According to Palin insider Frank Bailey, the former Alaska governor cares little about governance and is instead consumed with image, vindictiveness, and reaping worldly rewards.
Despite being filled with regret for his own actions while serving for nearly four years under candidate and then half-governor Sarah Palin, Frank Bailey came to fear that his former boss remained a voice in American politics. In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, former insider and my coauthor Frank Bailey said of his ideals when we first met, “I am still a Fox News Conservative.” Frank went on to explain that Sarah Palin, despite her carefully managed image and "word salad" lip service to conservative ideals, cared little for the smaller government and social values that attracted him to her candidacy in 2005. She was (and he admits guilt in getting sucked in, and participating wholeheartedly) consumed not with governance, but with image, vindictiveness, and ultimately reaping worldly rewards. A frequently used Palin password from before her run for governor, “Jabez”, provided a subtle clue as to her ultimate goal. From Chronicles 4:10: Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, 'Oh that Thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast [territory], and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!' And God granted him that which he requested."
From the very beginning, Sarah had a plan that God would answer her Jabez-like prayers. And while none of us (Frank, me, and third co-author Jeanne Devon) believe God played any part, amazingly her dream for riches came true; the three of us decided that she’d have been wiser to pray for happiness.
Well documented in Blind Allegiance, Sarah came to relate to yet another Biblical figure, Queen Esther, going so far as to borrow the one-time savior of the Jewish people’s most famous line on several occasions: “If I die, I die.” In our book, we document several emails where the governor (who said repeatedly, “I hate this damn job”) marveled at how God chose her, above all others, for divine purpose. And while Frank was blindly allegiant to a woman he once truly believed was Ronald Reagan in a dress, Sarah was no less blind in her own faith in herself. She became convinced that she had Reagan’s so-called steely spine. She swore publicly that her skin was rhino thick, even to the point of lecturing Hilary Clinton to buck up and adopt Sarah’s ability to take the heat in the political kitchen. Frank and the others who knew the backbone filleted, thin-skinned truth, choked at the words despite continuing to believe in her mission. Not everyone in this world, they rationalized, is self-aware. If this were her only fault, they could live with that.
Unfortunately, this was the least of the character flaws that made her, in Frank’s words, “…not only ill-suited to head a political party or occupy national office, but would lead to a disaster of, well, biblical proportions.”
Sarah was, at best, an Old Testament Christian (an oxymoron since Christianity began with the birth of Christ and the creation of the New Testament). And she was a revisionist at that. An eye for an eye became two eyes for an eye. Eventually she translated that into the belief that any perceived slight deserved nothing less than personal destruction. Even in the case of a man of God, who championed what Sarah claimed was her most cherished principal - the preservation of unborn life - when causing her public embarrassment suffered her wrath. After one of her famous last-minute charity event cancellations (so that she could finish her lacquered biography in time for Christmas sales) even he became a target. She ordered Frank Bailey to do opposition research on this man, searching through sex offender and criminal files, telling Frank, “Find something. He must have something on him that we can use.”
After returning to Alaska from the McCain/Palin defeat, as Blind Allegiance so shockingly documents, Sarah did virtually nothing but attack enemies and work the national media for attention. She pledged to go only on Fox News because they were the only fair and balanced network. Even this week, when Frank Bailey courageously went on Sean Hannity’s show, Fox demonstrated how "fair and balanced" they were when Hannity, in a pique of his own defensiveness, asked Frank, "Okay, what would you ask Sarah if you were me?" Frank said, "Ask her why she broke campaign finance law and illegally coordinated with the Republican Governors Association during the campaign," an event painstakingly documented in our book. Not only did she illegally coordinate we prove, but she blatantly misrepresented that truth in her public statements. What did Sean Hannity do with this little exchange? He edited it out of the interview, and did not tell his viewers they were watching an edited tape he advertised on his website as “Sean battles Frank Bailey over his controversial book about Sarah Palin.” Yeah, Sean Hannity cut it clean out, but left his otherwise nonstop attacks, not allowing Frank to complete his sentences. Is this what journalism has become? Is that what Fox means when they claim to be fair and balanced? For what it is worth, Frank reported to me this morning that he may still be a Fox News conservative, but he is no longer a Sean Hannity conservative. That's progress.
The Epilogue to Blind Allegiance, which has not been widely reported on and that we offer here with permission from Howard Books, details a small incident from 2009 that provides a summation to the book. There is much symbolism in this vignette and a fitting end to Frank’s extraordinary and painful journey from Palinbot to Palin target. Meanwhile, Palin and her current blindly allegiant inner circle are attacking even the cover of our book as deceptive for having two photographs juxtaposed to create an eye-popping image. But, they have yet to address anything between those covers. Truth is hard to refute, and truth out of the very mouths of our subjects—quoted verbatim in emails they wrote--is impossible to refute (or to even refudiate).
As for Frank, he’s willing to offer Sean Hannity the highest rated show of all time: he will sit down, next to Sarah Palin, both wired to lie detectors, and answer questions about the truths contained in our book. We ask only that he not edit out anything that doesn’t fit his world view as he did in Frank’s interview last night. How Fair and Balanced would that be?
I've gone through life never holding grudges because life is too short
and that's why I have a good disposition. God’s blessed me with that—
in fact it’s not me but Him in me that has always allowed me
to walk in forgiveness and peace.
—Sarah Palin, email to conservative radio show host Dan Fagan, June 18, 2006
Back in May 2009, a buddy on the board of trustees for an educational foundation contacted me about a fund-raiser for college scholarships. His idea was to auction off a bottle of wine signed by Governor Palin. I initially PIN’ed her about the idea to which she amusingly responded, “Sure, if we can drink all the wine first. Have Kris [Perry] sign it.” Several weeks went by and my friend reminded me of the request, so I followed up saying, “Boss, are you ok with Kris autographing a bottle of wine? My friend thinks this will fetch more than any other bottle for their cause.”
Kris Perry, who signed most of the letters to constituents in Sarah’s name, did me the favor of signing the governor’s name. After the auction, I wrote Sarah, “Your signed bottle of wine helped raise $1,000 for scholarships for needy kids.”.
Sarah responded, “Cool! Thanks.”
Without an ounce of guilt—and now, with apologies to whoever paid a $1,000 for a fake signature—we misled the public about this simplest of matters. Why not just send the bottle to Sarah, have her actually sign, and be honest with everyone? The only explanation is that by 2009, we’d been denying truth so long on large issues that small matters didn’t seem worth the effort.
Just as Sarah really believed—beyond comprehension—that she held no grudges and walked in forgiveness and peace, we all became selectively immune to self-reflection. And in wading through this painful memoir, I realize that all of us Rag Tags had similar defects, none more so than me, the person who worked alongside her longer than any other.
The lesson learned, I guess, is that it takes an extraordinary person to deliver more than promises for a better future. We need to not only listen but also dig deeply into the character of our leaders before offering them our allegiance. And, more importantly, I will never, ever, surrender blind allegiance to anyone again, save God and family.