on May 27, 2011
I have never been a Palin fan and I have followed her antics over the last few years. Nevertheless, I was shocked at just how vindictive this woman was. She couldn't let any criticism of her pass and the depths to which she would go to extract vengeance was astonishing. Her vendettas against Chuck Thoma and Jim Minnery, and her delight at David Kernell's plight were sickening. This book paints a picture of a woman more interested in marketing herself and extracting retribution from her "enemies" than a woman interested in the business of governing.
What was also startling was her complete disregard for the people who had helped her along the way. The number of people she threw under the bus when she had no further need for them tells its own story.
This book also reaffirms to me that Palin is not mentally stable - she is very emotionally fragile. She didn't even trust her own husband. Todd had to ring or email her staff in the mornings to let them know what sort of a mood she was in! Her treatment of her own children is especially sad.
All in all, this is an excellent book and a real eye-opener. I strongly recommend it.
on May 24, 2011
I admit that I was a tad hesitant to purchase this book (I ordered the excellent Kindle version, by the way), as much of the debate over Palin has been completely and utterly polarized and thus an objective view of her is naturally hard to come by. I consider myself an independent voter who places a great deal of value in truly getting to know possible presidential candidates- their platforms, their beliefs, their mannerisms, and their abilities at leadership.
Wow, in all of these regards, this book is a winner. Frank Bailey paints a realistic and believable picture of a woman who has used fear and ignorance as stepping stones into national prominence, otherwise bypassing the traits and qualities that we Americans should hold dear in politicians. I was particularly delighted that Bailey chose to include the "early years", during which he too was a blind supporter of Palin. It's important to remember that we can all fall into the trap of (supposed) beauty and seemingly down-to-earth individuals, but we must remember that being a quality politician is about so much more.
In the end, Bailey successfully and persuasively paints Palin as what she really seems to be - a power and money hungry yet completely unintelligent woman that relies on vague and often very strange methods of leadership, and how this supposed "leadership" was actually a total abandonment of her post (governor of Alaska) because she was simply too annoyed at the aspects of her job to continue. A highly recommend this book to all who believe that politics are worth reading about, especially Republican voters who are still unsure of whom they prefer in 2012. This is a real eye-opener and you won't be disappointed!
on May 28, 2011
I was truly drawn into this book. The authors have managed to craft a very human story, not a "bash Sarah, tell-all."
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty not to admire about the Palins in this book. Anyone who has followed her bewildering rise to fame will not be surprised by how petty, vindictive, and immature their behaviors are. The big surprise, IMO, is how easily people fell into the Palin world of persecution and drama.
Bailey comes across as a normal, nice guy who simply stopped thinking, stopped questioning, stopped looking at the world through eyes other than Palin's. He demonstrates the real power of Palin's victim meme. No slight was too small for attention and retribution, and there was no such thing as "overkill."
Troopergate gets the bulk of the treatment here. There are a couple of things that don't get covered I would have liked to have had some insight on--the creation of the Yahoo accounts in particular, and the situation in Emmonak.
The emails are all his own, from his personal Yahoo account. They demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Palin lied during her Troopergate testimony. It'd be nice to see some charges filed regarding that. It was an egregious ethics violation and shows how little understanding she has regarding good government. In Sarah's mind, "good government" is her. Bad government is any challenge to her. There is no middle ground.
Palin is not the villain in this tale. She's too unaware of what she's doing to be considered "villainous." She has no clue she's harming *people*; everyone else is just an extra in the drama of her life. People enter and exit her life like actors on a stage. That the have a life beyond her stage is not considered. It's like she's truly fourteen, and cannot see beyond herself/family. I really pitied her more than anything. She's like a spoiled child who needs a new toy every day or feels like no one loves her. I find it hard to believe she's my age.
Bailey is properly contrite. He does a great job of looking at his actions with hindsight, but is as bewildered as the rest of us as to how it really got that far.
on May 25, 2011
I was shocked to read this book. Yes, I expected "Blind Allegiance" to document the lies and crass self-aggrandizement of Alaska's Sarah Palin. I did not expect such a beautifully written, well-documented and ultimately spiritually inspiring saga of the disintegration of one man's moral integrity as he works for Palin. This is a journey of a well-meaning soul's travail through hell and his ultimate spiritual re-discovery.
Initially,being a total new-comer to political activism, Bailey naively perceives Palin to be a self-less political reformer who expresses his ideals and warrants his help. In end, after five years of hard work at the expense of his family and reputation, he recognizes that he had sold his soul to a shattered idol.
As Bailey participates in Palin successful efforts to become a wealthy national celebrity, he begins to understand that she does not have the emotional stability or common sense that he assumed. He sees that she does not really care about the people who elected her or care about fulfilling her governmental responsibilities. He sees that his faith in her has been betrayed. She seeks not good government but good personal publicity.
Frank Bailey was a 35 year old political innocent when he was captured by the charm and apparent political courage of Sarah Palin. A Republican disgusted by the corruption of Alaska's then governor, Frank Murkowski, Bailey signed on to Palin's seemingly hopeless primary run against the well-funded governor with the willingness to clean the toilets of her shabby campaign headquarters, not with the goal of being Governor Palin's chief of staff. But during his five year Palin career, he went from an innocent to a dirty political operative himself as he carried out the erratic, arrogant and unethical demands of his political idol -- his "Reagan in a Skirt".
Bailey documents his descent into Palin's emotionally strewned nightmare with e-mails he received from Palin, her husband, Todd, and others in the their inner political circle, a circle which changed as old members were thrown aside and new members of the faithful recruited. With Bailey's help, Palin got to the very pinnacle of Alaska's government and then to the pinnacle of Republican Party national politics as vice-presidential nominee for John McCain's run against Obama.
The chronicle shows that virtually Palin's only political skills came in the form of marketing herself to voters through her physical looks and charm. Her skill set did not include knowledge of the real problems facing her state or her country, much less knowledge of how to actually run a government.
The majority of Palin's time in office was spent putting her considerable power to use in demolishing anyone who she perceived to be an enemy. She included in her enemies her former brother-law, Trooper Wooten and anyone who dared to voice the slightest criticism of anything she did or said. Palin was ruled by her emotional whims not reason, and thus she ruled Alaska. "Off with their head" said the queen of public charm and vicious attack, while her minions, of which Bailey was one of the most loyal, immediately proceeded to sharpen their swords and attack. Many innocent people were badly injured in her forays.
Bailey was not innocent and it is not a pretty story to read of his own moral disintegration, but this chronicle of Palin's rise to fame and fortune, is extremely well documented through e-mails sent to Baily by Palin herself, her husband, Todd, and members of the shifting inner circle. The writing/editing team of Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon is to be congratulated for this work.
It is an important book for all voters, everywhere, to read, as it shows how easily we can be fooled by physical and emotional charm, or the glittering words of potential candidates who seem to express our ideals.
We need to look at candidates' deeds, their actual experience in governing, before we allow them election to critical offices. We only just missed electing Palin to the second highest office in our land, as vice-president to the 72 year old McCain, by a few million votes. We can't allow effective political marketing of shallow candidates to over-ride effective governing, and this applies as equally to the Palin-bots as the Obama-bots.
Read this beautifully written book!
on May 27, 2011
While Sarah Palin was standing front and center in the limelight,(during the 2008 election) I tried to put my finger on why she ignited a such a conflicted emotional reaction in me. Frank Bailey has portrayed an individual whose leadership style-leadership by ego- is annoying in private, but potentially disastrous in a place of public responsibility. On the one hand she is mesmerizing, charismatic, and motivating. On the other hand she is deceitful, conniving and manipulative. In reading the book it dawned on me why my own reaction was so extreme. I suffered under a boss for the better part of twenty years who could have been her twin. Not pleasant or healthy.
on May 28, 2011
This book, by some of Palin's closest confidantes, tells the story (via a multi-year trail of her emails currently being legally contested) of how her accumulation of power changed her. She apparently acquired, and then used her power like a blunt instrument; wielding it through fear, cowardice, betrayals, and organizational chaos. That is, by "kicking up enough rightwing fairy dust" to bootstrap her way up to the next higher job, leaving in her wake a trail of unfinished business and a lot of angry voters, ex-friends and associates.
The email trail uncovered by these authors is powerful testimony to how little "real" managerial skill and experience Palin actually has exhibited over the course of four high-level jobs. However on her resume of "devious in-fighting," lying and betrayal, she comes out as a world-class bureaucratic manipulator.
The Palin signature appears to be "suck your friends in;" and as soon as they are not looking, stab them in the back, and then move on to the next highest job. So far this vicious invocation of the infamous "Peter Principle" has served her well. She has proven to be an expert at parlaying meager talents - basically a photogenic face and a knack for schoolgirl schmoozing -- into jobs that are all well above any of her demonstrated abilities?
The book also tracks the authors own evolution: from one smitten by the Palin mystique and message "to shake up the system for the Christian Right," and from the outside, to one of complete and utter disillusionment with Palin's incompetence, lying, treachery and reliance on fear and organizational chaos as her preferred way of keeping her troupes in line.
Although, I am about as far from being a Palin lover as one can get, I still question the integrity of authors who jump ship just in time to cash in on the Palin phenomenon. It smacks of using Palin's own tactics of "riding the train" until the riding gets rough, and then jumping the tracks to saddle the next easiest pony.
After reviewing Palin's own illiterate monstrosity, "Going Rogue," Jeff Dunn's excellent book about Palin's penchant for lying, I am going to take a break from the "Ice Diva," as she prepares to make a run for the presidency in 2012.
[Are we at the bottom of this slippery slope yet? God help America!] Three Stars
on May 24, 2011
A must-read for all political junkies, future campaign workers, literature professors, and anyone who enjoys a classic tale of betrayal and power.
Bailey drank the Palin Kool-Aid early on -- he was in the inner circle throughout her meteoric rise from smalltown mayor to national influence. The book is as much about one good man's fight to avoid being disillusioned by his idol, as it is about the detailed pettiness and vindictiveness of Sarah & Todd's Alaska reign. You can feel the emotional struggle Bailey undergoes to maintain his status as Sarah's confidant and trusted consigliere while the cognitive dissonance of reality piles up around him, and eventually destroys his loyalty. The book is a primer on how not to build a solid political machine: how can anyone run for office after making enemies out of trusted friends and dedicated staff?
on May 25, 2011
I've been fascinated by the train wreck that is Sarah Palin and this book, the first by a former member if her inner circle, does not disappoint. Lots of new information and details. Hopefully more of her former staff (and boy, it sounds like there are a lot of them) will have the courage and step forward as Bailey has done.
The Piper lemonade stand story, in particular, gives eye-opening insight into Sarah Palin's pettiness and vindictiveness.
on May 25, 2011
Whether politically you lean right or left, this book is impossible to put down. Bailey's story paints a vivid picture of life and community in Alaska. After reading this book, there is no way to dismiss Bailey's convictions as genuine and humble. The man literally gave up everything to follow his heart in supporting Palin, who time and again displays a complete lack of regard for her closest allies, and utter contempt for her enemies. The book is less a bashing of Palin and more a story, supported by facts, of how Palin's thirst for attention compromises her relationships with her supporters, friends and family. To deny Palin as a megalomaniac, by definition is refusal to accept the facts substantiated in Bailey's recollection of Palin's rise to power. Put simply, from page to page her facade comes crumbling down as you see her touting her evangelical principles from one side of her mouth, while manipulating the citizens of Alaska, including her children from the other. Regardless of your political affiliation, it is impossible to complete this book and not feel compassion for Bailey's pure intentions and inevitably come to an obvious conclusion: Sarah Palin is a monster. Well worth the read.
on May 27, 2011
I just finished reading this book. It needs to be read far and wide. This is indeed a very good and fair book by a man who obviously knows what he's talking about and who criticizes himself as much as he does Sarah Palin and the Palin Mafia. By now it is obvious to any intelligent observers that all Sarah Palin is about is the cynical acquisition of wealth, fame, and power without responsibility or accountability at the expense of those gullible enough to let her exploit them. She plays to an audience that glorifies common sense while displaying none, keeping them on the hook using nothing but her glossy looks and empty platitudes. Actual governing is too much hard work.
I predict a day will come when many more will regret their gullibility and will whine that they were duped by this woman. But they will be like those who, in old age and rotting health, sue the tobacco companies claiming they never knew the tobacco that gave them lung cancer was bad for their health when--in truth--they knew all along but chose not to face that reality.
And we should not be surprised that three of Sarah Palin's flunkies have already posted empty-headed negative reviews of this book at Ms. Palin's behest. One wonders if they realize how obvious they are or if they even begin to grasp how they expose their fraudulent reviews by making comments that so blatantly display that they have never read the book.
These sad flunkies and followers deserve our pity and distrust--just as Sarah Palin deserves distrust and accountability for her greed, egomania, rampant narcissism, and lust for power. She should be ashamed of herself. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. In the meantime, books like this alert all the bleating sheep that they have been forewarned and henceforth have nobody to blame but themselves. Thanks, Frank, for finding your way back.