Good evening. It’s great to be in Washington and I am loving the weather. I braved the elements and went out for a jog! Or, as Newsweek calls it, a cover-shoot.
From my hotel room, from there I can see the Russian Embassy, right there.
It’s a privilege to be here tonight at the Washington D.C. Barnes & Noble. Tonight, I’ll be reading excerpts from my new book. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? “Going Rogue”
Yukon wasn’t sure if I’d go with that title and somebody suggested I follow the East Coast self-help trend and go with, “How To Look Like A Million Bucks… For Only 150 Grand.”
Todd liked, “The Audacity of North Slope.”
Hey, I considered not having a title at all. I’ve said it before, but you Beltway types just don’t seem to get it. You don’t need a title to make an impact.
But anyway, let’s get started. I’ll begin my first reading on Page 209. It was pitch black when we touched down in Arizona late on August 27, 2008. The next morning we drove to John McCain’s ranch in Sedona. John was waiting on the porch.
Before he can say a word, I tell him — I’m quoting now — “I know why I’m here, and I’m ready. But, I’m worried. The cost of credit protection for the largest U.S. banks is rising precipitously. Have you given any thought to the run on the entities in the parallel banking system? Do you realize the vulnerability created when these institutions borrow short term in liquid markets to invest long term in illiquid assets?”
John said, “you betcha!” I thought, “you betcha?” Who talks that way?
Well, sometimes you just have to trust your instincts. When you don’t, you end up in places like this. Who would have guessed that I’d be palling around with this group? At least now I can put a face to all the newspapers I read.
It is good to be here and in front of this audience of leading journalists and intellectuals. Or, as I call it, a death panel.
To be honest, I had some serious reservations about coming to visit your cozy little club. The Gridiron still hasn’t offered membership to anyone from my hometown paper in Wasilla, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley Frontiersman.
And my dad thought it was just a plain bad idea to leave the book tour for some football game. He might have a point!
I’ve been touring this great, great land of ours over the last few weeks. I have to say, the view is much better from inside the bus, than under it!
But really, I am thrilled to be with you. And I’d like to thank the Gridiron for the invitation and Dick Cooper for his introduction.
To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, this has to be the most extraordinary collection of people who have gathered to viciously attack me since the last corporate gathering at CBS.
Despite what you have read, or more likely, despite what you have written, I do feel a real bond with all of you. I studied journalism, earned a communications degree and for a time only wanted to be a journalist. I was even a television sportscaster back home. I’m guessing some of you probably got your start the exact same way… once there was television.
Let me get back to the book. I know that many of you are still upset because I wouldn’t play that silly Washington game. You know, the one where all of you read a book in its entirety, from the first page of the index to the last.
But think about it, because you actually had to read the whole book in the vain hope of finding your name, you now know all about Denali, mom, dad, ungulate eyeballs, slaying salmon on the Nushagak and Ugashik near Alegnigak, where we make AGOOTAK and moose chili! You’re welcome.
Still, I want to do something very special for this audience of Washington elite. So, I’ll read from the index–which I chose not to include in the hardback.
Would you believe me if I said I didn’t include it because we wanted to save trees?
Under A we have…Alaska, media not understanding. Pages 1-432.
Under B…Biased media. Pages 1-432
And under C…Conservative media. See acknowledgments.
I’ll stop there. I know this can be a long night, and as I understand it, we’re going to break with a Gridiron tradition. Normally, the Democrat speaker would deliver a speech after me. But instead, John McCain’s campaign staff asked if they could use that time for a rebuttal.
A lot has been made of a few campaign relationships. The closeness. The warm fuzzy feelings. John and I both agree all those staffers should just move past it. It’s history.
Let’s just say, if I ever need a bald campaign manager, it appears all I’m left with is James Carville.
I don’t want to say that I’ve burned a bridge, but I know all about canceling a bridge to nowhere.