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Our turn for Palin book excerpt

From various NBC News producers/writers

NBC News has obtained an advanced copy of Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life" Below are some of the fascinating excerpts, thanks to the tireless efforts of the fine folks working the late shift. The excerpts are presented in order as they appear in the book.

-- On Carter and Reagan: "I had followed the Iran hostage crisis and remember wondering why President Jimmy Carter didn't act more decisively.  From my high schooler's perspective, I thought the question was, Why did he allow America to be humiliated and pushed around?  The new president being sworn in radiated confidence and optimism.  The enemies of freedom took notice.  In years to come people would ask, What did he have that Carter didn't?  To me the answer was obvious.  He had a steel spine.

-- On giving birth for the first time: "I was quite a cocky young mom-to-be.  I'd gone through the requisite childbirth class (we were going to use the Lamaze method), and, being an athlete used to pain, I figured, How tough could giving birth be?   Oh. My. Gosh.  I thought I was going to die.  In fact, I began to pray that I would die. . . . I gritted my teeth and willed myself not to scream."

-- On the political environment in Juneau (Alaska's capital): "Politically, Juneau always had a reputation for being a lot like Animal House:  drinking and bowling, drunken brawls, countless affairs, and garden-variety lunchtime trysts.  It's been known at times to be like a frat house filled with freshmen away from their parents for the very first time.  At other times, the capital city's underside was even darker:  clandestine political liaisons and secret meetings, unethical deeds and downright illegal acts.  . . . In short, it was a lot like Washington, D.C."

-- On learning their baby had Down's Syndrome: 'Todd said, "It's going to be okay."
I asked if he had the same question I had:  "Why us?" He looked genuinely surprised by my question and responded calmly, "Why not us?"

-- On learning of Bristol's pregnancy: "The month after Trig was born, Bristol came to Todd and me and told us the shocking news that she was pregnant. Truthfully, I was devastated for my daughter.  It wasn't the morality of the situation--what was done was done. It was that I saw her future change in an instant."

-- On how the Bristol news was handled by the campaign: "We were not giddy-happy that our unwed teenage daughter was pregnant, as the press release suggested.  Todd and I were proud of Bristol's selfless decision to have her baby and her determination to deal with difficult circumstances by taking responsibility for her actions.  But in no way did I want to send the message that teenage pregnancy was something to endorse, much less glamorize."

And now some campaign related excerpts:

-- On getting the call from McCain: "For some reason, when the call came at the State Fair, it didn't come as a huge shock. ... I certainly didn't think, Well, of course this would happen. But neither did I think, What an astonishing idea."

-- On her belief in creationism and how she debated McCain manager Steve Schmidt about it: "But your dad's a science teacher," Schmidt objected. "Yes."  "Then you know that science proves evolution," added Schmidt.  "Parts of evolution," I said.  "But I believe that God created us and also that He can create an evolutionary process that allows species to change and adapt."  Schmidt winced and raised his eyebrows.  In the dim light, his sunglasses shifted atop his hear. I had just dared to mention the C-word:  creationism.  But I felt I was on solid factual ground.

-- On Hillary Clinton: "Should Secretary Clinton and I ever sit down over a cup of coffee, I know that we will fundamentally disagree on may issues, but my hat is off to her hard work on the 2008 campaign trail. Compared to the guys she squared off against, a lot of her supporters think she proved what Margaret Thatcher proclaimed: "If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman."

-- On meeting Tina Fey at "SNL": "The campaign's "Fey Fears" turned out to be overblown. Instead, when I met her, she was friendly and gracious. ... Without managers and handles swarming around ... it was just a nice mom moment. "Believe it or not, I've got Republicans in my family," Tina said, smiling. "Believe it or not," I said, 'I've got Democrats in mine."

-- On the reports of her lavish clothes spending, courtesy of the RNC: "My family was made to look like a herd of hillbillies who had come to the big city and started living high on the hog, and that hurt me for them."