Finding the truth in the fast-developed Sarah Palin scandals involving claims that she A) had sex with Miami Heat star Glen Rice in the 1980s, B) snorted cocaine from a 55-gallon drum years ago while snowboarding with her husband, Todd, and friends, C) had an affair with her husband's business partner for six months, and D) smoked pot in college with a professor, is easier than it seems.
At this stage, we don't know if the claims, which the National Enquirer reports will come out in less than a week when Joe McGinniss' new, highly anticipated book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin comes out, are each specifically true, of course. But we do know at this point that Palin's political career -- considered by some to be nearing a run for the Republican presidential nomination -- has probably peaked, and is heading downward.
No matter how hard Palin tries, she may never be able to refudiate the claims.
If she were, say, Paris Hilton, such rumors could be a boon to her career. But as a conservative political analyst and star and potential presidential hopeful, an affair, cocaine snorting from a 55-gallon drum, and other allegations of the sort are not the types of news that typically build one's audience.
To be fair, it was the National Enquirer that made the report. But to also be fair, those who have seen the few advance copies of the book that were sent out, including The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau, and musician Roseanne Cash, act like there's something to this new book.
It will be published on Sept. 20 by Crown, a division of Random House. Crown is a respected imprint. The writer, McGinniss, is also respected in journalistic circles. He's written such works as The Selling of the President, and Fatal Vision.
Even Crown suggests in its book description that readers will get to know Palin in a new way through the 336-page work. Based on McGinniss' on-the-ground reporting that began in late 2008 ... this book is a startling and penetrating examination of the illusion and reality of Palin -- and a probing look at the Alaska and the America that have produced her, and the country she feels she is destined to lead.
The Rogue delves deeply into Alaska's political and business affairs and Palin's political, personal, and family life to chronicle how and to what extent Palin and her beliefs, attitudes, and outlook will influence and even change life in America and the perception of America abroad.
The description doesn't suggest, of course, that such gritty details as cocaine and sex with Rice, the NBA star, are in the book. We'll have to wait until it comes out for confirmation.
In much the same way Christopher Bryon's book Martha Inc. started a chain of events that tarnished the public persona of Stewart, the household name brand who ended up in prison for insider trading before making a comeback because Byron's portrayal was of a steely, hard-to-please woman, McGinness' book on Palin will no doubt cast the former Alaska governor in a light that may take years to sidestep.
That's the one truth we can take from this all so far. It's that Palin may never escape the reflection already cast, politically and professionally speaking at least.