The good news, insofar as Sarah Palin’s family is concerned, is that Joe McGinnis, their unwanted neighbor of some three and a half months, has finally left the rented house next to the Palin homestead.
The bad news that the author of a self admitted hit piece in the now defunct magazine called Portfolio against Sarah Palin, is headed back to Massachusetts to write his book on the former Vice Presidential candidate and potential future Presidential candidate. Most political observers have concluded, considering the Portfolio piece, the book is not going to be a flattering one.
McGinnis himself boasted, about his previous Palin literary effort, according to AP, “She said it was a hit piece. For a day she was upset. I said it was a hit piece: It hit the bulls-eye.”
McGinnis made news back in May when he dramatically moved next to the Palin family and announced that he was going to work on the Palin book. This led to dark accusations of stalking and worse, a confrontation with Todd Palin, and the extension of a fence to make sure that McGinnis did not have a view of the Palin back yard.
McGinnis denied accusations of stalking, but it was pointed out at the time that it has hardly necessary to move in next to the Palin family to do research. Clearly Joe McGinnis, noting how the Palin family jealously guarded its privacy, was looking for a reaction and the resulting publicity that goes along with it. In that, McGinnis succeeded brilliantly. His Palin book, running up to the 2012 elections, will just be one of many. But because of the drama McGinnis created, it will stand out to a certain extent.
There might have been one other reason for McGinnis moving in next to the Palin family, a characteristic of Palin Derangement Syndrome that many people feel, hating and yet oddly fascinated by Sarah Palin, thus the need to be as close to her as possible while writing a book that will attempt to excoriate her. The Internet humorist Iowahawk once satirized the phenomenon of Sarah Palin, or at least a cartoon version of her, living rent free in the heads of people like Joe McGinnis. They profess to be repelled by her, but can’t really stop thinking about her.
In any event, Joe McGinnis claims that his sojourn next door to the Palins yielded fruit, though his characterization of the experience is perhaps a preview of the tone of his book. “People – I don’t know if they’re afraid of shadows or whether there’s something real there – she’s no longer in a position of governmental influence but there are people up there who are scared to death to talk because if Sarah ever found out they talked, oh, something terrible would happen to them.”
One is uncertain what to make of that portrait, which seems to come more from a Stephen King novel than it does from objective reality. Still, despite what McGinnis calls an “undercurrent of fear” he claims to have no lack of people willing to talk and offer gifts of blueberry pie and firearms.
Still, one leaves with the sneaking suspicion that much of the book has already been written and that McGinnis was in Wasilla looking for validation. McGinnis makes a somewhat revealing and stereotyped statement about Sarah Palin’s presidential ambitions. “And, she wants to be president. And God wants her to be president, so how can she say no?”
That seems to be a running theme whenever a liberal talks about a conservative statesman, whether it was Reagan, George W. Bush, and now Sarah Palin. They must be on a mission from God. But, of course, that is not how religious faith, properly understood, works. Religious people like Reagan, Bush the Younger, and Palin are never so much in the mind of wondering whether God is on their side, but rather if they are on His side. There is a real difference that likely has escaped McGinnis. The misunderstanding does mean that we are in store for some lurid, though perhaps fictional musings on the most powerful, loved, and feared woman in the world.
Sources:Palin ‘stalker’ author leaving town, AP, September 4th, 2010
Joe McGinnis Moves Next Door to Sarah Palin, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, May 25th, 2010
Hi, Neighbor!, Iowahawk, May 28th, 2010