The term "rogue" has many uses, but regardless of the context, it's pretty much always a negative way to describe someone. We call North Korea and Iran rogue nations because they flout international law and conventions. Rogue cops are badass and heroic in movies, but in real life they're just power-abusing vigilantes. And then there's "going rogue," the phrase that Sarah Palin is using for the title of her upcoming book (full title: Going Rogue: An American Life). Near the end of 2008's presidential campaign around this time last year, actually political observers and members of the McCain team began to notice that the Alaska governor wasn't exactly being a team player. She had been repeatedly and publicly dissenting from positions held by John McCain, sowing discord within the campaign and making the ticket appear chaotic and strife-ridden to voters not a good look!
As Slate's John Dickerson wrote at the time:
Has Sarah Palin "gone rogue"? For the last few weeks, Republicans inside and outside the McCain campaign have speculated about those moments when Palin and John McCain have appeared to disagree: Palin pressed to have the campaign compete for Michigan voters when strategists had given up on the state. She disagreed with McCain's opposition to a marriage amendment. She disagreed with McCain's opposition to removing North Korea from the list of terrorist nations. She thinks the campaign should talk about Barack Obama's ties to his former pastor Jeremiah Wright.
He went on to explore a popular theory for Palin's behavior that she was purposefully looking out for her own political future at the expense of a seemingly lost-cause campaign. Obviously we can't know what Palin's exact intentions were. But either way, Palin is now appropriating a phrase closely associated with disloyalty and selfishness to encapsulate her life story. Maverick!
Palin's title: 'Going Rogue' [Politico]