Sarah Palin may be new to most Americans, but she’s not entirely new to the national Democratic Party.

Democrat Tony Knowles, her opponent in the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race, put together a detailed, 63-page research document — obtained by Politico — cataloging Palin’s strengths and weaknesses. And the Obama campaign, in particular, knows Palin well: A key Obama consultant, Anita Dunn, worked on Knowles’ campaign.

“We’re running against John McCain — the issues raised around his decision and the fact that he clearly bowed under to the right wing of his party and let them exercise veto power over his vice presidential pick,” Dunn said, suggesting the Obama campaign wouldn’t be recycling the 2006 Democratic criticism of Palin.

“Whether it was Sarah Palin or Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney or somebody else, fundamentally that wasn’t going to alter the dynamic — which is that John McCain believes we don’t need to change the fundamental economic policies in this country,” Dunn said.

The Democratic opposition research document, which was not obtained from Dunn or from the Obama campaign, is largely a catalog of the day-to-day decisions of a small-town mayor. It contains examples of her sometimes confrontational tenure and colorful details of an ordinary woman who was thrilled to meet Ivana Trump and who began the process of opening a marketing company whose name — Rouge Cou — was supposed to be a French version of “redneck.”

Read the full report here.

Peter Fray

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