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Dueling authors of Sarah Palin books do battle

Author Frank Bailey, who reportedly portrays Sarah Palin as thin-skinned, takes aim at author Joe McGinniss, who has said Palin has the power to 'incite hatred.' Bailey says McGinniss is trying to sabotage his book.

February 22, 2011|By James Oliphant | Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- As Sarah Palin ponders whether to enter the 2012 GOP presidential wars, a skirmish over two competing chronicles of her time in Alaska has broken out.

A former aide to Palin, Frank Bailey, is working on a manuscript in which, according to press reports, Palin is portrayed as thin-skinned and obsessed with her political critics. On Tuesday, Bailey accused author Joe McGinniss, who has been working on his own Palin book, of leaking Bailey's manuscript to the media.

Posting on the anti-Palin blog Mudflats on Tuesday, Bailey, along with his co-authors, Ken Morris and Jeanne Devon, issued what they termed was a "cease-and-desist order" against McGinniss, which read, in part, that the three "believe [McGinniss'] actions were done with the single intent of destroying the marketability of the work. It is no secret that you are writing your own 'tell-all' book about Sarah Palin."

The post called McGinniss "a jealous author sabotaging a competitor via unlawful and unscrupulous means" and said his actions had "impaired" their ability to market the book.

McGinniss is the bestselling author of "Fatal Vision" who famously moved next door to the Palin family in Wasilla, Alaska. His book, "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," is due out Sept. 20, according to Amazon. Last year, he complained that Palin had marshaled an army of online critics of his effort, saying Palin had the power "to incite hatred."

The contents of the Bailey manuscript were first reported by the Anchorage Daily News, which said that McGinniss had provided the paper with a copy. The Daily News said that in the manuscript, which was reportedly compiled from e-mail messages sent by Palin, the former Alaska governor complained that she hated her job shortly before she resigned in 2009.

McGinniss' agent, Dave Larabell, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that McGinniss wasn't the only person in the publishing world to see the manuscript.

Palin has been openly grappling with the idea of running for president. Last week, at a speech in suburban New York, she acknowledged that her sinking national poll numbers meant she would have to spend more time engaging the public in person- - rather than relying on her appearances on cable and her use of social media -- if she were to launch a campaign.

"In a lot of those polls, yeah, I get my butt kicked," Palin said. "I look at those poll numbers and I say, 'If I'm going to do this, I obviously gotta get out there and let people know who I am, what I stand for and what my record is.' "

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