It was the bombshell that wasn't—at least it seems that way, so far.
On Friday afternoon, the state of Alaska finally released tens of thousands of Sarah Palin's emails dating back to her early days as the state's governor. News organizations had requested the emails nearly three years ago--just after Palin, then a virtual unknown, was picked to be John McCain's Republican running mate in the 2008 election.
But after long delays--some on administrative grounds, and others simply due to foot-dragging on the part of Alaska officials--the emails were finally released to a media eager to find something, anything, new about the most covered woman in national politics. Yet, so far, the more than 24,000 pages of emails--which reporters are still combing through--have mostly reinforced much of what we've already known about Palin.
Among other things, the emails show she was distrustful of the media long before her arrival on the national stage; that her husband, Todd, has long been intimately involved in her political affairs; and that perhaps no one obsesses more about her public image than Palin herself.
Here are a few of the highlights spotted by news organizations scouring the Palin emails so far:
• Palin was as stunned as anyone when McCain picked her to be his running mate. "Can you believe it!" Palin emailed her top aides after the news was announced. (Los Angeles Times)
• Palin paid close attention to her local coverage, bristling at a report in the Anchorage Daily News that she had snubbed the annual Miss Alaska contest. She promptly wrote a letter to the editor defending her absence—though she wrote it in the third person and asked a staffer to send. (Los Angeles Times)
• But Palin didn't always hate the press. In 2007, she encouraged her staff to talk to the media. (New York Times)
• Months before McCain tapped Palin as his running mate, the Alaska governor was plotting ways to get on his radar. "Is it possible to get hooked up (maybe by Nick Ayers?) with someone from the McCain campaign?" she wrote in January 2008. (Washington Post)
• Palin admired an energy speech Barack Obama gave in August 2008, just weeks before she joined the GOP ticket. "Great speech," she emailed aides. (Los Angeles Times)
• In February 2007, an adviser told Palin she should meet with an Alaska native, Pete Rouse, who was then Obama's Senate chief of staff. "I'm game to meet him," Palin replied. (Wall Street Journal)
• Palin wasn't on exactly the best terms with Alaska's congressional delegation. (Los Angeles Times)
• There were rumors about whether Palin was the mother of her son, Trig, from the start. In April 2008—just days before she gave birth to Trig—Palin emailed her husband and senior staff to alert them that a political rival was spreading rumors that it was her daughter, Bristol, who was actually pregnant. "I wish I could shame people into ceasing such gossip about a teen, but can't figure out how to do that," Palin said. (Washington Post)
• The Palins once hung out with an Elvis impersonator. (Atlantic Wire)
•In September 2008, a Palin aide suggested the governor should appear opposite Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live—which Palin later did. (Politico)
• It was reported long ago that Palin installed a tanning bed in the governor's mansion, but here'e the email proof. (Atlantic Wire)
• Palin was really into the Iditarod. (Wall Street Journal)
• The governor and her aides once emailed around a poem entitled, "An Indian with One Testicle." (The Atlantic)
• Newt Gingrich once advised the governor on her PR. (Politico)
(Photo of reporters picking up boxes of the Palin emails: Brian Wallace/AP)
- Pete Rouse
- the Anchorage Daily News
- Nick Ayers
- 2008 election
- Miss Alaska contest
- Barack Obama
- Alaska native