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:
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]