach runs so counter to mainstream sentiment at the moment that it will be very delicate packaging challenge for the Palin Media Storm. Hopefully the project can garner some continuity going forwards to the remainder of her term as Alaska's Governor and as a GOP Presidential standard bearer.Claiming the cyclical nature of her press coverage during the election was due to McCain staff, Gov Palin is hopeful that her new PMS will be more consistent and less prone to the occasional awkward contretemps.

This agent would sell anything, alas. Devil, Sarah Palin, you bring it I'll sell it. Ah, the integrity of the profession.

Shouldn't the fact the Governor Palin cannot articulately respond to a question and, as you wrote, "use it to her advantage," demonstrate the folly of a higher candidacy for her.

Do you mean to tell me that there aren't far more articulate Republicans that should easily be considered ahead of Palin when it comes time for conjecturing about who the party's next standard bearer should be?

If Ms. Palin represents the best the GOP has to offer, they are going to be the minority party for a long time to come.

That would be fine by me. Bring it on Sarah.

Jindal is no competitor for 2012. Republicans won't make the same mistake dems made and nominate a muslim who now claims to be Christian.

That depends on if Katie Couric can read!!!!!!

I'm debating about whose book to buy Sarah ?alin's or Caroline Kennedy's? "You know, you know, you know," I think I'll spend my hard earned money on Sarah Palin's book!

If you had done your research and looked at the interviews you would know that Katie never said "What do you read in Alaska" She said "What do you read?" Palin knows she sounded ridiculous and so know she is spinning the video as if she was asked a different question. She still looks absurd because the unedited video portion clearly does not say what she said. Why are you continuing this trail of falsehoods by Palin? Do we need such a narcissist and liar anywhere near the White House?

I look forward to reading it!

Sarah Palin doubtless has a very cool story to tell.

Hint for our adolescent media:

Try to think of her as a very pretty Margaret Thatcher.

I know it won't be easy for you but maybe that would help you absorb the fact that she is a REAL person with intelligence and experience on many levels.

If Republicans want to throw away their hard earned money, or stimulus checks on whatever Palin's ghost writer will write about her three months on the campaign trail then great. Better than spending it on guns.

I am no Sarah Palin fan, but why doesn't someone give her the advice to lay low for a while, study, and then re-emerge as this new and improved, ready for the world Sarah Palin? She is still riding in the shadow of being a "dimbo", as you put it. So, everything she says or does looks desperate and pathetic. The fact is, she coudln't answer these simple questions, just a few months ago. She said out of her mouth that her proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy credentials. She is not fighting against the media, she's fighting against herself! Her own mouth was her downfall. She was handled the way she was because she was clearly not ready for primetime. They didn't let her talk because when she does, she shows just how ready she is not. Because these thousands interviews that she did (and the "weird" press conference she did at the Gov. meeting), are all reinforcing that fact. She needs to go somewhere, sit down, lay low, study...get a cause that she believes in, and get ocassional pics of her in the commission of such causes. Be seen visiting the troops, visiting world dignitaries, etc. I would be quiet if I was her for at least a year..because it's early in 2009 now. By mid 2010, I would reemerge bigger and better than life. It's not so much that you have to stay in the public eye ALL THE TIME to and point Pres. Obama who came out of virtually nowhere and is sitting in the white house today!! She needs to hire someone like David Axelrod, (hell even Karl Rove could give her better advice than she seems to be getting now!! ) who is a veteran in the game to help her remake her image. But anyone knows, let the storm pass before you step back out. It seems futile to stand in the street trying to fight raindrops! Let the storm pass, then step back out. It 's only will pass, but she's not letting it pass! She thinks that if people stop talking about her, her career is over...she needs to get an advisor!!

As has always been the case, the "open minded" left is terrified of anyone who disagrees with them.

According to an AP story quoted in the Wall Street Journal, "The Palins’ assets seem enviable: a half-million-dollar home on a lake with a float-plane at the dock, two vacation retreats, commercial-fishing rights worth an estimated $50,000 or more and an income last year of at least $230,000. That compares to a median income of $64,333 for Alaskans and $50,740 for Americans in 2007, according to the Census Bureau."
Jeezuz, Andy, don't youy ghuys do the first ounce of Research before you write this stuff? Or do you just make it up as you go along? We've just gotten through eight years of teh national press corps telling us that a smirking dry drunk is "the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with" and that a converted pig farm in Crawford that has no livestock on it is "a ranch."

I've got to say, this post confuses me.

1) Palin has lots of strengths, but throughfulness has never really been one of them. (She's hardly the first politician of that description.) What is the basis for assuming that Palin's book would be a particularly thoughtful one?

2) What does Mr. Malcolm mean when he write that Secretary Clinton is working on her next book by starting her new job? Is he implying that she's only doing it to write a book, or to make money? Is he implying that she has a history of writing a book after each major chapter of her life? Was there a book about her 8 years in the senate that I missed?

3) Was President Clinton ever thought of as a sexually faithful husband since that 60 Minutes interview? Where was the big reconstruction there? Weren't there always jokes about his various appetites, throughout his presidency and since?

So, what is Mr. Malcolm trying to say here? Is there something more than a knee-jerk attack on the Clintons that motivates those comments? Is there something more than a knee-jerk defense of Palin motivates the rest?

Color me confused. Or, maybe not.

Sarah Palin is probably the most unqualified person to run for high office in the last century. She appeals to uneducated people and the Far Right who feel that the country can only be run by wealthy, white, Protestant people from small towns. She was as sussessful because she tries to discredit her competition and has no problem being dishonest. She herself said that God would decide the election and she would abide by God's decision. I guess God is a Democrat.

The headline should read "Sarah Palin's Book Gives Katie Couric Something to Color".

My only question, will Palin's book include the crayons or do we have to buy them separately?

@Amanda: so wrong.

1) Jindal converted from Hinduism, which, although also practiced by brown people, is kind of the opposite of Islam. In south Asia, Hindus and Muslims are always in conflict.

2) What does it matter what religion people are anyway? Moderate Muslims are some of the sweetest people. There are horrible murderers in every religion. The current terrorists are just organized crime people whose main crime is violence. The just happen to use Islam as their raison d'etre; they could just as easily use white supremacy or anti-homosexuality as a reason to kill. Just because someone is Muslim doesn't mean they're unqualified for office or violent, as long as they're not part of that organized violence team. Muslims are regular people. Most of them are not terrorists any more than you're a member of the Waco church just because you're Christian.

3) I bet you think Obama is an ex-Muslim or a current one. By "mistake" do you mean because he won? I don't really get what you're saying here.

Or is it a mistake because he has appointed the entire Taliban to all the top Cabinet posts? Oh, what's that? He didn't? In fact, instead of appointing his golf buddies like his predecessor did, he appointed the most qualified bipartisan team he could assemble? Really? Doesn't sound like much of a mistake or terrorist to me.

Get your facts straight and start examining what you can do to help yourself and to help this country get out of its current problems, and less time worrying about whether non-whites are really Americans. It's a melting pot here, and yes, we non-whites are really Americans.

I'm guessing that anyone that thinks that Sarah Palin has something intelligent to share with the world via writing a book.........probably can't read anyway. Maybe she could focus her energies on a book geared at toddlers. The kind with a little battery operated button that causes the book to make silly little noises to go along with each illustration. Page one could have her two might be a little recording of "you betcha!"

If you people would listen to something Gov Palin has said other than to Couric you would see Sarah being herself, intelligent, articulate, genuine, no political rhetoric.

Jindal is no competitor for 2012. Republicans won't make the same mistake dems made and nominate a muslim who now claims to be Christian.

Posted by: Amanda | January 22, 2009 at 08:57 PM

Amanda you moron Jindal is of Inian decent the last time checked. That would make him most likely a HINDU. God I love these ignorant Republicans who still think Obama s a Muslim because of his name. I guess that makes McCain gay as his middle name is Francis right???

I am a big Sarah Palin fan!!!!!
Sarah Palin is the kind of leader America needs, energetic, courageous, humble and devout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who is going to write it for her?

Expect really LARGE print.

Hey Susan Jacobs- I am an educated centrist and Sarah Palin appeals to me, so guess your little theory is wrong. Go try reading something ifor a change. Maybe Palin's book will educate you.

Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian... It doesn't matter! There is what's known as Separation of Church and State. The folks that think only a Christian is qualified to be President are sadly mistaken and might want to pick up a copy of a couple of quite famous documents called the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

As for Sarah writing a book, I think she should wait on her "Memoirs" until she no longer has a State to govern and is off the government payroll. Further, she hasn't really done anything important, so what's to tell? She built a hockey rink (without first purchasing the land in question from its owner). She failed in a VP bid. She lied all through the campaign about her opponent. She has been involved in several scandals. She can't compose a coherent sentence "off the cuff" while actually answering a question. She's unethical, as deemed by a board of legislatures. What in the world is she actually going to write about that puts her in a good light?

IF she thinks towards running for POTUS in the future, I suggest she abandon governing Alaska and go to college full time to earn a degree that is more meaningful to the job than a Journalism (amazing... a journalism degree and such a failure in speaking coherently!) degree. I would strongly encourage her to start with Constitutional Law, Geography, Economics, and Foreign Policy. She can NOT be POTUS without a well rounded knowledge of the world we live in and how it works as well as a very solid knowledge about how her own government works.

Lesson 1: The VP is NOT in charge of the Senate.
Lesson 2: Africa is a CONTINENT.
Lesson 3: Wall Street and You... how the market affects us all.
Lesson 4: How to pronounce trailin' g's at the end of words so you don't sound like an uneducated hick.

You get the message... SP is NOT POTUS material. She has far more work to do than writing a book if that is her goal. She needs to go to SCHOOL and learn something that actually qualifies her for the job.

Attention all haters, you know who you are;
READ THIS: There is no book deal for the good Governor. There never has been, just another debunked lie. Since you choose to get your "news" from such honest and non biased sources such as CNN and MSNBC and the NY Times and LA Times,you could not possibly have known the truth. When she is ready to tell her marvelous and inspiring story, she has the same right as anyone else does to negotiate a deal for it.

I have listened to something Palin said, other than her interview with Katie. Didn't change my mind. She's basically George Bush with breasts. Dumb, narrow-minded, arrogant, and completely unfit for office.

As kind of a devoted fan of SP, I don't see the blog that I wrote this week. Why is that?

Sarah Palin will never be forgotten. Katie the Kook Couric will never be remembered. Got it? Everybody knows the Pro-Abort Media stung in hateful
"mirror-guilt" by Palin. They seethed with vile toxic exposure of their agenda. It was a horror to behold. Now we have Obummer with his HIDE RIDE of passport, college admissions papers, senate papers, barred law license (for them both), and history of crack, pot and gay sex. He is doing the election payback favors faster than we can keep up. What a mess. His 6 law firms and $800,000 to hide his past is something every man with the black and white finger on the nukes should do. Thanks America. Fools.

It's amazing to me how people follow the liberal media, and I'm not just talking about Liberals but also Rinos. Sarah Palin who has accomplished more in her 44 yrs on this earth than most people do in a lifetime is portrayed as a bimbo. Yes she had some bad interviews, and maybe wasn't ready for prime time. But it's pretty obvious if you look through non partisan eyes she is articulate charismatice, and knows her core values.
Is there anyone posting here who can claim her kind of accomplishments? Does everyone forget her acceptance speech? I remember Andrea Mitchell after that speech, you'd have thought her dog had just died.
What about her debate with Joe Biden? I thought she won, but of course I am a partisan. But no matter who you supported, you can't deny she more than held her own during that debate with a crafty veteran who many say won most of the presidential debates.
Her real problem is the liberals and elitists who will never give a real down to earth conservative a fair shake in their coverage.

I fully expect the Republicans to continue their downward spiral and nominate Palin for prez. And I know my favorite stand up comedians are praying for it. Hopefully a third party will stand up to represent what pitiful few legitimate values the conservatives represent.

I think it will be a wonderful read! I can't remember the last time I read a book written by a mongaloid. I am interested to read what a "political" figure who used the same path as Paris Hilton has to say. This woman clearly has something to say. Instead of teaching kids like her daughter to use condoms, let's make them read her book.

Obviously people who read the LA Times are not over the age of 25, and afflicted with the hand out disease, the left hand...Can't believe I stumbled upon this article and then proceeded to read it!!! I can't wait to read a book by Sarah Palin and to actively campaign for this remarkably intelligent, non phony, non beltway, conservative woman!!!


You don't know what a ranch is, In Texas, Bush's property would be called a ranch by most people. Your not in Texas, so that's understandable. Livestock, or not. it is a ranch to the majority of Texans. (Yes, I live in Texas)

Compared to Obama, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller Sarah Palin is poor. She is a lot more in touch with the average guy than most Democrats, who are the real party of the rich. Most of the money in the Senate, and in the house belongs to Democrats. FACT.

Despite Democrat attempts over time to associate Republicans with wealth, and greed.... Democrats factually hold that distinction.

They also have the distinction of having the one and only KKK member, and recruiter. One who has "never" renounced his associations with the Klan.

eight years of teh national press corps telling us that a smirking dry drunk is "the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with"... WTF... one favorable statement is made about Bush, and you so vehemently attack it?? for 8 years he was dragged through the mud. books and movies were made promoting his assassination. CNN, WNBC, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, TIME, NEWSWEEK, ETC...all attacked Bush with a vengeance for 8 years, plus 99% of Newspapers.

Also, on Alaskan incomes... You will notice that Alaskans enjoy the highest income of the country... why? it's in Reppublican control.
Texas enjoys prosperity, while California washes down the toilet? how can this be? Conservative leqadership, and priciples prevail, and foster success.

Your a very confused man. Your goverment operated Liberal education has failed you, Liberalism has failed you. Obama is in the process of failing you, and millions of others for generations to come.


I am not sure where you are getting your statistics but according the 2008 Census Bureau report of median income over the past 3 years Alaska actually places 6th not first. Democrats govern all the states occupying the first three places. California, governed by a moderate Republican, is 12th. Texas is 36th.

The Wall Street Journal listed Palin’s net worth as 1.2 million in Oct 2008. Her assets include a half-million-dollar home on a lake with a plane, two vacation homes, and an income that is about $166,000 more than the median income of most Alaskans and $180,000 more than the average American (data also from the Census Bureau). In fact the Obama's net worth was listed at 1.3 million, which puts the Obamas and Palins a lot closer to each other than Palin is to South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford ($3 million). Sanford is poor compared to Karl Rove ($6.6 million), who is destitute compared to Pelosi ($19 million), George W. Bush ($19 million), the Clintons ($34 million) and John McCain ($40 million). Either one of Dick Cheney ($99.6 million) or Mitt Romeny ($202 million) are worth more than all those other people combined. Apparently Gov Rick Perry's investments have not been publicly revealed since 1995, though at that time he held between five and ten thousand dollars worth of stock in a film company that produced porn (according to burnt orange That might be worth looking into...

Poor Joe Biden ranks as the poorest member of the U.S. Senate. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates his net worth is at most $277,000.

Just to put some perspective on what we value as a nation, according to Bernie Goldberg, Rush Limbaugh signed a contract in 2001 for $297 million dollars to broadcast through summer 2009, which means he has made about $33 million annually. Katie Couric makes about $15 million a year...Alex Rodriguez about $31 million including endorsements. Starting salary for NYPD officer= $25,100. Average salary for Immigration Officer= $48,250. Median income for high school teacher with 10 years experience nationwide=$48,812.

And I didn't even need my government operated liberal education to use Google for 10 minutes to find all this out.

We need run..Good candidate to beat the Reps again in 2012 ,,2016 by 2020.. there wont be any Republican party..Keep it up Sarah..We want you to run... GOP base will pay for all your expensive clothes, trips, handbags , heels.. and ofcourse lipstick..!!
Please donate generoulsy.. She will run,.. for white house..she has a family to feed.. ofcourse plus her daughter's too..and may me more to come.. She supports life..and abstinance..tooo!! Go Sarah!!

If Palin can't fathom a conversation with Katie Couric, do you want me to trust her to be brilliant in communicating with North Korea?? My son and I just watched the Military Channel and a discussion of Churchill's role in WWII. How could any sane person imagine Palin, with her obvious ignorance of world politics and geography, as someone who could be trusted to lead in times of war? Dangerous. These are not times for plucky,folksy people who think like your average person...we need brilliant administrators and negotiators with an understanding of the intricacies of the Constitution that is our foundation.

to the Amanda who says Jindal is a she is a bigot, has no concept of world religions and three like palin a dumb koff

I think Malcolm got it right. Palin stumbled a) because the question (what magazines do you read?) was demeaning and stupid for such an important interview, and b) because she was probably trying to avoid Couric's juvenile attempt to trick her into alienating one group over another via periodical choice. It is more a comment on how inept Couric is as a journalist, than anything. Palin's problem, as Malcolm points out, is her desire to answer the question asked. Going for the truth always makes you a target. But isn't that what we really need in government....a little truth for a change?

Sorry, but Palin is a loser-she lies-she's down right rude-she blunders-she lives in a dream world-and-all of you who praise her are in a dream world.
Our president won the election, is hard working and doing what he can for the American let's see..the Republicans-hmmm 8 years of spending the money-getting us in debt-and then they have the nerve to criticize our President..
Be American Please-not JERKS!!!!!

Oh jeeze... thoughtful book? from sarah? it's not just the media... I live in juneau and I know for sure she's just that dumb. not to mention corrupt.

Controversy sells books, so she is trying to create as much as possible. You can get the book from Newsmax for 4.95, with a $6 shipping and handling charge along with a subscription. So is this how they got the numbers when talking about the book selling out? Essentially free, with a subscription? What a hoot. Only her loyal followers will pay full price.
If her book purchases numbers are based on a falsely inflated buy by a corporation (Newmax) , she is headed for a rude awakening.

As someone who ran and won three times for the local city council, I cannot believe that Sarah Palin was so inept in answering the question on what she read. Our local paper ALWAYS wanted to know what we read, newspapers, magazines, and books. They also wanted to know our favorite TV shows and movies. If that kind of examination is appropriate for a city council member, why does she think that Katie Couric asked her a "gotcha" question? The people deserve to know what Sarah Palin's values are and many of those values can be expressed in what she reads or doesn't read.

Judy Wright


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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