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With early leak, Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue' is off and running
Regarding the $50,000, several high-ranking McCain aides said Palin was most likely conflating the cost of her vetting, which the McCain aides counter was actually minimal, with the fees she spent to defend herself from various accusations of ethical wrongdoing in her home state.
Speaking with Winfrey, Palin also argues that the McCain campaign approved of her performance in her disastrous interview with Couric of CBS.
"Do you think that was a seminal, defining moment for you, that interview?" Winfrey asks.
"I did not," Palin responds. "And neither did the campaign. In fact, that is why Segment 2 and 3 and 4 and maybe 5 were scheduled. The campaign said, right on. Good. You're showing your independence."
"No sentient person would look at that and say that," assessed one former senior McCain campaign official.
In her book, Palin issued harsh words for the media as a whole and for Couric in particular. According to AP, Palin described Couric as "badgering" and a sufferer of low self-esteem. (Couric declined, through a spokesman, to comment.) The former governor, who in the book says her dream was to be a sportscaster alongside Howard Cosell, takes aim at ABC anchor Gibson, whose interview preceded Couric's. He "peered skeptically" at her over his glasses, Palin writes, and had no interest in the substantive issues. (A spokesman for ABC did not return a request for comment.)
Palin couples her laments about her treatment in high-profile interviews with complaints that the McCain campaign shielded her from the media and kept her "bottled up."
Already a bestseller
Now, through "Going Rogue," Palin can directly address her fans and her conservative base without any media filter. Her volume already sits near the top of online bestseller lists, based on pre-sales alone, and HarperCollins's religious imprint Zondervan will publish another edition of the book.
On Wednesday, Palin commences a book tour in Grand Rapids, Mich., the state she argued McCain should never have conceded, and will travel, campaignlike, through Iowa and Virginia and a handful of other states.
As the tour promises to bolster her conservative bona fides, it will also put a spotlight back on her family's less wholesome moments. In her interview with Winfrey, Palin responds to a question about Johnston, the father of her grandchild, who has since split with Palin's daughter Bristol and posed nude for Playgirl.
"Will he be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?" Winfrey asked.
"You know, that's a great question," Palin said, adding, "I think he needs to know that he is loved and he has the most beautiful child and this can all work out for good. It really can. We don't have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama all the time. We're not really into the drama. We don't really like that. We're more productive. We have other things to concentrate on."