Reading Rogue: FUN QUIZ TIME!

>> Thursday, December 03, 2009

Starting on page 281 of Going Rogue, Mrs. Sarah Palin talks about her preparation for the vice-presidential candidate debate against then-Senator Joseph Biden in St. Louis. Amongst her complaints about the debate prep, which could have gone better but didn't thanks to everybody else, Mrs. Palin bemoans being given stacks of index cards, on one side of which were written possible debate questions then-Governor Palin might be asked by the moderator, Ms Gwen Ifill.

"Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to type them up," Mrs. Palin writes, "but it was funny because on one side of each card, there was a question and on the other side there were a whole bunch of what most people would consider nonanswers." She then goes on to offer examples, and then she offers an example of what she would have considered an "answer."

Your challenge is to tell which one of these is Mrs. Palin's "answer." Naturally, you're automatically disqualified if you've read Going Rogue or possess a copy. Dave. The only changes made in any of the examples, all of which are taken from pages 281-282 of Going Rogue, is the omission of a single gratuitous one-word prefatory sentence (it's, "Yes!" if that helps you any) and the substitution of a period for a mysterious ellipsis used at the end of one of the samples in the original text (i.e. I removed a single word from the beginning of one of these samples and substituted punctuation at the end of one of these samples, in all other ways the sentences are exactly as they appear in the text).

So, here we go--first the question, then a series of "nonanswers" and an "answer," numbered for your convenience. Can you tell which possible response Sarah Palin considers a legitimate answer and which three she considerd blather?


What is America's role in the world when it comes to global security?


I see the United States as a force for good in the world. As has already been so beautifully said, we're a shining city on a hill.


America should lead the world in global security. We should be developing our own resources and leveraging our power for good, not apologizing for being the strongest nation in the world.


Senator McCain and I are optimists. We love our country, and John has proven that more than any other leader in America.


We don't apologize for who we are or what we stand for, even if we're not perfect. We learn from our mistakes, but we don't doubt our goodness.

Well? How about it? I find Mrs. Palin's "answer" to be little better (at best) than the "nonanswers" she complains about. What'cha think?


Steve Buchheit Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:28:00 PM EST  

I'm thinking her "real answer" was #4. But, IIRC, she gave #1 in the debate.

vince Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 1:19:00 PM EST  

My guess is that she would have preferred #3. It's the vaguest of the four.

Leanright,  Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 1:21:00 PM EST  

The book is on my list, but three or four away.

After all, MY reading the book wasn't part of the deal. The drinking of beer part, I have no problem with.

Mrs. Bitch Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 2:48:00 PM EST  

Hmm. I would have thought #2 to go along with her "drill, baby, drill" theme and to get a dig in at Obama for suggesting that he would talk with our enemies - a sign of weakness, dont'cha know. But, I've been wrong before.

Bitter Twitter Quitter,  Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 3:06:00 PM EST  

My guess Sarah liked #2.

But here’s another quiz. Which of these quotes are from Palin’s Going Rogue and which are from an October 2008 Anchorage Daily News article by Tom Kizzia, according to Craig Medred of the Alaska Dispatch?

“Her father, 'Glass Eye' Billy Bartman, was a Dutchman, a sled-dog freighter, and caretaker of the Alaska Packers saltry, a salmon cannery on the Igushik River. Her mother was a full-blooded Yupik Eskimo who grew up in a barabara…”


“Her father was a Dutchman, Glass Eye Billy Bartman, a sled dog freighter in the Bristol Bay region and caretaker of the Alaska Packers saltry on the Igushik River. Her mother was full-blooded Yup'ik, growing up in a sod-roofed barabara..."


"Lena went around Dillingham talking with the Yupik elders. 'Do you know my grandson Todd?' she would ask. Everyone in Dillingham knew Todd. 'His wife is running for Boss Alaska.”


"[Lena] said, 'You know Todd?' All the Natives know Todd. I said, 'His wife is running for Boss Alaska.'"


Rachael Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 4:08:00 PM EST  

I'm guessing #1. Whether I'm right or wrong, just reading those sentences lowered my IQ. Thank you for taking this bullet for us all.

Eric Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 4:49:00 PM EST  

I'll be revealing the right answer sometime tomorrow, just to make sure anyone who wants to guess has a chance to.

Bitter Twitter Quitter: Thank you for those links! Just to clean them up, they are:

Craig Medred, "PALIN: Hunting Devils In The Details," Alaska Dispatch, November 25, 2009


Tom Kizzia, "Yup'ik ties give Palins unique Alaska connection," Anchorage Daily News, October 19, 2008

I'm particularly gratified not just by Mr. Medred's fact-checking, but also by his similar exhaustion--there's just no way to check every single fact Mrs. Palin mauls. There are things that stand out as weird to an Alaskan journalist much the same way there are things that stand out to a Southern lawyer, and you go and dig into them and it takes longer than actually reading the text, and sometimes there's just no conclusive answer--one of Palin's claims looks fishy but you can't completely disprove it, however improbable it seems.

As for possible Palin plaigerism, I'm unsurprised, since I doubt it's (1)Palin's or (2) deliberate: there's certainly a possibility that a collaborator, if Palin had one, working overtime to get the book done on schedule and needing to fill out details Mrs. Palin couldn't be bothered with, simply did online research to fill out colorful details and then (in the rush of things) failed to go back and amend a cut'n'pasted paragraph into "the author's own words." Of course this is pure speculation: officially, Going Rogue was written only by Sarah Palin without the assistance of any collaborators; and if Mrs. Palin did have collaborators, there is no reason to assume that there was only one collaborator assigned to the book--i.e. if there is one person who is rumored to have worked as a ghostwriter on Going Rogue, there would be no direct evidence I'm aware of that the alleged mistake was hers and not that of another member of the project. On the other hand, if Going Rogue is truly the sole product of Mrs. Palin, a prominent public figure, I can only puzzle over the similarities in text with the most scrupulous regard for the truth and least degree of actual malice one can muster.

(Discussion of this subject is welcome, but readers who cannot take heavy-handed hints might begin their research here before speculating too broadly about who might have written what and when. Thanks!)

Again, thank you for the links, BTQ!

Janiece Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 5:12:00 PM EST  

It's gotta be #3. Since it proves how very Mavericky Senator McCain is.

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