THE PLANK OCTOBER 6, 2008
On a recent reporting trip to Alaska, TNR senior editor Noam Scheiber came across a piece of paper from an old Wasilla city budget, on the back of which Palin doodled and brainstormed her potential mayoral campaign themes ("time for a change," "you would be my boss!") and qualifications ("life-long alaskan," "NRA supporter," "taxpayer!"). Read the fine print on this 1996 document; it's a fascinating glimpse into how she thought she could best present herself to the Wasilla electorate.
Update from Noam Scheiber: There seems to be a lot of interest in this document, so I thought I'd say a bit more about its provenance. I stumbled across it at the home of Laura Chase, a former colleague of Palin's on the Wasilla city council who later managed her first race for mayor. (Chase makes a few appearances in my Palin profile this week.)
Toward the end of our interview, Chase brought out a box of odds and ends she'd saved from that campaign and emptied it onto her kitchen table. Buried in the pile of material were various pictures, mailings, correspondences, newspaper clippings--and this page of doodling. Chase didn't remember a ton about it, but did tell me it had been written on the back of a budget document, which (she seemed to think) had been distributed at a Wasilla city council meeting.
I've been in touch with Chase to see if she remembers anything else about it and will report back when I hear from her.
Second Update: See this new item for the full doodle backstory, along with more (previously unseen!) Palin chicken scratch.