Sarah Palin on Oprah Winfrey Show: Five best outtakes

In outtakes from Sarah Palin's appearance on Oprah Winfrey's show, Palin talks about about keeping a journal, not banning Harry Potter, and dressing up as Tina Fey.

George Burns/Harpo, Inc./Reuters
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and daughters Willow (right) and Piper (left) pose with talk show host Oprah Winfrey during a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago, November 11.

Not all of Sarah Palin’s interview with Oprah Winfrey made it onto Monday’s show.

Sure, Oprah’s broadcast had lots of good bits, from Palin’s statement that a run for the White House in 2012 is “not on my radar screen right now,” to the conciliatory Thanksgiving dinner invitation she says she proffered Levi Johnston, the father of daughter Bristol’s baby.

But the outtakes have great stuff, too. Some are posted on Oprah’s website.

Among the most interesting items:

Sarah’s journal. In discussing how and why the ex-governor of Alaska came to write her memoir, “Going Rogue,” Ms. Palin said “I have a journalism degree and have journalled all of my life.”

Oprah jumped at this, asking Palin when she first started writing down her thoughts. For a second, the question hangs there, giving the impression that perhaps Oprah has caught Palin out in some kind of misstatement.

But Palin jumps back in, saying she’s kept a dairy since she was in elementary school, and that recently she and her sister went over the diary entries. Lots of them dealt with chopping wood.

“Almost every day I have some kind of entry about having to stack firewood in order to heat the home,” Palin told Oprah.

Sarah Palin and the sorcerer’s stone. Palin said that many lies and much innuendo was spread about her in the media during the 2008 presidential campaign. Many of the false statements could have been disproved easily, Palin said.

Take the report that Palin banned books from the public library when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Palin told Oprah the story was completely untrue, and was spread by a Wasilla blogger who disliked her.

“Look at that list of books I supposedly banned – ‘Harry Potter,’ it wasn’t even written when I was the mayor,” said Palin.

For the record, Ms. Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first volume of J.K. Rowling’s popular series, was published in the US in 1998.

Democracy in the Palin family. Palin told Oprah that at various points in her political life she has gathered all her family together, and the kids and her husband Todd have voted on her course of action.

“I’ve abided by the results of some of the polls that the kids have partaken in,” she said.

Joining Sen. John McCain’s presidential ticket was not one of those moments, though. When Palin thought Senator McCain was on the verge of asking her to be his running mate, she called her husband, who urged her to seize the opportunity.

“He said, yep, he would be there for me, and with me, and he has been,” said Palin.

Joe Lieberman sets Palin free. Palin said she found prepping for the vice-presidential debate onerous, in the sense that she thought the McCain campaign was force-feeding her answers to various questions. At one point, McCain’s good friend Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) of Connecticut came into the darkened hotel room where aides was peppering her with data.

Senator Lieberman said that the effort was “overly scripted,” and threw everybody out of the room, Palin told Oprah.

According to Palin, Liebrman said, “I think I know you well enough already, Gov. Palin, to know that you need to be free, you need some liberty, you need to speak from the heart."

Lieberman told her to trust herself and have fun.

“Those things were so simplistic but so absolutely real and helpful at the time,” said Palin. “I was so thankful for his words.”

Sarah Palin impersonates Tina Fey. Palin told Oprah that at first she was only dimly aware of the popularity of Ms. Fey’s impersonations of her on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). At one point, she saw a clip of the show, with the volume down.

“I thought it was me,” said Palin.

Later, when she went on SNL to try and neutralize the act a bit, she met Fey backstage. At the time, Fey was holding her three-year-old daughter Alice.

Alice looked at her mother, then at Palin, then back again.

“I said, ‘We’re confusing your daughter’,” said Palin. “And we were.”

Then Palin told Oprah that for years, people in Alaska had been telling her she looked like that gal on Saturday Night Live. So one Halloween, she dressed up as Tina Fey.

“Yeah, I did. I went one year as Tina Fey,” Palin said.


See also:

Sarah Palin: 'Going Rogue," making dough.


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