Track Palin to Mom: 'Don't Let the Jerks Get You Down!'

In "Going Rogue," Sarah Palin says son advised her not to quit as Alaska gov.

November 13, 2009, 1:34 PM

Nov. 14, 2009 -- Before Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, her soldier son Track tried to talk her out of it, she reveals in her new memoir "Going Rogue."

"Are you going to let those idiots run you off?" Track Palin asked, according to the book. "You can't tap out!"

But the book suggests Sarah Palin resisted the advice of her son, who was serving in Iraq, in an attempt to shield her family from the media.

"He said, 'I know you, Mom. You want to protect us. You want to say, "Screw this, I won't put my family through this."' Track did know me," Palin writes.

Get ready to see a lot more of Sarah Palin in the coming days. "Going Rogue," which has been topping Amazon's lists for weeks now, is officially in bookstores Tuesday. But ABC News was able to purchase a copy of the 413-page memoir Friday -- and Palin herself sat down with ABC News' Barbara Walters for a series of interviews.

Tune In: Barbara Walters sits down with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a five-part series that will begin airing on "Good Morning America" Monday, Nov. 17.

Even before its publication, the book has prompted controversy over its behind-the-scenes campaign trail details from her stint as the 2008 GOP vice presidential pick.

In addition, Palin describes how she arrived at her subsequent decision, also controversial, to give up the Alaska governorship despite her son's advice, which was: "Don't let the jerks get you down!"

"His view was that you don't quit. You don't violate your contract. There is pain, you push through it, you stick it out," she writes. "Then he brought it home: 'No dishonorable discharge. You only leave if it's honorable -- that means you move up to something more worthy.'

"Then it was my turn," she adds. "I asked him if he thought protecting Trig and his sisters was 'more worthy.' I asked if fighting through the bull so that I could reveal truth and fight for what is right for our state and our country was 'more worthy.' I asked if breaking free of the bureaucratic shackles that were now paralyzing our state was 'worthy.'

"I finally said out loud what I knew I had to do," she writes. "'I'm not a quitter, Track,' I finished. 'I'm going to fight. And that's the point.'

The book is not all politics. Palin writes about everything from moose eyeballs to her love of books, the importance of family, and how just before McCain chose her as his running mate, she was growing "impatient" with politics.

"Going Rogue" is titled after a term Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign aides used to use to describe Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, when she didn't follow directions. The term was further popularized by Tina Fey, who portrayed Palin on "Saturday Night Live."

Palin on McCain Aides, Behind the Scenes: 'Not a Lot of Camaraderie'

The former Alaska governor calls McCain's aides all business, with "not a lot of camaraderie" and a "jaded aura" about some of them. She goes on to say that they kept her "all bottled up" from the news media.

Former McCain aides are already responding to that accusation.

McCain's former speechwriter Mark Salter told ABC News the campaign made a calculated decision on how to handle media.

"After we had been criticized in the press for a lack of disciplined messaging earlier in the campaign when we provided frequent and unscheduled access to the candidate, we felt it necessary to adopt the same deliberativeness and discipline employed by our opponents and rely less on impromptu press conferences with our traveling press, and more on interviews arranged in advance," he said.

The news that there was tension between the vice presidential candidate and McCain's aides is not new, but it is the first time Palin has admitted it openly.

In the book, which documents her experience as McCain's running mate, Palin recalls how she felt before the vice presidential debate in Philadelphia.

"Suddenly I felt like I was on thin ice," Palin says of the moment she realized the debate preparation was not going so well.

She tells the story of top aide Steve Schmidt suggesting the campaign fly in a nutritionist.

"He launched into a discussion of nutrition philosophy," Palin writes, "holding forth on the importance of carbohydrates to cognitive connections."

A source in the position to know says it was an uncomfortable discussion, but it was never about brain function. Aides were concerned that Palin had been dieting and losing too much weight, the source said.

The former beauty queen also describes being saddled by the campaign with a $50,000 bill for the cost of vetting her as a vice presidential candidate.

"I had no idea, nor was I ever told, that we would have to pay personally to go through the VP selection process. (If I had, I would have kept my answers shorter!)"

Palin appealed to the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign to see if they could help with the expenses. But was told if they had won they would have covered the expenses, but since they lost, the responsibility was hers'.

"If anyone questions whether I was properly vetted, at least now I can tell them, 'Yes, and I have the bill to prove it!'" said Palin.

Campaign aides deny that they ever billed Palin for the vetting process.

'I Nearly Gagged on My Toothbrush,' Palin Writes Upon Hearing the News of Bristol's Pregnancy in a Hotel Bathroom

Much of the book, written quickly by Palin at a kitchen table in a tiny apartment in San Diego, is dedicated to family.

Palin writes about standing in the bathroom of a hotel room and seeing the news announcing that her teenage daughter Bristol was pregnant.

"I nearly gagged on my toothbrush," Palin writes. "Oh God, I thought, here we go."

She was upset that the campaign accidently released a statement she had tried to revise, saying she and husband Todd were proud of Bristol's decision to keep the baby.

"In no way did I want to send the message that teenage pregnancy was something to endorse, much less glamorize," she pens.

In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters, scheduled to air next week on "20/20," Palin was asked about the moment she found out her daughter was pregnant.

"Did you know she was sexually active?" Walters asked.

"No, and that is why it was shocking, truthfully we were devastated," Palin said.

Palin never refers by name to her grandson's father, Levi Johnston, who has criticized the Palin family for being too dominating. But in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to air next week, Palin suggested he would be welcomed at the Thanksgiving table.

"It's lovely to think that he would ever even consider such a thing," Palin told Winfrey. "Because, of course, you want -- he is a part of the family and you want to bring him in the fold and kind of under your wing. And he needs that, too, Oprah. I think he needs to know that he is loved and he has the most beautiful child, and this can all work out for good. It really can. We don't have to keep going down this road of controversy and drama all the time. We're not really into the drama. We don't really like that. We're more productive."

Despite rumors of marital problems, Palin writes that her marriage to Todd is strong.

On watching a shirtless Todd hold baby Trigg, she writes, "Dang, I thought, divorce Todd? Have you seen Todd?"

Palin's Political Future Still on the Fence

"Going Rogue" is not filled with policy prescriptions -- Palin does not spend much time on health care or Iraq and Afghanistan -- but she does suggest new tax cuts, more oil drilling and says President Obama should not "project weakness to terrorists and tyrants."

While her harshest criticisms are reserved for Democrats, Palin also says Republicans have lost their principles.

"People look at the Republican Party today -- the supposedly conservative party -- and say 'what happened to the Reagan legacy?' And we deserve that criticism," she writes.

Palin will criss-cross the country's interior beginning next week to promote her book, but she'll avoid major cities and political battlegrounds.

So is Palin, who captured the nation's attention when she emerged on the national stage as McCain's vice presidential pick, really looking at a presidential run in 2012?

The answer to that remains unclear. Palin writes that if seeking higher office alone had been her ambition, she would have finished her term as Alaska's governor. But she also says her dad got it right when he said, "Sarah's not retreating, she's reloading."

And the very last line of the last chapter sure reads like a campaign poster: "Stand now. Stand together. Stand for what is right."

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