Levi Johnston: "Me and Mrs. Palin"

Three days after Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the McCain campaign released a statement saying that her 17-year-old unwed daughter, Bristol, was pregnant. The baby’s father, an 18-year-old former hometown hockey star, was thus thrust into the national spotlight. In the October issue of Vanity Fair, Levi Johnston explains what happened behind the curtains of the campaign—and inside the Palin home.

For “Me and Mrs. Palin,” Johnston tells Vanity Fair his story about life with the Palin family—with whom he lived for two months after the election—over the course of his two-and-a-half-year relationship with Bristol. He turns a number of commonly held beliefs about the former governor—the purportedly loving mother, devoted wife, and prolific hunter—upside down.

The Palin house was much different from what many people expect of a normal family, even before she was nominated for vice president. There wasn’t much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn’t cook, Todd doesn’t cook—the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol would help her youngest sister with her homework, and I’d barbecue chicken or steak on the grill.

Even before Palin became John McCain’s running mate, she seemed worried about what a grandchild would do to her political career. According to Johnston, she had a plan for how to handle her daughter’s unexpected pregnancy.

Sarah told me she had a great idea: we would keep it a secret—nobody would know that Bristol was pregnant. She told me that once Bristol had the baby she and Todd would adopt him. That way, she said, Bristol and I didn’t have to worry about anything. Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was nagging—she wouldn’t give up. She would say, “So, are you gonna let me adopt him?” We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good, and she didn’t want people to know that her 17-year-old daughter was going to have a kid.

After the campaign, Johnston watched Palin turn into a different person. The result back home in Alaska was a woman ready to turn in elected office for money.

Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make “triple the money.” It was, to her, “not as hard.” She would blatantly say, “I want to just take this money and quit being governor.” She started to say it frequently, but she didn’t know how to do it. When she came home from work, it seemed like she was more and more stressed out. (Vanity Fair, 9.2.2009) http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2009/09/levi-johnston.html

After Tripp was born, Sarah would pay more attention to our son than she would to her own baby, Trig. Sarah has a weird sense of humor. When she came home from work, Bristol and I would be holding Trig and Tripp. Sarah would call Trig—who was born with Down syndrome—'my little Down’s baby.' But I couldn’t believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, 'No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one,' and pick up Tripp. That was just her—even her kids were used to it. [Do not forget to read the editor's note at the end of this article.]

 

Me and Mrs. Palin

Levi Johnston October 2009

When his (pregnant) girlfriend’s mom ran for vice president and he was thrust into the national spotlight, Levi Johnston found his life spinning out of control. In an exclusive look back, the author tells editors at Vanity Fair about everyday life chez Palin—where the kids are in charge, Dad is threatening divorce, and Sarah the moose-hunting, stew-cooking hockey mom of legend is nowhere to be found. He also offers some eye-opening scenes from the campaign trail and the birth of his and Bristol’s baby.

Slightly more than one year ago—just before the utter collapse of the economy—John McCain stood on a podium at Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio, to announce that his vice-presidential running mate would be Sarah Palin. Three days later, as many Americans were returning home from their Labor Day barbecues and picnics, McCain’s campaign announced that Palin’s unwed 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was five months pregnant. In a statement released by the campaign, Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, said that Bristol was planning to marry the child’s father, her boyfriend of two and a half years, an 18-year-old former hockey star from her hometown of Wasilla. “Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child,” the statement read, “which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”

That young man, Levi Johnston, made his one and only campaign appearance later that week at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. But Johnston would remain with the Palin family throughout the campaign and eventually live full-time in their house, from the end of November until late January, when he and Bristol ended their relationship.

As both a frequent visitor to and temporary inhabitant of the Palin home, Johnston witnessed never-before-reported behavior from the woman who almost became vice president of the United States of America. In this account, as told to editors at Vanity Fair, Johnston paints a vivid portrait of his time with the Palins. He debunks commonly held notions about the closeness of their family; Sarah’s relationship with her husband, Todd; the “special love” she showed her special-needs infant, Trig; and even her self-professed prowess as a hunter and commitment as a hockey mom.

This is Levi’s story.

I had been hunting sheep with my father and uncle for almost two weeks up in Delta Junction, about a six-hour drive from Wasilla. When the hunt was over we got on our four-wheelers and began driving through the woods, mud, and swamp, for five hours, back to the highway for the trip home. When we reached our truck, I looked at my cell phone—there’s no reception in the mountains—and saw that I had about 100 missed calls from my girlfriend, Bristol Palin. She was five months pregnant and I was wondering what the hell was going on. “You’ve got to come down here,” she said when I called her. “Hurry up. Mom wants you to pack your bags. The plane will be waiting to pick you up. Mom’s running for vice president.”

“I don’t know if I want to go on this trip,” I told her. I’m a country guy and I didn’t want to be involved with anything that would put me in front of thousands of people. But after about five minutes of arguing this with Bristol, she handed the phone to her mom.

“Levi, you’re coming down here,” Sarah Palin said, “even if I have to pick you up.”

Sarah’s got a way of getting her way. And at the time she was going to be my mother-in-law. She wouldn’t give up, and I headed back to Wasilla.

The whole ride home I didn’t know what to think. The Sarah I knew could carry her own and she was a hardworking lady. She was the governor. But was this really happening? I thought, Was this woman—who, at home, would literally say things that did not make sense—really running for vice president?

The Palin house was much different from what many people expect of a normal family, even before she was nominated for vice president. There wasn’t much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn’t cook, Todd doesn’t cook—the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol, now 18, would help her youngest sister, Piper, 8, with her homework, and I’d barbecue chicken or steak on the grill. I only saw Sarah help Piper—the youngest before Trig—with homework a few times, and I’ve only seen her read a book to her once. I actually never saw Sarah reading much at all—once in a blue moon, I’d see her reading a book, and I’ve never seen her read a newspaper. The Frontiersman and the Anchorage Daily News were always there in the morning, but the only one who looked through them was Todd.

The Palins didn’t have dinner together and they didn’t talk much as a family. Throughout the years I spent with them, when Sarah got home from her office—almost never later than five and sometimes as early as noon—she usually walked in the door, said hello, and then disappeared into her bedroom, where she would hang out. Sometimes she’d take an hour-long bath. Other times she sat on the living-room couch in her two-piece pajama set from Walmart—she had all the colors—with her hair down, watching house shows and wedding shows on TV. She always wanted things and she wanted other people to get them for her. If she wanted a movie, Bristol and I would go to the video store; if she wanted food, we’d get her something to eat, like a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell. She’d try to bribe everyone to clean the house, or give us guilt trips. She used to make Bristol feel bad by telling her that she did everything for her. This was unfair because, even before the campaign, Bristol was already the mom in the house, and she got tired of having to take care of her siblings. She and her mom fought a lot. “I hate her” definitely came out of Bristol’s mouth about Sarah, but that may have just been because she was mad at her mother. Those two definitely didn’t get along much, especially after the campaign, when the cameras wouldn’t leave Bristol alone and her family wasn’t there for her.

Sarah was always in a bad mood and she was stressed out a lot. Sometimes she would wonder why she took the job as governor. It was too hard, she said; there was so much going on. Todd was always out in the garage working on his snow machines and drinking beer or screwing off. (Eighty percent of the time he’s in the garage. Once winter is here, he’s out riding every other day.) He’s not supposed to have beer, because Sarah doesn’t like him drinking. (She only goes to church four or five times a year—mostly on holidays—but Sarah doesn’t drink or cuss much.) So Todd will hide his beer, go out there, and work on his sleds.

I think all Todd cares about is winning races. Normally, guys go up to the North Slope for “two-and-twos”—that means two weeks of work and two weeks off. I went four weeks on, three days off, which is how you make money. Todd is obviously a lot more senior up there than I am, but for the last couple of years, sometimes it seemed like he would go up to the Slope as an oil-field production operator for about three days and come back home for a month. Todd obviously didn’t need the money. The attention Sarah got helped him with his racing sponsors.

After the nomination, Sarah and Todd wouldn’t go anywhere together unless the cameras were out. They’re good on television, but once the cameras would leave they didn’t talk to each other. In all the time Bristol and I were together, I’ve never seen them sleep in the same bedroom. (I don’t know how she got pregnant.) Even during the Republican National Convention they slept in different bedrooms at opposite ends of her suite. Todd slept in the living room, on his little black recliner, with the TV going in the background—usually with the news or an Ultimate Fighting Championship match on—wearing clothes he wore that same day. (Since I used to sleep on the couch until Bristol got pregnant, I know he doesn’t snore, so that’s not why he wasn’t in bed.) At four a.m., he was gone, off doing something. Sarah would wake up around five, then go to Kaladi Brothers Coffee soon after.

If Sarah and Todd did talk—they really don’t communicate at all—they were fighting. Todd is short-fused, and if you get him fired up, he flips out. He often got mad that Sarah wasn’t looking after the kids, and I’m sure she was mad he was riding all the time—but they really just weren’t clicking half the time.

There was a lot of talk of divorce in that house, and there were times when Sarah and Todd would mention it and sound pretty serious. Sarah would say something, and I don’t know how it would make Todd mad, but his anger would elevate so fast. Todd would say, “All right, do you want a divorce? Is that what you want? Let’s do it! Sign the papers!” They’d either stop and be fine or Sarah would go to her room. That’s just how it was with them. But Sarah wore the pants in the family and she was definitely the dominant parent in the house. She would tell Todd to mow the grass, hang things up, and clean the house. And Todd would listen to her when she spoke. If she told Todd to do something, he’d do it.

The Palins didn’t take family vacations or weekend trips, since Sarah and Todd pretty much led separate lives. Todd would go to their two-bedroom cabin—about a two-hour drive away in Petersville—which was 20 yards from his racing partner’s cabin. He would go there at least twice a week, sometimes for a couple days or even just a couple hours. Piper would often go along with him because she’s Todd’s little baby and a snow-machiner herself. Willow, 15, was getting old enough where she didn’t want to be with her parents; Bristol wanted to be with me on the weekends; and Track, 20, didn’t want anything to do with any of it. (Track enlisted in the army on September 11, 2007, when he was 18.)

When they did go on a family vacation, to Hawaii, in the summer of 2007—the only trip I remember them taking—Bristol called me after Todd and Sarah got into a huge fight. Sarah then decided to fly back to Alaska, after only three days, while Todd stayed with the kids, taking them to the beach and to go parasailing. I remember when Bristol called to tell me, she acted like she didn’t care. She may have been being defensive, but they’re all daddy’s girls.

Bristol thought the rumor of her mother’s having an affair with a friend of Todd’s, named Brad, was ridiculous. (I could see that more than I could see Todd cheating on Sarah.) But Bristol thought that Todd was having an affair with a friend of the family. At one point, Bristol heard that Todd tried to separate his bank account from Sarah’s, and she told Sarah.

Sarah Palin has said she’s a hockey mom and a hunter, but that’s really not the case. She pays no attention to her kids when the cameras aren’t around. Track and I grew up playing hockey together, and I only saw her at about 15 percent of his games. People think that Sarah likes hunting, fishing, and camping, but she doesn’t. She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat—I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen her touch a fishing pole. She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn’t know, because it was in a box under her bed.

People would send Sarah big painted portraits of herself. Most of them went in the garage, but she once asked me to help her put one up in the house. So I put the little tab in the back and she told me she could handle it from there. But when I came back, it was sideways. About the only thing she knows now is Gucci and Prada.

On the chartered plane ride to Minnesota for the Republican National Convention, I sat next to Bristol. We had first met through Track at a hockey rink, and I thought she was cute so we started talking. We were friends for a couple years, and then we began going on dates. (My house was an eight-minute drive from hers.) Bristol was like me—when her mom was governor, she didn’t even see her that way. But when Sarah ran for vice president, that’s really when the cameras hit us.

Five months pregnant with Tripp, Bristol wasn’t feeling too good. Everyone else on the plane was happy and excited—hanging out and having a good time. When we landed, we saw all the cars lined up, and there were cop cars everywhere. There were Secret Service guys, snipers on rooftops, and dog-sniffing people with big AKs. It was nuts. “This is crazy,” I said to Bristol. She agreed. It was all new for us.

The first thing Sarah said to me at the hotel was “You gotta cut your hair.” I told her I didn’t want to—I had a mullet at the time—but she finally got me to do it. And she got me to shave. There was even talk about me having to get a spray tan, but thank God I didn’t. (There isn’t a whole lot of sun in Alaska, so women go to the tanning salon quite a bit. Sarah had a booth in the governor’s mansion that Willow would use a lot.) Sarah ordered me to smile all the time, wave, and not talk to the media or the cameras. If I had any questions, I needed to bring them up to McCain’s team.

Sarah told us to just wait and see the free clothes we were going to get, and the food whenever we wanted it. We didn’t even have to do our own hair, she said. She just couldn’t believe the free clothes, the free room service, the private jets, and being escorted by cops. We had every room on our floor of the hotel, with one room for hair and makeup, one for fitting, and another for wardrobe. They did all the shopping for us, and all our clothes were already there. I was given two Burberry suits and one Armani suit, Prada shoes, and a cashmere sweater. Back home I’d wear Carhartts and flannels and cowboy boots. Putting those clothes on, I felt totally out of my world. When I went to get sized up for the suits, I remember thinking, How could this get any worse? But they were nice suits and I took them home with me. The campaign asked me to give them back a few weeks after they lost, and I did. Sarah and the girls were pissed off about this and they had to give most of their clothes back, but I still saw some of it around the house after the campaign.

In Minnesota, the girls were stoked. They were getting Gucci shoes and loving it. Sarah would have a new getup every day, sometimes twice a day, all steamed and pressed. Sarah was all smiles and giggles. She loved the lifestyle and the fact that she impressed everybody. “Isn’t this nice, all this?” she would say, pointing around her suite, with its conference table, flat-screen TV, wrap couch, trays of fruits—there aren’t that many different kinds of fruit in Alaska—sandwiches, and huge wardrobe. Sarah got a lot of clothes. She’d never worn anything so expensive.

Sarah didn’t want me and Bristol to share a room at the hotel, so I stayed in Track’s room. Track was like me—he felt that if he had to go through this, he wanted to do it and get it over with. Bristol didn’t like it at first, either.

One night, there was a party for Meghan McCain’s book. Track, his friend, and his girlfriend went, but Sarah told me I wasn’t allowed to go. She told me she couldn’t have me going out there, because I was supposed to look good for Bristol. And because you had to be 21, even though Track, his friend, and his girlfriend weren’t at the time. So I hung out with Bristol. That’s all we did when we were down there. We hung out all day and did absolutely nothing because we weren’t allowed to go anywhere until we had an event—usually around four p.m. It was boring. Sarah would leave and have her meetings in the conference room or go upstairs and meet with McCain (his family was on a floor above us).

The night Sarah made her speech, Willow and I were in the hair room. One of the hairdressers was working on Willow’s hair, and the other was doing mine, when Meghan McCain walked in and asked if someone could do hers. “I have a show,” she said. One hairdresser told her she would do her hair as soon as she was done and Meghan just lost it. “You’re going to do her hair before you do mine?” She got riled up and started dropping cusswords. “How are you going to do her hair when I have a show in 20 minutes? You guys are supposed to be working for my dad,” she said. “You’re not doing my fucking hair? Maybe you need to get some more people.” Then she left. [A representative for Meghan McCain called Levi’s account a “na´ve mischaracterization.”]

We went back to Sarah’s room after the speech. All of her people and some of McCain’s people came over and cracked champagne bottles. Everybody on the floor was there. We hugged her and told her, “Good job,” and then we left because Bristol wasn’t feeling so good. We lay down and turned on a movie while they were having a big ol’ party in there. It was loud, with tons of people talking. A lot of stuff was going through my mind. Hours before, I had walked on the convention stage and lined up—we all had specific spots—looking over thousands of people. Sarah was holding Trig close since all the cameras were on. I had a taste of what it was all going to be like if she won, and I thought she might actually get elected.

It takes a lot to make Sarah Palin cry, but I’ve seen her cry a few times—once was when Bristol and I told her that we were pregnant, on May 4, 2008, the day after my 18th birthday. When Bristol had told me she was pregnant four days earlier, I immediately ran upstairs and told my mom, Sherry, and then I called my younger sister, Sadie, 17, on her cell phone. They were both excited.

Coincidentally, there had been a big rumor going around Wasilla that Bristol was pregnant even before she actually was, and Sarah had recently denied it was true. When we told Sarah the news, the first thing that came out of her mouth was “I just told everyone on TV that you weren’t pregnant. So how are you pregnant now?”

Then Sarah started laughing because she didn’t believe us. Finally, Bristol’s friend, who was breaking the news with us, said, “She’s being serious.” So Sarah said she was going to get Todd, who walked in looking like he was going to rip my head off. I was ready for an ass whooping.

Bristol, her friend, and I sat down on one of the suede couches in their living room, Todd sat on his recliner, and Sarah was on another suede couch. “You guys gotta get married now,” said Todd. “Yeah, you gotta get married,” said Sarah. She started crying a bit, but it was more pissed-off crying than anything else. She just kept shaking her head. Sarah let Todd give us the spiel on raising kids. Bristol said that she understood, since she’d been taking care of Piper since she was little. But she said it respectfully. Then Bristol and I got up and left.

I proposed to Bristol in July and gave her a ring I had bought at Zales. She knew it was coming and she said yes right away. In early August, before I went hunting and Sarah was picked, Bristol and I were at a tattoo parlor in Wasilla—I was getting her name tattooed on my ring finger—when Sarah called with a plan. Bristol didn’t speak; she just handed the phone to me and said, “You’ve got to listen to what my mom just said.” Sarah told me she had a great idea: we would keep it a secret—nobody would know that Bristol was pregnant. She told me that once Bristol had the baby she and Todd would adopt him. That way, she said, Bristol and I didn’t have to worry about anything.

Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was nagging—she wouldn’t give up. She would say, “So, are you gonna let me adopt him?” We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good, and she didn’t want people to know that her 17-year-old daughter was going to have a kid.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise that she wanted to keep it a secret. Sarah hadn’t told us she was pregnant with Trig until about a day or two before she announced it to the media, when she was already seven months pregnant. We saw her getting a little bigger, but she tried to hide it. When we asked her, “You’re pregnant, aren’t you?” she denied it. Finally, one day Willow was going through things in Sarah’s room and stumbled across a pregnancy test and said, “Mom, what’s this?” Sarah finally came out and said she was pregnant. I was at the hospital when Sarah had the baby at a little after six a.m. on April 18, 2008, two weeks before we told her we were pregnant. He was given the name Trig Paxson Van Palin because Paxson was Todd’s favorite place to snow-machine in Alaska, and because of the rock band Van Halen.

The big change that I saw in Sarah Palin occurred when she went from being the governor of Alaska to being a candidate for vice president. Her family and I had come back to Alaska right after the convention while Sarah went off to campaign. She came back to Alaska about one month after the convention, and you could tell that she’d gotten used to people steaming her clothes, doing her hair and makeup, and ordering her food for her. Everybody knew it.

She was always putting on an act in front of the camera. We all knew that she didn’t know what to say on TV, and that when she was reading a script she was a phony. I’d be sitting with the family in front of the TV and we’d be disgusted watching her. Her family never said anything terrible, but they shook their heads with disappointment. And there were times where we’d sit there and pretty much laugh at things she said. I laughed every time I saw Tina Fey imitate her. She sounded just like her. I think the kids thought it was funny, too. There were also times when Sarah would be at home and watch herself on the screen and say she did very bad.

Sarah had always treated me very well, sometimes saying, “I love you, son” to me. I was surprised when Bristol told me after the convention that her mother didn’t like me. She and Todd had never wanted her to be with me. I had been a so-called hotshot hockey player and all the older kids had tried to pick fights with me to get me in trouble—and sometimes they did. I also admit I came home a little drunk from a few parties with Track when I was younger. But when Sarah became governor and had to move to Juneau, she tried to get Bristol to go, too. Bristol tried to stay in Wasilla with Todd—who wasn’t moving—so she could see me. But Todd told Bristol that she was going with Sarah. When the next school year began, her parents tried to get her to go back to Juneau, but she told them she wouldn’t do it. She told them that, if they made her move there, she was going to elope and move in with me. So, instead, they made her go live with Sarah’s sister Heather, in Anchorage. Every day Bristol would drive 45 minutes to my house or I’d go meet her at Heather’s. Heather didn’t mind.

During the campaign, Cindy McCain told Sarah that if they won the family wanted me and Bristol to get married at the White House. Sarah was really excited, and Bristol, of course, loved it. Before that we were planning a small wedding in their backyard with pink and orange roses. Todd, who has a pilot’s license, was going to fly Bristol on his little airplane to the dock behind their house. After it was all over and they lost, the Palins weren’t pushing the wedding anymore.

The night of the presidential election I was at the Ford dealership in Wasilla buying a truck as a surprise for Bristol. I think the family was optimistic, but they knew they didn’t have a good run at it. Bristol called me from Arizona after it was announced that McCain had lost. The family was upset, Bristol said, but she was fine. At the beginning of the campaign she hadn’t wanted her mom to win, since Sarah wasn’t around at all. Though toward the end I think she started to like the attention and the treatment. But neither of us wanted to move to Washington. We didn’t want Secret Service around; we just wanted to be left alone.

Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make “triple the money.” It was, to her, “not as hard.” She would blatantly say, “I want to just take this money and quit being governor.” She started to say it frequently, but she didn’t know how to do it. When she came home from work, it seemed like she was more and more stressed out. It seemed like she couldn’t handle the job anymore. I think that she was just through with it all or that she’d become used to getting everything she wanted handed to her. She’d rather take the money and keep that kind of lifestyle. When a magazine offered six figures to be at the hospital when Bristol gave birth, she said yes at first but then told us not to do it.

When she came back to Alaska, Sarah said the campaign had been a great experience. But when she began to hear McCain’s people accusing her of being the reason they lost, she decided to retaliate. At home, she would say that she couldn’t believe they had backstabbed her. She couldn’t believe they were saying she lost the election for McCain. She would say things like “I brought everything to the table” and “The majority of people were out there voting because of me!” She definitely thought she was running for president.

Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston was born a month later, on December 27 at 5:43 a.m. (“Mitchell” is Todd’s middle name and “Easton” is for my favorite hockey-equipment company.) Tripp came out and we put him on Bristol’s stomach. It was the happiest day of my life, but it was also terrible because my family couldn’t be there. I didn’t think Sarah wanted my mom around all the cameras because she had been arrested for selling prescription medication a week and a half earlier.

After Tripp was born, Sarah would pay more attention to our son than she would to her own baby, Trig. Sarah has a weird sense of humor. When she came home from work, Bristol and I would be holding Trig and Tripp. Sarah would call Trig—who was born with Down syndrome—“my little Down’s baby.” But I couldn’t believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, “No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one,” and pick up Tripp. That was just her—even her kids were used to it.

Sarah didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to Trig. The special-needs baby got special love from Bristol, the rest of the kids, me, and Todd, who was always playing with Trig when he could. Sarah had people coming over to do his physical therapy, but when she came home from work, she’d tell Bristol she was too tired to take care of him. She’d walk in the door, give him a kiss, and act happy for 10 seconds before hibernating in her room until the next day started. Bristol and I would have Trig until 11 p.m., when we’d put him in his crib. Sarah went to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. Once the election started, they had a lady there taking care of Trig the whole time. From being with Bristol when she watched Trig, I became quite familiar with babies before I had mine.

About 10 days before Tripp was born, I had been driving back from Anchorage with Bristol when I got a phone call from Sadie. “Mom just got arrested,” she said. She didn’t know the details and began crying. Bristol said my mom was an idiot, so I dropped her off and drove to the Palmer police station.

In February—just after Bristol and I broke up and I moved back to my mom’s house—I went to the courthouse for my mom’s hearing. As we walked out, I started talking to Rex Butler, the lawyer who had taken on her case, and Tank Jones, a private investigator who worked with him. They were both huge African-American men, wearing tailor-made suits with their names on the cuffs of their shirts. My mom asked them to help me with the press, and they told me that if I ever wanted to talk, I should just give them a call. They were really nice people, and since I’ve met them they’ve always had me cracking up. Even though I instantly liked them, I didn’t want to talk to the media.

After about two weeks, the pressure from the media didn’t stop. More offers than ever were coming in for movies and modeling jobs, and so I asked my mom for the number for Rex and Tank. I called them and they invited me to their office in Anchorage to sit down and talk. (Tank has an office at Rex’s law firm, Rex Lamont Butler & Associates.) I gave them the business cards of all the people who had given them to me. We decided that no one could talk to me anymore—they had to speak to them. They said not everybody has a chance to be a celebrity. We decided to see what happens.

I didn’t want to take things on I couldn’t handle. You can’t just do a movie—I’m sure it’s harder than it looks. But it’s weird going to the airport and having people run up to you and ask for your autograph. I wouldn’t say that I like it, but, at the same time, it’s kind of cool. There are people saying good things and bad things about me, but Rex, Tank, and I have learned to block all those things out. Some people have said that Rex and Tank are capitalizing on me. They’re not—but even if they were, then that’s my fault, not anybody else’s.

I don’t ever want to be a deadbeat dad. I love Tripp, and my goal is to take care of my family. I could go out and do movies, maybe one day even end up as a celebrity. But I’m not going to get a big old mansion and drive around in a Bentley. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just go back to being a licensed electrician like everyone else in my family. That’s still a lot of fun to me. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2009/10/levi-johnston200910?currentPage=1

[Ed. note: sarah INSANE is emotionally disturbed. She is a powermongering madman who wants to rule the world like her idol Hitlery clinton does. She has NO experience in governing, NO experience in politics, NO knowledge of history or the Constitution, NO knowledge of current events and NO understanding of reality! She is a BRAIN-DEAD political zombie who does what she is told to do.  She was chosen to become a rockepub goofball to see how BRAIN-DEAD the GOPpers are. Considering her popularity the GOPpers are flatlined! If they put that psychonutzball on a ticket she will be laughed off the stage and the rockedems will laugh all the way to the White House. She couldn't win dogcatcher in Bute, Montana. WAKE UP GOPpers! Dump this madcrazed Hitlery wannabee! NOW!]

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