Sarah Palin and Ronald Reagan

"America by Heart" by the numbers

Sarah Palin's new book name-checks Ronald Reagan 33 times, putting him second only to God (100 mentions)


Justin Elliott
November 24, 2010 12:36AM (UTC)

I've just finished Sarah Palin's new book, "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag." It offers very, very little about her substantive views (with a few exceptions). The book mostly amounts to a collection of bumper sticker slogans ("freedom isn't free") and inspirational quotes from members of the conservative pantheon ("morning in America").

So perhaps as good a way as any to assess Palin's book is by the numbers. By my count, the only character (who is not a member of Palin's family) that is mentioned more times than Ronald Reagan is God.

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Reagan gets 33 mentions, which Palin accomplishes by deploying his name at every possible opportunity (eg: "Ronald Reagan once quoted Abraham Lincoln as saying ... "). Here's a look at some of the other common terms in the book, and let me know if I'm missing any:

God -- 100 times

"freedom" -- 100 times 

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Ronald Reagan -- 33 times

Barack Obama -- 32 times

"abortion" -- 28 times

"slavery" -- 25 times 

"feminism" -- 18 times

Iraq -- 11 times

"flag" -- 11 times

"mainstream media" -- 10 times

John McCain -- 9 times

Martin Luther King Jr. -- 9 times

George W. Bush -- 8 times

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"Tea Party" -- 8 times

Calvin Coolidge -- 6 times (she calls him "one of our most overlooked presidents")

John Kerry -- 6 times

"city on a hill" -- 6 times

Jesus -- 5 times

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" -- 5 times

Hillary Clinton -- 4 times

Afghanistan -- 4 times

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"freedom isn't free" -- 3 times

Booker T. Washington -- 2 times

"lame stream media" -- 1 time

Levi Johnston -- 1 time

Katie Couric -- 0 times


Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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