The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe gets her hands on a leaked manuscript of former Palin aide Frank Bailey's scathing new book and finds juicy allegations about Bristol, Troopergate, Newt, and more. Plus, additional juicy bits from the Sarah Palin tell-all.
The Daily Beast has obtained a copy of the manuscript draft of a tell-all book by a former aide to Sarah Palin. The scathing memoir of Frank Bailey's time with Palin, first leaked to the Anchorage Daily News, recounts the former Alaska governor's obsession with managing her image and her alleged involvement in illegal acts.
Among the juicier allegations in Bailey's unpublished almost 500-page book, titled In Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years and filled with familiar Palin terms like "unflipping believable" and "holy jeeze":
1) Bailey Quashes Gossip About Trig Palin's Birth
Although most of the tell-all is incredibly scathing, Bailey—who was not only an administrative staffer but also booked personal travel for the Palin family and worked around the clock to please his boss—aims to put the gossip about Bristol Palin giving birth to Sarah's fifth child, Trig, to an end. He writes that he visited Sarah Palin at the hospital just hours after Trig was born and spotted Bristol sitting in the waiting room. There is absolutely no way Bristol had just given birth, he says.
2) Palin Used Her Children for Political Gain
Bailey blasts the then-vice presidential candidate for the public announcement of Bristol's pregnancy. Palin turned her daughter into the most famous pregnant teenager on the planet instead of just letting her have to live with the state of Alaska knowing that she was about to be a unwed mother, he writes. He adds that he does believe Palin loves her children, but he felt that she was using them as political props, especially when she carried baby Trig around with her during the campaign, even on rainy winter evenings.
3) Palin Helps Publicize Rumors About Her Family
A running theme in Bailey's memoir is Palin's obsession with righting wrongs she believes have been done to her. He writes that she lasers in on gossip about her and her family, and in her mission to kill the rumors, she makes sure that all of Alaska is aware of allegations. When gossip hit the 49th state that her infant Trig is actually Bristol's baby, Bailey writes, Palin fired off an email to him, upset that the rumor still had legs. He writes that they did their best to kill the rumor, but it backfired because when they went after their critics in the local media, they ensured that everyone in Alaska now knew about the salacious rumor, when they might not have before.
Bailey also writes that Palin wanted to address in person a blogger who had been commenting on the Anchorage Daily News' website with accusations that she was having an extramarital affair. After a speech she spotted the blogger in the crowd and wanted to confront her directly, despite the presence of other dignitaries and press in the audience. Bailey writes that he believed this was not the best use of a sitting governor's time.
4) Palin Broke Election Law
Bailey accuses Palin of blatant illegal activity. During her 2006 campaign for governor, Bailey alleges that Palin broke election law by working with the Republican Governors Association to shoot a campaign commercial. State candidates are not legally allowed to work with groups like the RGA, which ran ads at the time on her behalf, though supposedly "independent" of the Palin gubernatorial campaign. The ad showed Palin walking by a hotel in Anchorage, and Bailey says it was an RGA cameraman who shot it while directing the then-candidate to walk back and forth to ensure there was enough footage. Bailey accuses Palin aide Kris Perry of following the RGA cameraman's directions and that both Palin and Perry knew they were breaking election law. Bailey writes that he had no idea what was happening, although he was also a witness to the filming.
Bailey also writes that Palin skirted the law during the Troopergate affair. (Bailey is perhaps best known publicly for his involvement in the investigation into whether Palin abused her power to push her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, to fire her former brother-in-law Mike Wooten.) The investigation proved to be a thorn in Palin's side during the vice-presidential campaign, and in August 2008, right before she became John McCain's running mate, the administration released a phone call of Bailey pressuring a trooper lieutenant to investigate Wooten. Palin said Bailey had acted without her permission, but Bailey writes that he was just following the wishes of Palin and especially her husband, Todd, who fed him Wooten's personnel file. Bailey writes of Todd's obsessive involvement in trying to get Wooten fired, backing up allegations that Todd was acting as "shadow governor" during Palin's term. Palin has denied any direct involvement.
5) Palin Said She Hated Being Governor
Bailey writes that Palin tired of the everyday grind of governing the state, as well as the constant criticism. On April 28, 2009, 2½ months before she resigned the Alaska governorship, she sent Bailey an email saying, "I hate this damn job."
6) Palin Supported Mike Huckabee Early in the 2008 Race
John McCain may have catapulted her to stardom, but the Arizona senator did not have Palin's support in the primary. Instead, she supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. In an email, Palin writes, "Huck's a good pick for me. Just fyi."
7) Palin Hates Newt Gingrich
The former House speaker makes an appearance in two parts of Bailey's book. In 2008, Gingrich is a hero for praising Palin and mentioning her in the veepstakes. The book alleges that while the Palin inner circle was busy working to run the state government, it was also hard at work talking to the "Draft Palin" bloggers and aiming to get their gal on the GOP ticket. However, after the campaign, when Palin didn't confirm her attendance at a D.C. fundraiser for the Republican congressional campaign committees, they instead asked Gingrich to speak. She responds to the news by bashing him in an email:
"Yes, (Newt/GOP) are egotistical, narrow minded machine goons… but all the more reason God protected me from getting up on stage in front of 5,000 political and media ‘elites' to praise him, then it be shown across the nation. At some point Newt would have shown his true colors anyway and we would have been devastated having known we'd earlier prostituted ourselves up in front of the country introducing him and acting like that good ol' rich white guy is the savior of the party."
Palin's comments could prove quite awkward if she and Gingrich meet on the 2012 campaign trail.
Bailey's book is co-authored by Jeanne Devon, who publishes the anti-Palin website Mudflats, and California author Ken Morris. In an email, Devon said the authors had absolutely no part in the leaking of the manuscript. The Palin team did not respond to requests for comment.
Shushannah Walshe covers politics for The Daily Beast. She is the co-author of Sarah From Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar. She was a reporter and producer at the Fox News Channel from August 2001 until the end of the 2008 presidential campaign.