Slog tipper SeMe has been reading the first few Palin e-mails trickling out over at the New York Times, and raises a good question:

I was expecting right- wing nonsense, but I’m seeing something else...Was Sarah Palin a moderate when she was governor of Alaska? That’s what those emails are showing so far. If true, then her whole ultra right tea party crap is pure opportunism, a complete transformation. Some emails show her praising president Obama and wanting to meet with his advisors and asking her departments to be open to the press. She is an invention of the right wing of the GOP who it seems was a moderate middle of the road republican turned into tea party joke.

Well, SeMe, like everyone else, I didn't pay much attention to Sarah Palin before she was chosen for the McCain ticket. As to the Obama praise, that sounds more like a politician keeping an eye out for what she can use to her own advantage. I do believe that Palin ratchets up her Obama hatred for her followers, because she is a shrewd manipulator. As to the moderate question: From what I understand of her career, Palin did occasionally sound sensible back in her Alaska days. But George W. Bush often made an effort to be bipartisan when he was governor of Texas, too; governors often have to be less reactionary than national political figures.

If you listen to Palin's gubernatorial inauguration speech, you'll find the same kind of small-government, praise-Jesus-and-pass-the-ammunition bluster that you'll hear from Palin today. But it's just quieter, because Alaska is a much smaller stage than Palin has now. I don't think she's changed much, ideologically, since those days. But she has gotten louder.