Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I hope Palin stands behind her own book

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and I have a lot in common. We each earned a journalism degree. We each can see a foreign nation from our home – which beefs up our foreign policy credentials.

Well, technically, I don't believe she ever said, "I can see Russia from my house." I think she said Russia is close to Alaska. It was Tina Fey, who coined the "I can see Russia from my house" phrase during a Saturday Night Live sketch. Fey said it, but it stuck to Palin.

I know the direction of Mexico from my house, but I can't see it from where I live in my border town home of Del Rio, Texas. So, just like Fey tinkered with Palin's comment for comic effect. I also tinkered with the accuracy of which nations I can see from my house for comic effect.

"I guess I could run for vice president," I told my friends back east. "I have a journalism degree and can see Mexico from my house."When I attended a meeting in Mexico for a freelance job, I quipped, "I'm working on my foreign policy credentials."

I did speak to the mayor of Acuña. During meetings in Texas, I spoke to Mexican officials, too. Perhaps that counts as policy work?

Probably not, as I'm just one of those anonymous (using my real name) bloggers, who types what's on the top of her head while sitting in pajamas (more like Crocs and gym clothes that haven’t seen a gym in several months).

Palin was interviewed by The Associated Press on Tuesday. She said, "There's been so much written about and spoken about in the mainstream media and in the anonymous blogosphere world, that this will be a wonderful, refreshing chance for me to get to tell my story, that a lot of people have asked about, unfiltered."

I'm stoked she's going to tell her story. She seemed to do a good job while seeking the 2008 Republican vice presidential nomination. I didn’t appreciate or agree with many of the things she said, but she energized Republicans.

It sort of went downhill as the campaign came to an end as there was talk about her going rogue or being handled by Sen. John McCain's campaign staffers.

I felt bad for her when staffers went wild with allegations that she didn't know Africa was a continent and that she was a diva. She did what the McCain campaign asked. She exposed her family and herself to international scrutiny. I think some were jealous, because she was so wildly popular.

There were rounds of denials. A few people stood up for her. She did a series of interviews. Her entire life – fact and fiction – were an open book. A day rarely goes by that Palin doesn’t make the evening news, the late night comedy shows or the 24-hour news cycles. And, yes, she’s a favorite in the blogosphere. The news isn’t always flattering, but she is in the news.

Palin and her handlers have developed an odd tactic to deal with the media attention. They quickly disavow, distance and deny almost every statement reported about Palin – even the ones she makes herself.

Her book to be published in 2010 might be the best thing yet. It is truly the only way for the governor to control every word written about her. Washington attorney Robert Barnett made the deal for Palin. While she will work with a professional writer, she said she intends to use her journalism degree and write much of it herself.

"Every word of the book will be her words," Barnett said.

I’m delighted to hear that. Since she’ll be unfiltered, she surely won’t have to deny anything. Or will she? She and her spokesmen seem to revel in countering each word reported by the media.

I probably won’t buy the book, but I’m glad she has a book deal. She has a huge family and a lot of legal bills following the 2008 campaign. Good for her. I just hope she stands behind her own words this time.