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Revelations from Sarah Palin's book, 'Going Rogue'
"I'm a forty-four-year-old, healthy, athletic woman raising five kids and governing a large state, I thought as his words faded into a background buzz," she writes. "Sir, I really don't know you yet. But you've told me how to dress, who to talk to, a lot of people not to talk to, who my heroes are supposed to be, and we're still losing. Now you're going to tell me what to eat?"
Schmidt has called many of the accounts in the book "fanciful" and has told media organizations that he offered a nutritionist because some concerns had been raised about Palin's health.
"I suppose if headquarters had flown in a nutritionist, I would've listened to what he or she had to say," Palin writes. "But as with much of what headquarters said, it never happened."
On VP selection: 'This is right. This fits.'
Palin harbored no doubts about her readiness to run for vice president when McCain called her last summer, saying in her book that her selection was a "natural progression" and that "it was only a matter of time before others saw Alaska's potential to contribute to America's future. Now the time was right."
The former Alaska governor says in the book that her selection was neither "anticipated nor sought," but she adds: "Yet when God presents those doors, we think, Yes. This is right. This fits."
Palin describes the early grilling she received from aides to McCain before her selection was announced. She admits worrying about the D grade she received in a college course (but doesn't say for what subject). And she says she gave no ground on her belief in "the C-word: creationism," even when McCain advisers noted the irony of her having a science teacher for a father.
That prompts a passage on growing up with her dad, talking about stalagmites and stalactites and learning "the elements of the periodic table between forkfuls of caribou lasagna. Didn't every family talk about what differentiated a grizzly from a brown bear?"
Palin addresses some of the controversies that quickly erupted after the announcement, including the racks of expensive clothing that suddenly appeared in her hotel suite at GOP convention, and more clothes and jewelry that were purchased for her during the early days of campaigning.
"I remember seeing one rather plain-looking blazer and thinking, that cost more than a semester at the University of Alaska," she writes. "I also noticed that instead of decent $7 pairs of nylons, one fancy package's price tag read $70. I hated to break it to them, but I doubted I'd even wear them -- it was still warm out, after all."
"We felt like we were starring in an episode of 'What not to wear,' " she writes.
The former Alaska governor describes the early campaign as a whirlwind of people around her -- "They were like human flash cards, there and gone" -- but says that her family enjoyed the ride.
Until the morning of Sept. 1, that is, when she saw the news of her oldest daughter's pregnancy crawl across the bottom of a flat-screen television embedded in the bathroom mirror in her hotel room.
"I nearly gagged on my toothbrush," she writes. "Oh, God, I thought. Here we go."
On the press: 'The media train jumped the truth track'
Palin really doesn't like the media. That is crystal clear in her book, which reserves some of its harshest words for members of the press who hounded her throughout the campaign.
She calls the journalists who descended on Alaska "black-suited, laptop-toting flatlanders" and asserts that they got little right in the days immediately after McCain chose her. "What they did report, patchy factoids cobbled together from the Internet and a few left-wing Alaskan bloggers, was usually wrong," she writes.
About her daughter Bristol's pregnancy, she writes that "the media train jumped the truth track in record time." She asserts that reporters misled the public on her views of sex education and whether she had tried to ban books. (She says she didn't.)
And she labels rumors questioning whether her infant son, Trig, was really Bristol's baby as "a bullcrap story" that entered the "wider media bloodstream."
But Palin reserves most of her anger at the media for CBS News and anchor Katie Couric, who she describes as biased and interested in "gotcha" moments more than serious substance.
Palin claims that McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace pushed the Couric interview, saying that "Katie wants people to like her. . . . She wants you to like her." But Palin wonders about the value of the "seemingly endless serial chat with the lowest-rated news anchor in network television."
She acknowledges that the interview didn't go well. But over several pages in her book, she blames CBS News, Couric and McCain aides. She says the long interviews were edited to make her look bad.
"When I saw the final cut, it was clear that CBS had sought out the bad moments and systematically sliced out material that would accurately convey my message," she writes. "The sin of omission was glaring."
Palin asserts that what was left on the cutting room floor were substantive answers to Couric's questions, including a discussion of the "need to wean ourselves off hydrocarbons" and her experience as "chair of the AOGCC and IOGCC," which gave her knowledge about how much more quickly oil could be drawn from the oil fields in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Palin's answers about Alaska's position in relation to the rest of the country was her attempt to "squeeze a geographical primer into a ten-second sound bite," she writes. Given time, she writes, she could have explained better.
"For instance, that Alaska's geographic position makes our relations with Pacific Rim countries of great strategic import, and that we're the air crossroads of the world," she writes. "That Russian bombers often play cat-and-mouse with our Air Force near Alaska's airspace. That I dealt with Canadian officials on a weekly basis. . . . That Alaska takes on Japanese and Russian fishing trawlers that want to ravage the ocean floor."
She explained the back-and-forth with Couric over what newspapers she read as a failure to conceal her annoyance.
"It wasn't that I didn't want to -- or, as some have ludicrously suggested, couldn't -- answer her question; it was that her condescension irritated me," she wrote.