Sarah Palin’s rapid transformation from a little-known governor to the vice presidential nominee on the 2008 Republican ticket was as much of a surprise to her as it was to the rest of the U.S., her email messages from the time show.

“Can you flippinbelieveit?!” she replied to a note of congratulations from an official in her administration. “Thanks for your kind words – and for keeping the homes fire burning. Thank you! We love you guys!”

The state of Alaska released more than 24,000 pages of email messages Friday sent to and from Ms. Palin during most of her tenure as governor. The messages show few signs of contact between her and national Republicans before she was announced as Sen. John McCain’s running mate on Aug. 29, 2008, or that she saw herself as a likely candidate.

Tim Crawford, treasurer of Ms. Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, said in a statement ahead of the email release Friday that messages would “show a very engaged Gov. Sarah Palin being the CEO of her state.”

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