ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
The shroud of mystery encircling Sarah Palin’s small and highly insular group of political advisers got pulled back just a little on Thursday after new details emerged about one of the former Alaska governor’s top communications strategists.
Described as Palin’s “cyber-messenger” and a “jack of all trades,” it would be an understatement to say that Rebecca Mansour, 36, has kept a low profile. But in Thursday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times, reporter Robin Abcarian sheds some light on the woman who co-founded the pro-Palin Web site, “Conservatives 4 Palin” in 2009 and now serves in a key role on the former governor’s staff.
“Unlike other key Palin players, Mansour is neither a rough-hewn Alaskan nor a seasoned Washington operative,” Abcarian writes in her piece. “She is a political neophyte, a Republican daughter of Democrat-friendly Detroit, a onetime film student who lives in Hollywood, and a longtime fundraiser for Harvard University, an institution known for churning out the very ‘elites’ so often derided by Palin.”
Among the other interesting facts in the Los Angeles Times story, we learn that:
-She is a fan of Victorian-era poetry as well as the writer William Faulkner and the films of David Lean. Mansour majored in English and history and minored in philosophy in college.
-Her company, Aries Petra Consulting, receives about $8,000 a month in fees paid by SarahPAC, according to Federal Elections Commission filings.
-She served briefly as a volunteer for presidential candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle, calling the experience “freaky” and “hilarious.”
-Her father, a math professor and assistant business school dean at University of Detroit Mercy, was shot when she was 10 years old. He survived.
-She came to Hollywood in 1997 to study screenwriting at the American Film Institute and graduated with a master of fine arts degree two years later. A teacher there, described her as having “an open, critical mind.”
-She describes herself to The Times as “the most boring individual.”
Mansour often e-mails reporters to highlight Palin’s Facebook posts — one of the primary ways the potential presidential candidate communicates with the public — and as the newspaper profile notes, Mansour also plays an important role as a policy adviser.
And she appears to be fiercely protective of her reputation, as well as Palin’s. As of Thursday afternoon, The Times piece included a correction stating that it was Palin, not Mansour, who once described the staff of the Washington news organization, Politico, as “puppy-kicking, chain-smoking porn producers.”
“She came up with that brilliant description,” Mansour tweeted on Thursday. “I was merely quoting her.” (Mansour also changed her Twitter profile picture from a coin depicting an ancient Phoenician queen to a photo of herself.)
But Abcarian’s article, while revealing new details about Mansour, also underscores just how closed-off and secretive Palin’s inner-circle is — one of the reasons why many political observers are growing more skeptical about the likelihood that Palin will jump into the presidential contest.