(Anne) Kilkenny sent out an e-mail earlier this week to friends and family answering, from her perspective, the question Outsiders are asking any Alaskan they know: “Who is this Sarah Palin?”
[Palin asked Wasilla librarian about censoring books via the Boston Herald]

I urge you to read the letter wrote on the Mayor-turned-Governor Palin that she has known:

“I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city…”

“She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness…”

[Excerpts from A Letter About Sarah Palin from Anne Kilkenny via Mudflats and verified by Snopes]

Backing up Kilkenny’s perspective can be found in other articles such as this:

“But in the first major race of her career — the 1996 campaign for mayor of her hometown, Wasilla — Palin was a far more conventional politician. In fact, according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors.” 
[Mayor Palin: A Rough Record via Time]

An different take on Palin, from the POV of an Iranian immigrant:

Right after the Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Iran-Iraq war was started…One of the problems the government faced was opposition from legions of mothers whose sons had been maimed or died in the war. To confront this problem, the government-controlled TV would parade a mother whose son had died in the war in front of the TV on a regular basis. Invariably, this “show mom” would be carrying an infant child and a few other siblings with her. And invariably, she would say something to the effect that “I have given one child to this ‘sacred’ war, and I am ready to give the next one.” Almost always, there would be an adoring crowd who would follow her statements by chants…Sarah Palin was much better dressed than the average show mom paraded on Iranian TV more than 20 years ago. The show moms were typically dressed in a black veil. But that’s about the biggest difference. The rhetoric was eerily familiar. When she was finished, I knew I had seen her before. Only that it wasn’t her. It was her ideological predecessors at a different time in a different country.”
[Where Have I Seen Sarah Palin Before? by Arash Kamangeer]

John McCain is a good man and a great Republican nominee for the presidency, but there’s just something that doesn’t ring true about his Vice Presential pick, Sarah Palin. I’ve had a bad feeling about her from the very start.

I think that Palin, as a politician or simply as a representative “media image”, attracts an interesting base of voters. All the frenzy & hoopla surrounding her various ‘scandals’ makes her an even more sympathetic figure to those voters and (for Democrats) are serving as distractions from real problems against her. I’m laughing hard now, but I’m seriously hoping that I’m not underestimating her. On the bright side, her speech from the RNC raked in about $10 million on Obama’s behalf.

Excerpt of the latest Policy Alert from the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

Republican VP Pick Supports Teaching “Both Sides.” Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain’s choice for his running-mate, has expressed views on a number of issues of interest to scientists. In a televised debate during the Alaska governor’s race in October 2006, Palin, in response to a question about teaching creationism in public schools, replied, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.” As governor, Palin has opposed the federal government’s decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species because of climate change and shrinking sea ice with an op-ed in The New York Times and a suit in federal court. She believes that human activities are not responsible for global climate change, favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and opposes federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research – all positions that conflict not only with the Democratic platform but also with positions McCain has taken in the past.