A warts-and-all book about Sarah Palin is causing controversy before it's even released? Shocking as it seems, this appears to be the case.
"Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years," (Simon & Schuster) by former Palin aide Frank Bailey won't hit bookstore shelves until Tuesday, but already the book has sparked both outrage from Palin loyalists and an investigation by Alaska's attorney general's office, according to various reports.
In the book, Bailey paints Palin as flaky and unwilling to fulfill her obligations.
Recalling a string of appearance cancellations on Palin's part, Bailey writes, "Getting Sarah to meetings and events was like nailing Jell-O to a tree … On the campaign trail and as governor, Sarah went through at least 10 schedulers, with few lasting more than months. Nobody wanted the job because Sarah might fail to honor, at the last minute, the smallest commitments, and making excuses for her became a painful burden."
The tome has sparked a legal entanglement for its author; according to the Associated Press, the Alaska attorney general's office is investigating Bailey because he used thousands of emails that he'd saved during his tenure with Palin as the basis for the book.
Alaska has not yet made public many of the emails that Palin sent and received during her tenure as the state's governor, potentially placing Bailey in violation of Alaska's ethics laws.
Bailey's attorney claims the author took "great care" to make sure he didn't run afoul of the law.
Bailey's more immediate concern might be the backlash he's receiving from his former colleagues. The book began to generate controversy in February, when a leaked manuscript offered an indication of its contents.
And now, with the release of the book imminent, Bailey is expectedly coming under increased heat from Palin partisans.
Politico reports that various members of Team Palin are already hurling accusations of deceit at Bailey.
Two sources in Palin's camp have disputed numerous anecdotes in the book, claiming, among other things, that some of the emails are misrepresented — missives that purport to reflect Palin's feelings about her daughter's unwed pregnancy, for example, actually addressed rumors about Bristol prior to her pregnancy.
A spokesman for Palin's political action committee, meanwhile, unabashedly assails Bailey's character.
“Frank Bailey was the only member of the Palin administration to be found to have acted unethically — twice,” Tom Crawford said. “He is currently under investigation again by the state attorney general. Then, as the administrator of certain email accounts, he acted unethically by appropriating account information he was entrusted to protect.”
Claiming that Bailey harbors a grudge over not receiving a spot on Palin's vice-presidential campaign, Crawford theorizes that Bailey "has an axe to grind" and opines, "The book belongs on the fiction shelves."
Harsh words, indeed. But will all of the hubbub surrounding the book help to generate interest and boost sales? To quote its subject, you betcha.