A New Palin Book, and the Campaign's Reaction



Reporters Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe covered Alaska Governor Sarah Palin nearly from the day Senator John McCain announced her as a presidential running mate.

Now, they have a new book out titled "Sarah from Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a new Conservative Superstar," which tells the story of the high-profile politician through the eyes of hundreds of interviews.

"She is such a polarizing figure and many of the media reports out there are one dimensional so we wanted to get both sides out there," Conroy told CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris on "Washington Unplugged" Thursday.

Conroy said that while the official response to the book from the Palin camp has been "no comment," one loyal senior adviser called the book fair earlier this week.

Walshe chimed in, explaining that they had interviewed almost 200 people for the book, including Palin's family and friends.

"We spoke to her parents for an entire day, they invited us over to their house in Wasilla," Conroy said. "So we definitely feel like we got her side of the story."

As network news campaign embeds, Conroy and Walshe spent months working closely with the Palin staff. So close was the relationship that Walshe called a staffer to announce that they were going to write the book and Governor Palin got on the phone.

"She was joking around and they were both very happy," she explained, adding that the authors received an open invitation to "go speak with them."

However, much can change in a year, and soon after the offer was rescinded.

"We got an email from her political director saying that we would not be able to speak with her," Walshe explained. Palin ended up authoring a forthcoming book of her own.

When the authors were in Juneau, Alaska doing research, they coincidentally ran into Palin's daughter Piper, who was close with the pair on the campaign trail. Walshe asked her how school was and "kept on walking."

"About an hour later I got a phone call from the governor's spokesperson and she was irate, saying that they didn't appreciate us being in Alaska and they did not appreciate us stalking the governor," Walshe explained.

Overall, the authors feel their book should be viewed as a balanced account of Palin's rise to power and should be read as a companion to Palin's autobiography due out in two weeks.

Watch this full interview, as well as a discussion about how moderate Democrats are reacting to Tuesday night's governor's elections, above.

  • Michelle Levi

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.