I'm about three-fourths of the way through Sarah Palin's new book, and it's clear that the woman is convinced numerous conspiracies were launched against her--by the national media, by the McCain campaign, by disgruntled Alaskan loudmouths, by Katie Couric and Nicolle Wallace. But one conspiracy theory in particular sticks out to me for its, well, bizarreness: the plot to undermine meat-eaters.
Palin extols the virtues of meat a lot, whether it's caribou, moose, or more common fare. We're talking dozens of mentions throughout the book. She says anti-hunting and animal rights groups are clueless and offers a pair of Alaskan sayings about the value of meat: "You know you're an Alaskan when at least twice a year your kitchen doubles as a meat-processing plant," and "[T]here's plenty of room for all Alaska's animals--right next to the mashed potatoes." What's more, she uses the word "vegan" in semi-derogatory terms at least twice. (Matthew Scully, her speechwriter during the 2008 campaign, is a "bunny-hugging vegan.")
Perhaps most notably, she recounts a conversation with Steve Schmidt, her nemesis in the McCain campaign, during the slogging, difficult prep for her debate with Joe Biden. The coaches were frustrated with the Alaskan governor, so Schmidt suggested bringing in a nutritionist, Palin says. "You gotta get off that Atkins Diet," she recalls him insisting. Offended, Palin told him she wasn't on said diet--she just grabbed Atkins bars to get through her busy days. But Schmidt held his ground:
"Don't you know what a high-protein diet does?" he asked, ignoring what I had just said. He then launched into a discussion of nutrition physiology, holding forth on the importance of carbohydrates to cognitive connections and blah-blah-blah. As he lectured, I took in his rotund physique and noted that he used nicotine to keep his own cognitive connections humming along.
In short, Palin thinks Schmidt was suggesting that she was dumb because she liked her protein. (For her part, Palin thinks the debate prep wasn't going well because people weren't being nice enough to each other and letting the governor speak from her heart.)
It seems Palin will use any angle possible, even food, to insist that people were out to change her and her Alaska way of life--ultimately threatening to bring her down.