Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will campaign for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over the next several days in Michigan and North Carolina, and will join him on Election Night, according to NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O’Donnell.
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) November 4, 2016
In 2008, Palin wanted to campaign in Michigan through the final days, where some believed she could draw large amounts of support, but aides to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) refused to allow her to do so after they had pulled their resources out of the state.
She then briefly considered “going rogue” and campaigning in Michigan anyway. That phrase became the title of her subsequent memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, where she described her thoughts and feelings at the time.
Obama was leading by double digits [in Michigan], but the Grand Rapids meeting gave me hope that we could bounce back and turn the state around. I got to tell Michigan, “Thank you for taking care of my son—now he’s taking care of you!”
We kicked the next morning off with a lot of prep for the day’s events, including an on-camera interview atop the hotel with Fox News reporter Carl Cameron, with the St. Louis Gateway Arch framed in the shot behind me. Among his other questions, he asked what I thought of the campaign pulling out of Michigan.
“Yes, I read that this morning,” I answered, then said I wished we weren’t pulling out of Michigan—that every single person and every single vote mattered, and I sure didn’t want anyone to give up anywhere. No harm giving a little shout-out to the Great Lakes State, I thought. No one had mentioned to the VP staff or me that the campaign was even considering pulling out of Michigan, much less that we already had. So when I was asked about it, I was caught a bit off guard, but I answered truthfully about having read about it in the newspaper. We moved on to the next question and wrapped up the interview. No big deal.
But we soon heard that back at headquarters, it was a big deal. The word came hurtling down that I had been “off script” with Cameron. Of course, it’s pretty easy to issue candid, off-script messages when there is no script to begin with. It wasn’t the end of the world, though, and I hoped headquarters would forgive me and move on.
They didn’t. One or more McCain senior staffers would later anonymously tell reporters that I was “going rogue.”
The VP team had been scheduled to do another event in Michigan, but it was canceled, disappointing a lot of us who had appreciated that September 17 town hall meeting with John. Still, we understood that funding was limited, so I suggested to the VP staff that the next time we had an official event near Michigan, we pass the hat for gas money and just do a quick trip across the border to snap one off-the-record photo at a café or gas station, maybe hold a quick grassroots rally. I thought we would send a positive message to the state that way, show the people that our campaign really did care about their votes.
It would be fast, it would be free, it would be…mavericky. What was the worst that could happen? We’d maybe get a few more votes? Headquarters said no. With the strange pushback we were getting by then, we were tempted just to sneak across the border. More than once, Nicolle had summarized the campaign organization well when, during chaotic moments, she turned to the B Team and said with a resigned smile, “Welcome to the pirate ship.” But we didn’t want our throats cut, so we dropped the road trip idea and tried to find a copy of the script so we could stay on it.
I can’t help but think of Michigan—the state where I “went rogue” trying to reach out to during the campaign. Some of the people in Michigan are hurting the most right now in our economic downturn.
Michigan is a good example of why we must stand up and not give up! We must fight for reform and fight to reclaim these places suffering under the weight of decades of failed big-government policies—the very policies that now threaten to overtake us all. We can’t abandon Michigan and places like it. We’re Americans. We don’t give up on each other.
I’ve been asked a lot lately, “Where are you going next?” Good question! I’ll be heading home to Alaska, of course. Back to that kitchen table. We’ll discuss the day’s news and the next stop. I always tell my kids that God doesn’t drive parked cars, so we’ll talk about getting on the next road and gearing up for hard work to travel down it to reach new goals. I’m thinking when I get back I’ll bake the kids a cake. And I’ll pull out a road map—I want to show Piper the way to Michigan.
Update: Palin has released a statement on Facebook:
Going Rogue, again! Finally.
Hitting the trail with Willow and Piper to get out the vote for our next President, Donald J. Trump. We’ll hit Michigan, North Carolina, New York.
When asked to travel this time, I knew it had to be Michigan – such a special place that can soon be “The Comeback State” with robust industry again. Love it. Personally close to the heart as my son lived there for AAA hockey. Politically, long story but this is where the whole “she went rogue!” thing started in ’08, leading to my book, “Going Rogue” (even kicked off the most fun book tour ever there!).
Now, Michigan, it’s up to you and every one of these United States to Go Rogue for America. Get out the vote for Trump/Pence – it is time you Make America Great Again!
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.