Thursday, May 26, 2011
A new memoir from an embittered former aide to Sarah Palin includes a trove of e-mails that vividly illustrate her intense focus on image and depiction in the media.
The e-mails, apparently from the former Alaska governor, portray Palin as nearly obsessed with her political adversaries and consumed with every slight, real or perceived.
The unpublished manuscript, obtained by POLITICO, reveals Palin, as a candidate for governor, penning letters-to-the-editor in praise of herself, to be sent under other names. It blames the candidate for inflaming, rather than ignoring, scurrilous rumors. And it quotes her pledging to avoid appearing on any network other than Fox News, referring to the rest as “the bad guys.”
The content of the unpublished manuscript, written by Frank Bailey, was first reported by the Anchorage Daily News.
A Palin ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Bailey and Palin corresponded and that the former aide had access to Palin’s passwords and her e-mail account. But the Palin ally said that the content should be viewed through the lens of Bailey being “the quintessential disgruntled employee,” who had been denied senior jobs he sought, cut out of Palin’s vice-presidential campaign, and been caught up in the “troopergate” scandal — details Bailey confirms in the proposed book, which is titled “In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years.”
Bailey’s 456-page manuscript is in the tradition of juicy political tell-alls by former allies turned enemies. Yet despite the intense interest in his subject, Bailey, who has reportedly been marketing his draft since the fall of 2009, has had difficulty selling it to a publisher — a likely reflection of his primary focus on the small world of Alaska politics. He co-wrote the book with Jeanne Devon, publisher of the anti-Palin website Mudflats, and Ken Morris, a Palin critic and former Wall Street executive.
But in addition to his detailed treatment of Palin’s rapid home state ascent, Bailey, a former Alaska Airlines manager who worked on her 2006 gubernatorial campaign, also shares scores of e-mails he claims are from Palin that reinforce the worst perceptions of her.
The former governor has pointed to her portrayal in the news media to explain her sagging poll numbers. But in Bailey’s manuscript it’s her own apparent words that do the greatest damage.
Much of the proposed book’s text focuses on the topic that, he writes, ultimately consumed her governorship: The maintenance of her public image, an obsession with rumors about her family, and her frustration with her portrayal in the media.