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You have to use text animators for this. To be precise, they don't animate the character palette settings so much as override them.
You can simply delete the text selector that is created if all you want to do is animate the property, FYI. Selectors are only needed when you want to select which characters get modified.
All of those parameters are stored in the Source Text keyframe, but they are all Hold keyframes - there is no interpolation between keyframes, so the text will instantly switch from one setting to the next when a new keyframe occurs.
To animate text parameters like you mention, you need to use Text Animators. Look at the AE LiveDocs for info:
Aaron is faster off the keyboard than me! :-)
While it covers the basic fact, Aaron is not entirely correct. Not all of the properties do completely override the panel settings. You will in particular notice this with kerning/ leading - it does matter at which size you created the text and how it was spaced via the panel. Different initial sizes will give different results when animating leading e.g. in combination with scaling. You will also notice similar behavior with stroke widths. I therefore still recommend that you take the time to layout the text as "cleanly" as you can before starting to add animators.
You're right. It would be more correct to say that the animators operate on the original source text formatting, rather than overriding it.