TALK TO THE HAND…. So, what was up with Sarah Palin’s hand last night?

As a substantive matter, the former half-term governor’s remarks at the Tea Party convention last night deserve to be evaluated on the merits, or in her case, the lack thereof. The poor woman is so woefully confused it’s genuinely difficult to listen to her without cringing.

But perhaps more interesting than her painfully dim-witted comments was Palin’s apparent reliance on something scribbled on her hand. As Amanda Terkel noted, Palin was asked about what Congress’ priorities should be if there were a conservative majority. After mentioning spending cuts, the former governor “seemed to forget her next talking point and glanced down at her left hand, as if there were notes she had scribbled down. She went on to talk about ‘energy projects.’”

Watch the clip, and pay special attention to her left hand. About 47 seconds in, it certainly looks as if Palin referenced words scribbled on her palm.

Indeed, Oliver Willis has some good coverage of this, including some clear evidence that something was written on Palin’s hand.

Now, I don’t want to make too much of this, but there are a couple of reasons why this is at least mildly interesting.

First, if Palin is going mock the president for using a teleprompter while giving speeches, it’s probably not a good idea to act like an unprepared 14-year-old, scribbling answers to easy questions on her hand. It doesn’t exactly scream “presidential material.”

Second, that she wrote notes at all suggests Palin was aware of the questions in advance. She obviously couldn’t prepare answers unless she knew what she’d be asked. If so, think about what that tells us about her readiness — Sarah Palin was afraid questions from Tea Party activists might be too difficult.

I realize her fans tend to be pretty far gone, but reasonable people should agree that this is at least a little scary.

Update: Here’s a terrific photo of Palin’s cheat sheet. The words on her hand read, “Energy. Tax. Lift American Spirits.” In other words, she knew what question to expect, and was afraid she might forget her own vision for the near future. How sad.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.