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- Models of Diplomacy
By Keith Gingery on November 18, 2009
- Sarah Palin is supposed to give her first State of the State address as Governor. It is supposed to occur on January 15 and then she is flying to Georgia to be with her son graduating from boot camp. The Senate President doesn’t like her, so the Senate President moves the time of the State of the State address so she won’t be able to make it to her son’s graduation. Sarah Palin ends up making it to the graduation, but it certainly demonstrated some of the petty fighting that she was having to put up with from the Alaska Legislature. Even though she was a Republican, when she comes into office she makes it clear that she is not going to allow business as usual. This upsets many Republicans that were in seats of power, including apparently the Senate President.
- ExxonMobil is holding on to leases that they are not using. Palin tells them to use the leases or relinquish them. She says on page 197 “The oil giant’s MO is to tie up issues through litigation. It threatened to sue. We said, okay, we know the way to the courthouse too. When you deal with oil executives, you have to remember that they are used to winning. They also spend a lot of time in foreign countries dealing with leaders who carry pistols and whose bodyguards carry AK-47’s. Meanwhile, the executives themselves are armed with bottomless bank accounts and highly trained platoons of fire-breathing lawyers.” Alaska ends up beating ExxonMobil in court. She is interesting in that she is willing to take on not only her own party in cleaning things up, but she is also willing to take on big oil.
- She’s leaving her hotel room to go down and give her acceptance speech as the nominee for VP and Trig needs changing. She discovers they are out of diapers. “After a frantic, hotel wide search, someone found a stack, and the last thing I did before heading down to give the biggest speech of my life was to change the baby. It’s the kind of thing that keeps you grounded.” (Page 240)
- The Alaska Public Safety Commissioner wouldn’t get rid of Mike Wooten, a state trooper and Palin’s ex brother in law. She says that Wooten had threatened her father that her father would eat a bullet if he hired a lawyer for his daughter (Palin’s sister), he tasered Palin’s nephew, and he hunted wild game illegally.
- She meets a young man in the crowd during a campaign event that is a teenager with Down’s Syndrome. She reached across the rope and laid her hand against the boy’s face and said “Let me look at you, I want to get a good look at how beautiful my Trig is going to grow up to be.” (page 249)
- A Tennessee State Senator’s son hacks into her email account and news organizations post her private emails. I had forgotten that episode. Not only did she have to change her email accounts, but so did all of her friends and family, because the media outlets had posted the emails showing the senders and recipients email addresses.
- Palin says that Katie Couric made a speech in which she said “The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and a little uncomfortable.” Palin puts one word after this quote “unbelievable”. She is pretty forgiving of most of the negative press attention, except for Katie Couric.
- Before her debate with Joe Biden, Biden is standing by her backstage and starts stretching. He bends at the waist and starts bouncing touching his toes and then stands up grasps his foot from behind to stretch out his quads. I’m not sure why I thought that was interesting, but it certainly caught my attention. Probably a good idea to stretch before a debate to get your mind and body ready. Earlier in the book she talks about eating Atkins bars all the time. She was not actually on the Atkins diet, but she just really likes to eat the Atkins bars when she is on the go and doesn’t have time to eat. The McCain people decide that she needs a nutritionist flown in to get more carbs into her because an all protein diet is slowing down her thinking. Her discussion on this episode is told in good humor, but you can tell that this and other bizarre things done by the McCain A Team (her people were the B team) really frustrated her.
- After the election, her daughter Piper is walking home from school and some reporters stop her on her walk home and start asking her questions. That was Piper’s last walk home alone.
- Palin doesn’t like the Missouri Plan of picking judges in States. This is the same system that Wyoming uses. She believes it limits her ability to pick the best qualified candidate.
- The RNC sends her a bill for $50,000 for the cost of vetting her to be VP