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The Palin Doodle Backstory, Plus More Palin Chicken Scratch

OK, I admit it--I was surprised by all the interest in those Palin doodles I brought back from Wasilla. But if it's Palin doodles people want, Palin doodles they shall get!

Last night I spoke with Laura Chase, the former Palin city council colleague who managed her 1996 campaign for mayor. Chase is the person who gave me the doodle sheet and she had this to say about its origins:

That [the doodles] was the first document she [Palin] gave me when she first came over and talked to me about managing her campaign. She wanted me to turn it into a poster. It was like, "Uh-uh. This is like a circus ad." There was so much in it. What I did was sit down with her and I pulled out different components. And we--I told her we needed to brainstorm the total campaign. We needed a slogan, we needed to devise the look, the image. We needed all of that information. We sat down and started talking from that point. That’s where we came up with "energetic, positive, determined." I developed actually a few different types of pieces. I would take, for example, "You would be my boss" and we'd have a postcard. Essentially, this [the doodles] is all she had. She walked over, handed it to me ... a "flyer" was what she called it. It was like: "Uh-uh. No way. It wouldn’t be effective."

Chase then e-mailed me later in the night--after some more digging--to append the following:

There were two initial documents--Sarah's draft flyer layout [the doodles] and this two page document--that Sarah brought over to me when I agreed to work on her campaign. 

The two-page document is a handwritten letter addressed to "friends," in which Palin lays out the rationale for her campaign in prose form (more or less). Among other things, Palin says she supports term limits and opposes tax increases, mayoral raises, conflicts of interest, and construction of a new city hall. Overall, Palin says, she wants to prevent Wasilla from becoming a "mini-Seattle." (Mission accomplished there--believe me.) Perhaps the most telling riff in the letter comes at the very beginning, when Palin writes: "The five years I spent outside earning my college degree solidified my love and desire for Wasilla. I’m raising my children here and I plan to live here as long as the Good Lord allows!"

Click here to read the entire letter in the original Palin chicken scratch, and here to read a typed version. Also, you can click here and here to see how Chase translated the doodles into bona fide campaign literature.

--Noam Scheiber