DON E. SMITH
It has been said time and time again that in 2008 more Republicans and Conservatives voted Sarah Palin Vice-President than voted John McCain President. Is it a wonder at the animosity between the grassroots and McCain especially considering he recently referred to them as “hobbits”? He also would attack his own supporters when then-Senator Barack Obama’s middle name (Hussein) was referenced.
However, it is begrudgingly acknowledged by Conservatives and Tea Partiers that his one correct decision was picking a little known Alaskan Governor, Palin, as his running mate. While the 2008 Presidential election gave the country President Barack Hussein Obama, it also gave the country Sarah Palin.
FRANK AQUILA, a Conservative worker in California, had researched Palin long before she was picked to be McCain’s choice for the Number Two slot. Aquila had been the chairman of the McCain campaign in San Joaquin County, California and the more he studied up on Palin, the more he liked and thought she could balance out the ticket for McCain.
In his book Sarah Palin Out of Nowhere, Aquila details his involvement for lobbying for Palin as the nominee.
Also, the book is part-memoir and details how he was a teen with learning disabilities who worked hard to get a degree in law enforcement and today works with trouble youths in law enforcement capacity. It also traces a fascinating journey of the trials and tribulations and victories of Conservatives over the last decade.
Don’t Spread My Wealth was able to catch up to Aquila previously, but we wanted to get more into his head and ask him about his book and his hopes for Palin and the country in the years to come.
QUESTION: First, thank you so much for speaking with us. First, what did you know about Sarah Palin before she was chosen?
FRANK AQUILA: I had heard about her as being a former beauty queen up in Alaska. She had everything I thought would make the perfect running mate, but I was hesitant when I found out she was pregnant.
QUESTION: Was there anyone else you thought would have made good running mate for John McCain?
FRANK AQUILA: I thought Condi Rice would have been a great choice, but she was too connected to President George W. Bush and that would have been a detriment, so I thought we would have go with someone outside the box.
However, I hemmed and hawed and when she had her son Trig, I ultimately decided she was the best choice.
I say she has the solutions to save America. She has the three “E’s” which are energy, ethics and excellence. She has the right stand on the energy policies in America, she stands for ethics and she has the energy to tie them all together.
QUESTION: How did you get in touch with the powers that be?
FRANK AQUILA: The first person I contacted was a regional director and he sent it to Bob Pacheco, who was the California state chairman for the McCain campaign. He has been a friend of McCain’s and served with him.
QUESTION: Do you know who else was considered for the Vice President slot?
FRANK AQUILA: Some of the other people considered besides Gov. Palin were Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Charlie Crist, Joe Lieberman and Michael Bloomberg.
QUESTION: Looking back on it, do you think the McCain campaign understood what was unleashed when they brought her to national prominence?
FRANK AQUILA: The McCain campaign did not handle her in a proper manner. They did not allow her to be herself. Frankly, John McCain’s big problem was he wanted to be liked.
But I think what he saw in Palin was someone who was similar to himself. Both were people who buck the trends and took on the Republican party, granted both did it for different reasons.
QUESTION: It’s been almost three years since Palin hit the national scene, what inspired you to write the book?
FRANK AQUILA: I never thought about writing a book ever, but when Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords was shot on Jan. 8, I was so ticked off about the first reports that Sarah Palin was to blame for the shooting.
When you start reading about the shooter, Jerod Loughner you see he was part of a school and was indoctrinated with socialist propaganda in a school that was supported by Bill Ayers.
Well, a friend said, “Frank, why don’t you write a book?” So I did.
QUESTION: Had you had any interest in writing a book before this?
FRANK AQUILA: This time around I had something to say, and it is a miracle that I was able to write it. I grew up needing special education and I grew up in a home where my father had a hard time reading and writing since his grandparents had immigrated from Italy.
But by God’s grace I was able to write the book. I included some of the emails I had sent to the state Republican leadership regarding Gov. Palin and their responses. I ended up making an outline in six chapters and turn this into a book.
QUESTION: When do you think she will announce if she will run or not?
FRANK AQUILA: If I was advising her, I would tell her not to announce during the summer especially with the news of the debt crisis. I wouldn’t worry about how well she can do because she is able to raise a ton of money really quick.
I think she can continue to wait for another six months and build the excitement and though she hasn’t announced it yet, does she have a chance? Yeah. She is one of the top three people polling and she has not even announced to if she was running.
QUESTION: In your book, you say Allen West would make a great running mate for Palin. Why is that?
FRANK AQUILA: Allen West is a straight shooter and a military guy and he is a fighter. The main thing I would respect about him is we have a battle here in America, especially on economic issues and he would confront the issues.
And thanks to his military experience, he would be an expert on international issues.
QUESTION: Who else interests you in 2012?
FRANK AQUILA: I would say Texas Gov. Rick Perry is somebody interesting. He has a lot going for him and he is somebody we need.
QUESTION: If she runs, it will be a tough race.
FRANK AQUILA: Yeah and it is because there is a fear of her and she is a target. However, if Romney had won the ticket, the media would go after his Mormonism. At first, the media loved John McCain, but when he was on the nominee, they went after him.
Any conservative that takes a stand is automatically a target for the liberal establishment. They are the ones destroying this country and we can see the Saul Alinsky-like tactics they use.
QUESTION: Yet, has any other candidate been vetted like her?
FRANK AQUILA: No, not at all. That is why I believe if she stands up to the three years of personal attacks that she has endured, she can handle the pressure of the campaign and this next election is probably one of the most important in the last decade.
But I remain positive and I believe the country does too.
QUESTION: Thank you for your time, Frank, it has been fun.
FRANK AQUILA: Thank you! I have enjoyed it too.