The Story of the Ghost

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 23 2010 12:10 PM

The Story of the Ghost

Sarah Palin's Going Rogue was ghosted by the talented writer Lynn Vincent, a novelist and non-fiction writer and proud evangelical Christian. Vincent's influence was never hard to spot; it's easy to miss in America by Heart . For example, Vincent/Palin frequently invoked "providence" to describe how God was present at important moments in the governor's life. The word "providence" only appears in America by Heart three times.

Finishing up America by Heart, I definitely see that Vincent cut down on Palin's natural corniness and eased her towards more subtle expressions of what she was thinking and feeling. Here is how Palin describes her emotions when her son Trig was handed to her in Going Rogue .

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When the nurse placed him in my arms, I was overwhelmed with love and with wonder. I knew God had answered my prayer so completely. He just nestled softly into me as if to say, Aaaah … I’m here, Mom ." 

Here's how Palin describes this in America by Heart .

"[W]hen they laid Trig in my arms and he just kind of melted in my chest, he seemed to say to me, See, Mom, God knows what he’s doing. He gave me to you and you to me and this is going to be a wonderful journey ."

In Going Rogue , Palin's deeper thoughts about her disabled son are her deeper thoughts; in the new book, they are the radiant wisdom of the child himself. It's one thing I like about the new book, actually. This is obviously the Palin we now see every four or five minutes on TV.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.