Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exits the Hyatt Regency Hotel...

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exits the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City, N.J. (June 1, 2011) Credit: AP

The state of Alaska on Friday released more than 13,000 emails that shed light on Sarah Palin's tenure as governor -- before she became a vice-presidential candidate, a reality-TV star, and an undeclared heavyweight in the 2012 race for the White House.

Many of the emails -- released Friday by Alaskan officials in response to media requests made in 2008 -- dealt with the mundane matters of running an office and a state: speech preparations, gubernatorial appointments, even office softball games. Others, however, provide a look at Palin's political persona, before she was catapulted into the national spotlight.

In one email weeks before Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) chose Palin as his running mate, she praises a speech by the man who would defeat McCain in the 2008 presidential race.

Then-Sen. Barack Obama "gave a great speech this morn in Michigan -- mentioned Alaska," Palin wrote to aides.

In a speech in Lansing, Mich., Obama had spoken of the need to complete the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline and open more oil and gas drilling in Alaska. "So . . . we need to take advantage of this [and] write a statement saying he's right on."

A year before, in February 2007, a staffer recommended to Palin that she meet Pete Rouse, "who's now chief of staff for some guy named Barack Obama," when she went to Washington on a trip.

"I'm game to meet him," Palin wrote back. It was not immediately clear if Palin did meet Rouse.

Other emails make clear that Palin relied on her husband, Todd Palin, for policy advice. A March 2008 email, for instance, indicates he weighed in on how to deal with Alaska's burgeoning wolf population, a topic of debate at the time among officials and environmental experts.

The governor told her fish and game commissioner in blunt terms that she opposed using state helicopters to hunt wolves and preferred paying private hunters.

"We have to act quickly on this as predators are acting quickly and rural families face ridiculous situation of being forced to import more beef instead of feeding their families our healthy staple of Alaskan game. Nonsense. Unacceptable -- and not on my watch," she said.

Her source of information? "Todd interviewed buddies who live out there . . . Some confirmation that state intervention isn't first choice w/the locals," Palin said. "We need to incentivize here," including providing money for trappers.

The emails also reveal Palin's sensitivity to the way she was portrayed in the media, even before any serious national coverage.

In 2008, for instance, a Palin press aide sent her an essay about Jane Swift, who as acting governor of Massachusetts gave birth and raised young children while in office. Palin responded with a barb about a recent column from a writer at the Anchorage Daily News.

"Pls remind Julia Omalley that 'they' said the same thing throughout my career -- 'too young,' 'pregnant,' 'kids' . . . She won't be able to do it,' " Palin wrote. "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."

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