(Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin's office, August 27, 2008.)
Secretary: "Governor Palin, your 2 o'clock is here."
(A mysterious figure walks into the office. Palin rises from her desk and shakes the stranger's hand.)
Palin: "Hi, I'm Sarah . . ."
Stranger: "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice, governor. I know you're busy . . .
Palin: "I'm really not that busy. My job has no actual responsibilities . . ."
Stranger: "Very well. I'd like to get right to my business then, if I could. I have a bargain for you."
Stranger: "I'm in a position to offer you a spot on the Republican presidential ticket with John McCain. If you accept my bargain, you also will receive fame and riches beyond anything you can possibly dream of . . . "
Palin: "I accept."
Stranger: "Don't you want to know what you have to give me in return?"
Palin: "It's not necessary."
Stranger: "Humor me."
Palin: "Okay. What do I have to give you in return?"
Stranger: "Your soul."
Palin: "Is that all?"
Stranger: "I don't think you understand?"
Palin (frustrated): "My soul. Is that all?"
Stranger: "As my old friend Richard M. Nixon says, 'let me make myself perfectly clear.' If you accept this bargain, governor, I will own your soul. You will lose everything that really matters - your integrity, your credibility, your morality, your intelligence, or what's left of it anyway . . . "
Palin: "But I'll be vice president . . ."
Stranger: "No, you'll run for vice president."
Palin (angrily): "Why can't I be vice president?"
Stranger: "I only did that with Dick Cheney because he's practically family."
Palin: "But you said I'll be rich and famous!"
Stranger: "Yes, you'll be rich and famous. But you will become an international laughingstock, governor, a punch line in search of a joke. As for your fame, governor, your supporters will be the kind of people that, frankly, give me the heebie-jeebies. Am I clear?"
Palin: "But I'll make lots of money, right, and get to travel in limousines and fly first class, and stay in five-star hotels?"
Stranger (losing his patience): "Well, yes, but you'll be eternally damned! Do you know what that means?"
Palin: "Will I be friends with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck?"
Stranger: "Apparently, you understand eternal damnation."
Palin: "I live in Alaska."
Stranger: "Good point. Any other questions?"
Palin: "Can I can have my own reality show?"
Stranger: "Of course."
Palin: "And be a commentator on Fox News?"
Stranger: "I'm sure that can be arranged."
Palin: "Are you Satan?"
Stranger: "No, governor, I'm Roger Ailes. If there isn't anything else, would you sign this contract?"
(Palin signs the contract. Two days later, on August 29, 2008, GOP presidential candidate John McCain announces he has selected Sarah Palin as his running mate.)
Chris Lamb is a communication professor at the College of Charleston. He is author of the book, The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin (FrontLine Press).