By Nailah Ellis Timberlake
Before the release of Sarah Palin’s book on Tuesday, it was already listed as the number one bestseller on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s online. Palin was paid an estimated $1.25 million for her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life," by publisher HarperCollins. She collaborated with author Lynn Vincent to completed her 423-page book in four months.
The first stop on her multi-city book tour will be on Wednesday at a Barnes & Nobles in Kentwood, Michigan where manager Danett Mae said, “The response has been phenomenal. We’ve gotten inquiries from customers across the country and we plan to accommodate as many people as possible.”
Mae couldn’t estimate the amount of people they were expecting to come out but the hope is that everyone who lines up will be able to meet Palin and get their book signed. Currently the schedule released by the publisher shows that Palin’s book tour is only stopping in small cities throughout the country, but more cities are expected to be added at a later date.
In addition to her book tour, Sarah Palin appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show Monday afternoon where she discussed her White House run as a vice presidential candidate, her family, her politics and her future. Many think it’s a positive and strategic move for Palin because Oprah’s selling power is unquestionable. Palin supporter and attorney Marianna Picciocchi thinks that it was an excellent idea to go on Oprah. Picciocchi said, “I’m glad she did it. It was a good idea because of widespread coverage and she got to speak on her history and what she’s done. Her track record in Alaska shows that she’s an effective leader and people will have more insight into her now.”
Palin has stayed in the spotlight as one of the few recognizable women within the Republican party. One of the many criticisms that she addressed in her book were questions surrounding her ability to hold office while being a wife and mother to five kids as well as her decision to bring her entire family on the campaign trail while she was running for vice president. Palin responded to her critics saying, “I will be able to do this job, the same way that the men are able to do this job with five kids.” Palin continued, “It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do the job because of children. My children are my strength.”
Republican consultant and former White House Press Secretary Joyce Giuffra has three children herself and said, “What we saw from her was a lot of honesty as a mother of five children and I think it was great seeing them on the campaign trail with her. I think the media is responsible for a lot of the criticism we saw on her because they evaluate female candidates differently.”
Not only has she been the target of media scrutiny, but so has her family and, in particular, her eldest teen daughter Bristol, who was pregnant during the campaign. Bristol has since given birth to a boy she named Tripp and has had to deal with criticism of the family and Sarah Palin by the father of her child, Levi Johnston.
After she was named as John McCain's vice presidential running mate on August 29, 2008, Palin said in her interview with Oprah, “I was naïve to think that the media would leave my kids alone. I remember and I respected when Barack Obama looked right into a reporters eyes and said, ‘My family is off limits – don’t touch them,’ and that was respected and obeyed. I wasn’t given that privilege of being able to protect my kids, my family. I think there was a little bit of a double standard – not a little bit, there was a double standard.”
She said that double standard was seen right through the 10-week campaign where she reveals that she was being told how to dress, what to say, who to talk to and even what to eat. Palin says it was even suggested that she try the Atkins Diet. “Of all things to worry about when the McCain campaign numbers were tanking, President Obama’s numbers were soaring – there were a lot of things that we should have been worried about. What I don’t think we should have spent a lot of time on was on what I eat. And that was a focus of some of the campaign operatives,” said Palin.
Comedian and blogger Leighann Lord said, “It’s always difficult for women because we have to work twice as hard to go just as far as men. There is definitely a double standard for Sarah Palin because she’s such a lightning rod – you either really love her or really hate her.”
Perhaps it’s that dichotomy that has kept Palin’s name in the spotlight.
After announcing her resignation on July 3, 2009 as Alaska’s first female and youngest Governor, Sarah Palin propelled herself back into the national spotlight campaigning for candidates and taking on speaking engagements all over the country. Many believe that Palin stepped down as governor in order to promote her own personal political agenda.
Palin says, “It didn’t make any sense for people to believe that I quit for any selfish reasons. I resigned as the Governor of Alaska because I wasn’t going to run for a second term. I was heading into a lame duck term.” She shares in her book that her oldest son Track said to her, “Mom, no dishonorable discharge,” because he was reluctant about her stepping down. Her resignation was made official on July 26, 2009 and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell becomes Governor of Alaska.
“It was a point where my state, the state that I so dearly love, it is my home, it is where I will be buried. My state of Alaska was being hampered by my presence there, being shackled behind a governor’s desk. I wasn’t able to get out there and talk about issues that were important to me or an ethics violation would be filed.”
Many people believe that her leaving office was a strategic political move so that she could focus on a run for president in 2012. And there are many who believe that Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to hold national office. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday, 60 percent say the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president. Referring to the vice presidential position, Oprah asked her, “There’s no part of you that thinks, ‘I wonder if I’m really up for that job?’” and Palin responded, “No, no I didn’t. I felt quite confident in my abilities and my executive experience knowing that this is an executive administrative job.”
The poll also shows that even though many feel she is not qualified to be president, among Republicans, her positive rating soars to 76 percent. In addition, 33 percent of women say she’s qualified to be president but only 8 percent of women would definitely vote for her.
Jamie Maarten, a political science and economics major and the president of Columbia University Libertarians thinks Palin needs more experience before she tries to run for a national office. “She’s not ready or qualified to deal with the problems we may be facing in three years. She doesn’t have the expertise to handle those type of problems.”
Heavy speculation has surrounded Palin and her political aspirations and motivations. When asked about the possibility of a presidential run in 2012 she replied, “I’m concentrating on 2010 and making sure we have issues tackled as Americans to make sure we’re on the right road.” Here’s how her father describes it in her book: “She’s not retreating, she’s reloading.”