With renewed speculation about Sarah Palin’s plans for an Alaska senate run, a little-known 2011 documentary about the former Alaska governor and VP candidate has resurfaced, and is slowly being recognized as a crucial look into Palin’s controversial rise to prominence.
Nick Broomfield is a highly acclaimed British documentary filmmaker who has covered a wide variety of topics such as his brilliant take on the serial killer Aileen Wuornos, the Iraq War, and even the murder of Tupac Shakur.
Sarah Palin: You Betcha! is an intriguing look into Palin’s dark and tumultuous political history in Alaska, along with the vast swath of political enemies that she’s made in her hometown of Wasilla. It’s this pattern of retribution against people who were formerly in her inner circle — but then deemed to be disloyal — that is now manifesting itself in her many political troubles on the bigger stage of Washington D.C.
Broomfield reveals the almost conspiratorial atmosphere created by her followers who guard Palin’s reputation in Wasilla, stemming from the epic feuds that she’s initiated — most notably the repeated attempts to get her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.
A revealing point in the film is when Broomfield interviews Steve Schmidt, a top Republican strategist who was responsible for Palin being John McCain’s running mate in 2008, who now deeply regrets his decision:
This is a person who thought that the Queen of England was, you know, a head of government. And the head of — who was making the on-the-line decisions with regard to like, British participation in Iraq, which she had difficulty picking out on a map. […] And then you have a person who I think is extraordinarily divisive. I believe she is deeply dishonest. And there were other behaviors that were exhibited during the campaign that, you know, a lot of us who were in proximity to her were deeply concerned about. And the fact is that you have this long history that goes back to her very first forays into public life, where there are people who are around her who are committed to her success, to her well-being, who she turns on and scapegoats and attacks and fights with, and this is a person that’s literally in the middle of 40, 50, 60 different feuds. There were fights with everybody. And the notion that, that is the character of someone that aspires to the America presidency, I find spine-chilling.
Watch the full film in the video below.