Jun 11, 2011 4:05 PM GMT
She was hands-on and averse to partisan politics. She championed openness in government and had normal relations with the media. She was a little starstruck by her interactions with national politicians but unafraid to do battle with the chief executives of the world’s largest oil companies.
The emails from her governorship, released Friday, brought back the memory of a long-lost Palin: the popular, charismatic, competent woman of the people.
This was the vice presidential candidate John McCain’s team thought they were getting, before her darker tendencies — defensiveness, thin skin, grudge-keeping — hardened into tics. Together with the newly released, pro-Palin documentary “The Undefeated,” which focuses on her rise to the spotlight, the emails are reminders of a sympathetic figure who was not yet the brittle, divisive caricature Palin has become.
Maybe it wasn't all his fault:
same articleThat’s not to say the picture of Palin is all rosy. She whines constantly about her treatment by the press. She uses subterfuge to manipulate her image, ghostwriting a letter to the editor praising her, for instance, or conducting a phony television interview in which she reads answers from a teleprompter.
She increasingly sees enemies all around, repeatedly demanding to know whether her privacy has been breached. In one case, it turns out her husband Todd, not a hacker, sent an email from one of her accounts. She convinces herself that rumors about her last pregnancy have been deliberately and maliciously spread by an enemy in the state Legislature.
The seeds of the paranoia and belligerence that so prominently mark her current public persona are visible in early form. The chip is already firmly on Palin’s shoulder: “‘They’ said the same thing throughout my career — ‘too young’, ‘pregnant’, ‘kids’… ‘She won’t be able to do it’… This coming from good ol’ boys who don’t like change. And so far along in my career, we’ve proved them wrong at each turn,” she writes in March 2008.