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Posts Tagged ‘Todd Palin

Joe McGinniss Engages Sarah Palin Via Twitter as Manuscript Controversy Plays Out

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Sarah Palin’s cybermessenger, Rebecca Mansour, likes to tweet. In doing so lately, she’s contributed to a new storyline involving her boss and two writers intent upon telling tales about her.

On Feb. 11, she tweeted Joe McGinniss, the author who for a time lived next door to Palin’s Alaska home to work on a book about the 2008 vice presidential candidate. The tweet said: “@joemcginniss have you taken to cyber stalking now that you’re no longer living next door to @SarahPalinUSA? #creepy”

Earlier that same day, McGinniss had responded to one of Mansour’s tweets that said “Praying for the Christians of the Middle East.” McGinniss asked her: “Only the Christians?”

McGinniss only follows three people on Twitter — Palin, Mansour and Gerard Piqué, a Barcelona soccer player. He only recently resumed tweeting in February after nearly a five-month hiatus.

Soon after doing so, McGinniss leaked a rival manuscript on Palin, written by Frank Bailey, a former longtime aide to the possible presidential candidate, to the Anchorage Daily News.

Bailey had been Palin’s chief of staff when she was governor — a job she gave up in 2009 with a year and a half still to serve. Bailey tried to sell a book proposal that year but failed. More recently, he teamed up with two ghostwriters on the new project with the working title “Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years.”

According to news outlets with access to the manuscript, Bailey cites many e-mails from his then boss, including one in which Palin said, “I hate this damn job.”

Bailey was also a key player in the Troopergate scandal that came to national attention after Palin became Sen. John McCain’s GOP running mate in 2008. It involved an investigation into why Palin dismissed her public safety commissioner after he refused to fire state trooper Mike Wooten – with whom Palin’s sister was involved in a child custody battle when the couple divorced in 2006. In the manuscript, Bailey writes that Todd Palin recruited him to go after Wooten, saying, “It’s time to get s–t, done, and it’s us, Frank. You and me.”

Other allegations include Palin illegally coordinating with the Republican Governor’s Association to film a campaign spot during her 2006 run for governor.

Bailey collaborated on the book with Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon (the latter is a founding editor of The Mudflats Blog, which is often critical of Palin).

The Carol Mann Agency in New York is shopping the manuscript to publishers. According to Publisher’s Marketplace, the agency represents Queen Latifah, conservative pundit Thomas Sowell and television sports reporter Hannah Storm.

One of the ghostwriters told the Associated Press that the manuscript is preliminary and had not been authorized for dissemination. It’s unclear why McGinniss leaked the manuscript — the Daily News says it received copies from him as well as other sources — or how he obtained it. The ghostwriters have accused him of copyright infringement by distributing it without authorization. As a result, they allege, potential interest in their work has been diminished. They claim McGinniss is a jealous author intent on sabotaging his competition.

McGinniss is a best-selling author whose works include “The Selling of the President 1968,” which landed on The New York Times bestseller list when McGinniss — now in his late-sixties — was just 26.

In November 2009, McGinniss’ representative, the David Black Literary Agency, sold his Palin manuscript to Broadway Books. According to the Publishers’ Marketplace database, the book is described as “an investigative narrative of Sarah Palin’s significance as both political and cultural phenomenon and as an embodiment of the contradictory forces that shaped Alaska as it moved into its second half-century as a state.”

In May 2010, he moved next door to the Palins’ house in Wasilla and began research for the work. (On her Facebook page, Palin warned him to stay away from her children.) Last September, he moved out, and tweeted: “Palin’s next neighbors: sadly, I leave Lake Lucille but am told a Muslim group will move in next week to establish a community center.”

On Feb. 12, McGinniss tweeted to @SarahPalinUSA: “Book has never been delayed. Always planned for fall. On schedule for publication Sept. 20.”

He followed that tweet with: “Cover release now set for week of Feb. 21. My website and Facebook fan page for THE ROGUE also coming soon.”

For all parties, any publicity is good publicity. It can only help with pre-orders on Amazon for McGinniss’ book. As for Bailey, a book deal is likely in his inbox.

But in this publishing mystery, questions remain: How did McGinniss get access to the Bailey manuscript? Had Bailey confessed Palin secrets to McGinniss? Isn’t the book market strong enough for two Palin tomes? Who benefits the most from creating trouble among all these parties?

To some extent, the answers will likely play out on Twitter.


Written by suziparker1313

March 10, 2011 at 4:00 am

Welcome, 2011: Sarah Palin and Julian Assange on the Radar Screen

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Ready or not, 2011 is here.

Consider some of these upcoming historic milestones as the new year arrives. 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of Jefferson Davis becoming president of the Confederacy, the 70th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech (actually, his 1941 State of the Union address), the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s first presidential news conference — and the first ever to be broadcast live on television), and 25 years since the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

But 2011 will have its own special history, and here are some of the events that will help write it:

Sarah Palin’s presidential decision: Palin will have to decide this year whether to run for president. In order to compete in the 2012 primaries, she will have to soon start building a ground game in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Sure, she has her reality television show, two books, and husband Todd may show up on the next “Dancing With the Stars,” but Palin must do much more than be a household name to win a crowded GOP primary.

Sarah Palin, Julian AssangeThe former Alaska governor accumulated a lot of favors in the midterm election by supporting winning candidates in key presidential states — such as Nikki Haley in South Carolina — via her Sarah PAC. But she has a lot of work to do on the popularity front. A recent poll by CNN/Opinion Research shows that Palin would offer the weakest challenge to President Obama among current top-tier GOP contenders.

Time is ticking for Palin to make a decision because there are . . .

GOP primary debates: Yes, they’re already in the works. The Reagan Presidential Foundation will kick off the election season by hosting a panel of GOP presidential candidates in the spring. Then there’s June 7, 2011: That’s the date of the first presidential debate in New Hampshire for the 2012 GOP primary. The candidate forum will be sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR-TV, and CNN. Likely participants: Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and South Dakota Sen. John Thune. Wild cards: Palin, Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush.

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding: The royal couple will tie the knot on Friday, April 29 at the thousand-year-old Westminster Abbey in London. The wedding may not draw as massive a crowd as gathered for Williams’ parents’ nuptials 30 years ago in St. Paul’s Cathedral, but the media will certainly provide massive coverage. Prime Minister David Cameron has already designated the date as a public holiday.

The event will require major security, the cost of which could top $8 million. British special forces will go undercover with Afghan war veterans from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment to watch for any potential attacks around Westminster Abbey. The wedding will also boost tourism — one company has launched a walking tour of locations that helped “define the next royal golden couple.” Also on tap: Kate is soon to be immortalized in wax by Madame Tussauds, and the royal couple will be featured on a British coin.

Julian Assange’s autobiography: No date has been set for the book’s release, which will be published sometime in 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf and Britain’s Cannongate. The WikiLeaks founder is fighting extradition from England to Sweden, where he faces questioning for alleged sex crimes. Assange has said he doesn’t want to write a book but must do so in order to cover his ballooning legal costs and to continue funding his whistleblower website, which has angered and embarrassed governments worldwide by releasing hundreds of thousands of confidential cables and other documents.

To capitalize on (and extend) Assange’s 15 minutes of fame, Knopf will likely have to publish the book sooner rather than later. Assange will also likely cash in on a movie adaption of the book, especially since his story seems to have all the components — mystery, intrigue and sex — that sell tickets.

The space shuttle retirement: In 2011, America’s space shuttle will blast into orbit for the final time. The last scheduled flight is in early April. NASA is retiring its shuttle fleet after 30 years of service to make way for future programs that will send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 — part of Obama’s new space exploration initiative. The president cancelled NASA’s Constellation program, which was developing new vehicles to send astronauts back to the moon. The end of the shuttle means that the United States will soon have to hitch rides with the Russians to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

Last year, former astronaut (and senator) John Glenn condemned the cancellation of the shuttle program. In a statement, he lamented that “for the next five to ten years, the launches of U.S. astronauts into space will be viewed in classrooms and homes in America only through the courtesy of Russian TV. For the ‘world’s greatest spacefaring nation,’ this is hard to accept.”

Sarah Palin’s Dark Universe: Vanity Fair’s Profile

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Sarah Palin is a 21st century enigma.

She posts on Facebook and within minutes hundreds of people have either clicked “like” or left a comment, usually incredibly flattering, about Palin’s message. She Tweets, the media writes.

She has turned a losing vice presidential run into superstardom, becoming a political rock star in the vein of Bill Clinton. Palin could very well be pondering a presidential run. She visits Iowa later this month to headline the Iowa Republican Party’s annual fall fundraiser.

Vanity Fair, a haven for profiles of presidential wannabes, now gives Palin her turn. In the magazine’s October issue, writer Michael Joseph Gross explores the complicated days and nights of Sarah Palin.

Gross had his work cut out for him.

Palin has a circle of defend-to-the-death loyalists, including some of the folks in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, business partners and staffers. Gross writes that people who know her well would not talk about her on the record, some out of loyalty others “because they fear she will exact revenge” as he put it. Some “political strategists, longtime Palin friends and political associates, hotel staff, shopkeepers and hairstylists, and high-school friends of the Palin children” dished about Palin on the condition of anonymity. He wasn’t able to talk with Palin herself.

It’s not a flattering portrait of a woman who may very well want to be this country’s next president.

“There’s a long and detailed version of what they [Palin’s associates] had to say, but there’s also a short and simple one: anywhere you peel back the skin of Sarah Palin’s life, a sad and moldering strangeness lies beneath,” Gross writes.

Some highlights: Palin, always control-happy, has a big temper. She does not tip well, if at all. She has a short attention span. She’s a poseur when it comes to hunting. (Never has hunted, said one family friend.)

Even before she was plucked out of Alaska by presidential candidate Sen. John McCain to be his running mate, Palin had a sense of entitlement “fueled by persistent feelings that she was under appreciated,” Gross writes. She has become accustomed to the glamorous life. She flies in private jets and drives a “gleaming new Escalade ESV with tinted windows.” Oh, and FOX News may be building a studio on her property.

Her political empire is shaped by loyalists who include lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, a director of the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century, and Kim Daniels, a lawyer with the Thomas More Law Center. Two male staffers who worked for George W. Bush serve as Palin’s confidants and personal assistants. Palin uses a code name, “North Star.” Wherever she stays, hotel personnel know to direct hair stylists to “North Star’s” room and she sprinkles the North Star reference throughout her speeches, which are booked by NorthStar Strategies. Gross writes, “An store called the North Star Group, maintained by a Palin blogger, ‘sells Governor Palin’s books, and numerous products she has referenced or is known to use,’ such as the red Naughty Monkey Double Dare pumps she often wears.”

In Alaska, her relationships with some former aides have either deteriorated or are non-existent although Gross couldn’t land interviews with any of them. Within her family, Palin controls the message. She has told her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, to never speak to media — ever — without her permission. When Gross attempts to do so at a July 4th parade, he’s quickly told he is not following orders.

On an intimate level, Gross paints Palin’s universe as one with increasing isolation from her friends, family and even her husband, Todd. One frequent former Palin houseguest told Gross that “Todd would often joke, ‘I don’t know how she ever gets pregnant.’ ”

Another friend said Sarah and Todd once got so mad at each other that they took all the canned goods from the pantry and threw them at each other. The refrigerator looked as if “it had got shot up with a shotgun.”

The same friend told Gross, “As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe. She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.” The friend also hinted that Palin has used her sexuality to get her way, telling Gross that Palin once told her, “I’m gonna put on one of my push-up bras so I can get what I want tonight.”

Even Palin’s children seem disenchanted by their mother from time to time. A former campaign aide recalled to Gross, “You’re just putting on a show. You’re so fake,” one of the children said when Palin made a point of praying in front of other people. “This is not who you are. Why are you pretending to be something you’re not?”

Gross never meets Palin through his travels with her on the road or in Alaska, but he does end up in front of her house, where a metal North Star on a gate points upward.

Written by suziparker1313

March 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Sarah Palin’s Parental Role Models: Bill and Hillary Clinton

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Summer weddings are all the rage among the most politically fascinating — and polar opposite — families. The Clintons and the Palins.

Rumors concerning every detail — the wedding dress, the guest list, the ceremony — swirl around the July 31 wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky at the extravagant Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, N.Y., above the Hudson River. It promises to be a glamorous A-list affair. Mother of the bride and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said repeatedly, whenever given the chance, that Chelsea’s wedding is the most important thing in her life.

Sarah Palin, well, is a different story. It’s rumored that Sarah may not be attending daughter Bristol’s August wedding to her off-again, on-again baby’s daddy Levi Johnston. Gasp! No, no, no. Even Miss Manners has a word to say about this.

While Judith Martin, aka “Miss Manners,” declines to discuss individuals “because it would be rude,” she does have a few thoughts about parents who boycott their children’s wedding, she told Politics Daily’s Annie Groer.

“It is a very serious statement that people sometimes live to regret,” said Martin, the author of “Miss Manners’ Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding” written with daughter Jacobina Martin. “The regret stems from the fact that it makes the children very angry because it’s a very public form of disapproval. It’s one thing sitting around moaning that your daughter could have done better, but another to make clear to everyone in your entire circle that you think so.”

It’s not entirely shocking if the boycott rumor becomes truth. In the past, Sarah has been less than kind to Levi, who burnished his black sheep credentials when he posed nude for “Playgirl.” He further frosted the family air by stating that Sarah called her son, Trig, who has Down’s syndrome, retarded.

Palin retorted, “Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies. Those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention.”

Just last week, in a statement to “Good Morning America,” Sarah gave her blessing to her daughter’s union. But it wasn’t exactly endearing. “As parents, we obviously want what is best for our children, but Bristol is ultimately in charge of determining what is best for her and her beautiful son. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives. We pray that, as a couple, Bristol and Levi’s relationship matures into one that will allow Tripp to grow up graced with two loving parents in his life.”

Chelsea was once in the middle — literally — between Bill and Hillary during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But perhaps because of the love for their daughter, the high-powered political couple worked through their problems and remained married. Happy faces will abound at the wedding.

It’s been made clear that invitees to Chelsea’s wedding must personally know the couple, and they should not leak information. The private twosome tend to eschew the spotlight and have not been spotted all over Manhattan buying china and wedding favors.

Bristol and Levi live in a vastly different universe than Chelsea and Marc. They can’t seem to get enough attention. Even Bristol’s recent ex-boyfriend and Levi’s former hockey teammate, Ben Barber, has gotten into the mix, dishing dirt on his former girlfriend.

Bristol and Levi may be in negotiations for a reality show around their impending nuptials in Alaska and life with their 2-year-old son, Tripp, although a rep for Bristol Palin has denied that. Networks don’t seem interested at the moment, but stranger things have aired on television. Remember Tori Spelling?

It’s easy to imagine the reception chatter at Chelsea’s wedding. Think Washington cocktail party with a wedding cake. FOBs like Terry McAuliffe will likely toast the couple and tell everyone who will listen that the Democrats will win the midterms. There will be plenty of wistful White House story telling over expensive champagne.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Bristol and Levi’s celebration. With or without Sarah, it’s sure to be an affair for Alaskans to remember. One family member told the media that the event was Alaska’s equivalent to Princess Diana’s wedding. Maybe with some extra-added caribou in the mix. It’s not so far fetched to think that the wedding, like many celebrity nuptials these days, may be underwritten by a tabloid in exchange for the exclusive pics.

Bristol, 19, could take a lesson from Chelsea, 30.

Chelsea could have opted for a wild party-girl lifestyle in New York or Hollywood. She didn’t exactly have a picture-perfect childhood even in the White House. The media shamefully — and unfairly — joked about her teen awkwardness even as her parents tried their best to shield her from scrutiny. Her father had an impeachment scandal triggered by his liaison with Monica Lewinsky. But Chelsea stayed on track and didn’t take the predictable “fall from grace” path.

Instead, she graduated from Stanford, earned a master’s degree from Oxford, and worked at a New York consulting firm followed by a job at a hedge fund. She serves on the board of the School for American Ballet. She is studying health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

By contrast, Bristol has had a rough-go thus far in her young life. She endured an unplanned teen pregnancy and a hailstorm of sordid true-and-untrue allegations while her mother ran as Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential pick. Her husband-to-be has feuded bitterly and publicly with his future mother-in-law. Family holidays likely won’t resemble a Currier & Ives postcard.

Both women have one thing in common — fathers who care about them. Reports say that Todd Palin will escort Bristol down the aisle regardless of whether Sarah attends. There’s no question about Bill Clinton. He’ll be there, and he’s losing 15 pounds for the big event.

If Sarah doesn’t attend, the focus will be on her absence and not the couple as they try to make their way into what will surely be a married life with plenty of baggage from the start. Hopefully, the rumors aren’t true and Sarah will attend. If not, she, too, needs to take lesson from Miss Manners — and the Clintons — and be there for her daughter.

Written by suziparker1313

March 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm