Home » International News » 2011 » June » June 11, 2011

Palin emails show an engaged governor who was mistrustful of media

June 11, 2011 - Washington

Thousands of pages of Sarah Palin's emails from her tenure as governor of Alaska reveal her fraught relationships with both officials and the media.

Taken together, the email correspondence underscores Palin's polarizing effect, long before she was a ubiquitous figure on the national political stage.

Palin's disgust with the media was apparent as soon as she was tapped to be Senator John McCain's Republican Party running mate.

She and aides objected when a blizzard of questions from reporters included queries about her favorite poem and the tanning bed in the governor's mansion. "Arghhhh!" Palin responded, noting she paid for the latter personally and was "dismayed at the media."

The darker side of her newfound fame was evident, too, as the governor fielded several vicious threats against her life - all of which she forwarded to her aides without comment.

At the other end of the spectrum, the messages include many adoring missives from supporters around the country who, even before she joined the 2008 presidential ticket, saw her as a rising star.

Before the release of the emails, Palin downplayed their significance, noting that both she and her family have been intensely scrutinized. Tim Crawford, treasurer of her political action committee, said the materials showcase "a very engaged Gov. Sarah Palin being the CEO of her state."

"The emails detail a governor hard at work," he said in a statement. "Everyone should read them."

In her exchanges with aides, Palin's frustration with her opponents is evident, along with her unvarnished style- she called criticism of her state ethics proposal by the Republican speaker of the House "the most stupid comment I've heard all year."

She was particularly shaken after a blogger posted a rumor in July 2008 that she had an affair. "Guys, I may be pretty wimpy about this family stuff, but I feel like I'm at the breaking point with the hurtful gossip...I hate this part of the job and many days I feel like it's not worth it."

The emails also reveal her tense relations with members of her home state congressional delegation. Her suggestion that Alaska's then-Sen. Ted Stevens needed to explain his role in an alleged corruption scandal upset other Republican leaders, including Rep. Don Young.


Comment on this story