In the spring of 1964, Sarah Heath, then just three months old, flew into backwater Skagway, Alaska (population 650) aboard a 1930s-era Grumman Goose to start a new life with her parents, brother, and sister.Depending on which of these two public figures you find the more plausible and attractive, you will agree or disagree with Cashill on his assessment. Whatever your initial bias might be, I hope you will find Cashill's summary as fascinating as I did, even if you don't share my belief in the accuracy of his analysis. Read the whole thing here.At that same time, in America's other new outlier state, Hawaii, two-year-old Barry Obama was just getting used to a fatherless existence in the otherwise-comfortable world his white grandparents and occasionally his mother would make for him.At the time, not even Nostradamus could have foretold that the paths of Barry and Sarah would intersect in the "historic" 2008 election, Barry as the first major party presidential nominee of African descent and Sarah as the first woman with a real shot at the vice-presidency.Each would change names before reaching the national stage. Barry Obama would become Barry Soetero, and then Barack Obama. Sarah Heath would become Sarah Palin after eloping with the formidable Todd Palin. Obama would chronicle his journey in the 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father and the 2006 sequel, The Audacity of Hope. Palin would chronicle hers in the 2009 memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life.How the literary/media establishment would respond to the respective memoirs of these two political figures would reveal far less about the authenticity, honesty, and literary quality of the tales the authors told than it would about the collective mindset of that establishment.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Tale of Two Journeys
Regardless of how you feel about Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, each rose from unlikely circumstances to prominent roles in our present social and political culture. A comparison seems inevitable. The author and journalist Jack Cashill has given us one. It begins this way: