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Video: Will Palin’s book reignite campaign clashes?

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    >> thank you very much. the victim of the violent chimp attack nine months ago is speaking out this weekend with a new interview. jeff rossen is here this morning. this is not an easy story to watch. this is a remarkable woman.

    >> very, very brave. it was a brutal attack. you'll see how severe these injuries were. the chimp mauled her out of the blue last winter and she's been in the hospital ever since. at first doctors didn't even think she would live. this morning in an exclusive any interview you'll see that charla nash is defying all odds and we should warn you, her facial injuries are so severe, the images are graphic. this violent mother now wears a veil to avoid scaring people.

    >> the doctors have said the one thing you haven't wanted to talk about is the extent of your injuries and certainly don't want to be reminded of what happened on february 16th . it's not something you want to know.

    >> right. i don't want it to bring back like nightmares and stuff. i just want to leave it with getting healthy and strong and go forward.

    >> reporter: the attack was as violent as it gets.

    >> what's the problem?

    >> he's killing my friend.

    >> who's killing your friend?

    >> my chimpanzee. hurry up, please.

    >> reporter: travis the chimp took off charla's lips, nose, mouth, ears and hands. since the attack, she's interviewed her brothers and her 17-year-old daughter.

    >> she's kind of my best friend .

    >> reporter: she sees her mom often but charla cannot see her. doctors had to remove her eyes all because travis the chimp snapped. you save his drawings like would you a child's drawings.

    >> that's right. i put them on the refrigerator for him.

    >> reporter: that's the chimp's owner, sandra herold.

    >> he couldn't have been more my son than if i gave birth to him.

    >> reporter: after what you've been through with this, your friend is in the hospital fighting for her life, you still think chimps should be pets?

    >> would i have done it again, yes.

    >> reporter: charlie's family is suing herold and the city saying officials missed the warning signs. animal experts say chimps shouldn't be pets. this is what can happen.

    >> they're the closest thing to us. they are dna. we can give them blood transfusion . thy can give us one. how many people go crazy and kill other people. this is one incident that i don't know what happened.

    >> did you ever talk to sandra about that saying i'm scared of this chimp?

    >> i always told her i was afraid. he was big. he was like a gorilla.

    >> reporter: charla says she's not angry. this weekend meredith spoke with charla's medical team that put her back together and said charla is one of a kind and her will to live actually ended up saving her life just that bravery.

    >> jeff rossen , thank you very much. we'll let folks know meredith's exclusive interview with charla nash airs tomorrow here on today.

    >>> up next this morning, a

TODAY contributor
updated 11/16/2009 9:50:14 AM ET 2009-11-16T14:50:14

A lot of folks would pay good money to be a fly on the wall at this coffee klatch. In her upcoming memoir “Going Rogue,” former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says she would welcome a sit-down with ex-Democratic presidential challenger Hillary Clinton.

NBC’s Mike Viqueira offered eye-opening, exclusive excerpts from Palin’s new book on TODAY Sunday, two days before the book’s official release. “Going Rogue” is already a hit out of the gate, with a massive first printing of 1.5 million copies and advance orders putting it at, or near, the top of best-seller lists.

A coffee summit?
While Palin offers readers a front-row seat to the ups and downs of Campaign 2008, and goes into detail over her continual bumping of heads with John McCain’s staff, the former Alaskan governor offers an invite of sorts to Clinton in her book. Clinton lost a hard-fought battle for the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, who later named her his Secretary of State.

“Should Secretary Clinton and I ever sit down over a cup of coffee, I know that we will fundamentally disagree on many issues, but my hat is off to her hard work on the 2008 campaign trail,” Palin writes.

Palin then offers a nod to their political sisterhood, writing, “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.’ ”

Clinton herself appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, and when told of Palin’s words, she indicated Palin should start brewing the joe.

“Absolutely would look forward to having coffee,” Clinton told moderator David Gregory. “I’ve never met her. I think it would be very interesting to sit down and talk with her. I’m ready to have a cup of coffee, and maybe I can make a case on some of those issues we disagree on.”

While Palin looks forward to a meeting with Clinton, she looks back in describing the rough-and-tumble 2008 campaign with a slew of anecdotes that have raised the ire of McCain campaign staff. McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt has already derided Palin’s book, saying “it’s all fiction.”

Claims she was micromanaged
Palin contends that Schmidt and other McCain staffers tried to micromanage her during the 2008 campaign, silencing her by sending her off the campaign trail for crucial days at a time. When poll numbers lagged, Palin says Schmidt’s solution was to hire a nutritionist for her.

“You’ve told me how to dress, what to say, who to talk to, a lot of people not to talk to; who my heroes are supposed to be, and we’re still losing,” Palin writes. “Now you’re going to tell me what to eat?”

Video: Clinton would ‘look forward’ to coffee with Palin Palin also offers insights into trying to give her all to a campaign when her family life was being turned upside down. She reveals that just a month after the April 2008 birth of her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, her daughter Bristol, then 17, informed her she was pregnant by boyfriend Levi Johnston.

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Palin says she was just beginning to hit the campaign trail when, on Sept. 1, she received shocking news on her hotel TV. “I was standing in the bathroom, brushing my teeth and enjoying the novelty of watching the news at the same time, when a crawl scrolled across the bottom of the screen — ‘Breaking: Vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter Bristol is pregnant.’

“I nearly gagged on my toothbrush. ‘Oh, God,’ I thought. ‘Here we go.’ ”

She also writes that she was so thoroughly vetted — the McCain camp even reviewed transcripts of sermons that pastors had given at her local church — she was pleased that “they knew exactly what they’re getting.”

Slideshow: Sarah Palin: Republican star for 2012? Still, she contends she was forced to zip her lip when it came to potentially explosive views that may have not jibed with the official campaign line. In a campaign session with Schmidt, Palin told him about her creationist views.

She writes: “But your dad’s a science teacher,” Schmidt objected. “Yes.” “Then you know science proves evolution,” added Schmidt. I said, “But I believe that God created us and also that He can create an evolutionary process that allows species to change and adopt.” Schmidt winced and raised his eyebrows. In the dim light, his sunglasses shifted atop his ear. I had just dared to the mention the C-word: creationism. But I felt I was on solid factual ground.”

Palin eyeing 2012?
Palin hits the book-hawking circuit in earnest Wednesday, taking a weeklong promotional bus tour through nine states. It may be no coincidence those nine states are considered presidential battlegrounds in 2012, but GOP consultant Stuart Roy told NBC News he doesn’t believe Palin’s book is a prelude to a presidential run of her own.

“Given the moves she has done, I don’t believe that she’s eyeing 2012 so much as she’s eyeing being a leader of the conservative movement,” Roy said.

Speaking with Lester Holt on TODAY, Gregory added that Palin’s book provides even more evidence McCain truly went with a wild card in choosing Palin as his running mate.

“A lot of [the book] underscores how risky this decision was by John McCain to put her on the ticket,” Gregory said. “They were going for a big splash, but they also got a lot of headaches with Sarah Palin, and in the end, she proved to be a liability.”

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