On Friday afternoon, Alaska officials released 24,199 pages of Sarah Palin's emails (weighing 100 pounds) — the result of news organizations' Freedom of Information Act requests. Reporters are scrambling to read through the "treasure trove of documents," which offer intriguing insights and random tidbits on Palin's Alaska governorship, her personal life, and the run-up to the 2008 elections. Here are six:
1. Palin wanted a $35,000 gubernatorial tanning bed
The emails appear to confirm long-standing rumors that Palin installed a tanning bed in Alaska governor's mansion, at a reported cost to taxpayers of $35,000. Apparently, the amount of electricity required to operate the bed made installation tricky, but it was worth it. In one email, a Palin aide cheerily writes to her boss that "on a day like today — I wish the bed was ready to go for you to use right away!!" Business Insider says the bed was installed, though The New York Times says it's unclear if installation was ever completed.
2. She'd dreamed for months of being VP
The correspondence reveals that Palin was actively seeking the vice presidential nod months before John McCain asked her in the summer of 2008. She personally forwarded to her staffers a number of emails in which constituents suggested she'd make a great running mate.
3. Palin agreed with Obama on energy... once
These days, Palin fiercely opposes President Obama's energy policy, and his limits on oil drilling. But she was once more in line with him. At the beginning of August 2008, a few weeks before McCain tapped her as his running mate, Palin "gushed" about an energy policy speech Obama had given. "He gave a great speech this morn in Michigan — mentioned Alaska... Stole our Energy Rebate $1000 check idea, stole our TC-Alaska gasoline talking points, etc... He did say 'yay' to our gasoline. Pretty cool. Wrong candidate," she wrote in a series of emails to aides.
4. But Team Palin didn't always know who Obama was
On February 19, 2007, just over a week after then-Sen. Obama had declared his candidacy for the presidency, deputy legislative director Chris Clark emailed Palin, suggesting she meet in D.C. with Pete Rouse, "who's now chief of staff for some guy named Barack Obama." She replied, "I'm game to meet him." Since Obama had just declared, this exchange seems "sarcastic," says Marcus Baram at The Huffington Post. Yeah, but there's "also a slim chance it's totally oblivious," says Dan Amira at New York.
5. Surprise! Palin was obsessed with her image
The emails "show constant discussion and concern about how she is portrayed in the media, on matters big and small," says Rachel Weiner in The Washington Post. For example, on July 15, 2008, she wrote, "Can someone flag the lie in the blog 'sexy highway talk among governors' that claims [son] Trig was in the fender bender with me — and he wasn't in a car seat on my commute. Sheeesh." And, on Feb. 20, 2007, she wrote to staffers that "i need folks to really help ramp up accurate counter comments to the misinformation that’s being spread out there."
6. And some bonus punchlines
A few fun tidbits include a photo of Palin, posing with people who appear to be husband Todd and an Elvis impersonator; the inclusion in one email of the random line, "we didn't participate in eating the moose meat"; and a letter to the Alaska Daily News defending herself that Palin seemingly ghostwrote, pretending to be a random supporter.
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