Governor Palin started the last day of her book tour in Cincinnati, OH.
Hundreds cheer Palin at signing:
Many camped outside Thursday night, braving temperatures in the 20s and snow flurries, to be assured of getting Palin’s signature on her book, “America By Heart.” Some came from as far as Columbus, Chillicothe, Toledo and Michigan. One 50-year-old man even drove six hours from St. Louis to get an autographed book as a Christmas present for his wife.
David Richardson, 66, of Loveland who lined up outside the Harper’s Point supermarket at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday – 17½ hours before Palin was set to sign her book – believes he knows the answer.
“I think she’s behind the single biggest change in politics and political discussion in the United States,” said Richardson, one of about 200 people who spent the night outside the Kroger to be certain of getting one of the 500 wristbands that guaranteed them a Palin autograph.
“She’s inspired so many others to run for office at the local level, from city councils to township commissions,” Richardson added. “As those people begin to take office, it’s going to transform this country. And it’s all going to be because of her.”
When she arrived for the three-hour book signing, Palin said she was “just so happy and blessed” to be in Greater Cincinnati, joking she was enjoying the “Alaska-like” weather.
As for the 2012 presidential race, Palin was noncommittal. “I want to be a supportive person,” she told reporters, adding she would be happy to support a strong candidate in sync with her thinking and issues. If no such candidate emerges, she added, “then I’ll take a look” at running herself.
Doug White, 42, of Covedale, said if Palin does run, it would inspire him to register to vote – for only the second time in his life. The first, he said, was to vote for President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
“I voted for Big Bush and didn’t check another name on the ballot – and haven’t voted since,” he said. “If she goes in 2012, I’ll do the same for her. She’s real. She speaks her mind. This country needs someone like that.”
Judah Lane and Kaylee Rayne – two Columbus women who refused to give their ages, but appeared to be in their 30s and early 20s, respectively – stood out in their goth outfits, facial piercings and, perhaps most notably, purple streaked and copper-colored hair.
If their appearance was unorthodox, their attitudes were very much in the mainstream at the book signing.
“If she becomes president, she wouldn’t be running the country,” Rayne said. “It would be the American people running the country. She’d follow the country’s wishes. We’d have a friend, not a boss, in the White House.”
Governor Palin spoke to reporters, as you can see in the photo gallery. If anyone comes across the video, let us know.
Photo gallery here.
Full coverage of the Cincinnati signing here.
Palin’s next and last stop in this book tour was Columbia, South Carolina.
Palin fans brave the elements:
Wrapped in a gray sleeping bag and using two umbrellas to fend off the overnight rain, Penney Reynolds of West Columbia landed the coveted, first-in-line spot at Books-A-Million in Northeast Richland on Wednesday…
Bundled in heavy coats and sleeping bags, they catnapped in lawn chairs.
And they talked, with crossed fingers, about Sarah Palin’s potential run for president and her new reality show on TLC….
About a dozen people down, Patsy Freeman of Sumter waited in line with her feet stuck in a shopping bag from a nearby clothing store.
“I wore my boots but forgot to put on warm socks,” said Freeman, who, along with two friends, got up at 5:30 a.m. to get in line. “It’s worked, though. They’re warm now.”
Freeman and her friends made the most of their day.
“We’ve had a good day, a neat day,” said Freeman’s friend and fellow real estate agent, Jan Epps. “We’ve met a lot of people. And with these smart phones, you can get a lot of work done even when you’re not in the office…”
Those in the back of the line, which continued to grow right up to the 5 p.m. deadline, were not feeling positive.
“Hopefully, I’m not number 501,” said Ryan Drafts of Gilbert, hoping to score one of the 500 wristbands for his wife, Misty Drafts, who was at work.
“I couldn’t care less but (my wife) is really into politics and Palin,” he said. “She keeps me informed and tells me who to vote for.”
Fans in SC endure rain, cold for Palin’s autograph:
Some Sarah Palin fans in Columbia endured rain and cold overnight to nab a wristband that promises some face time with the former Alaska governor during her book signing….
Others braving temperatures that dropped to the low 40s included Kerri Staton of Swansea and Angel Simmons of Red Bank, who pitched a tent filled with blankets and had a cooler of snacks.
“I just love her,” Staton told the newspaper. “She’s so down to earth and really gets small-town people. I’m hoping she’ll announce she’s running in 2012 while she’s here.”
The line grew to 70 by 3 a.m., and to 100 by 6 a.m., for wristbands that wouldn’t be passed out for another nine hours, Lee said.
She said she’s gotten calls from fans as far away as Miami, Las Vegas and Wisconsin.
“Everybody’s excited. We love the energy these events bring,” she said.
Book signing makes store in SC “Palin Country”:
For a few hours Friday, a bookstore in Columbia became a little bit of “Palin Country” as the former Alaska governor wrapped up her latest book tour with a stop in a key presidential primary state….
“She just stepped into the spotlight and handled it great. And then I found out she had a child with Down syndrome, and I knew she was what this country needed,” said Martin, who has a 6-year-old daughter with autism.
Martin brought along her 8-year-old daughter Lauren, who started liking Palin after watching her climb mountains and go hunting on her new reality show.
“I’m going to ask her what it’s like to be a TV star,” Lauren said…
Palin was last in Columbia in May to endorse Nikki Haley, now the governor-elect. A few weeks later, Haley knocked off three more established candidates to win the GOP nomination.
Plenty of cars in the bookstore parking lot had fresh “Haley for Governor” bumper stickers on the back.
“We now have a woman as governor,” Martin said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have one as president too?”
Full coverage here.
That concludes the “America by Heart” book tour, barring any unannounced signings. You can find any stops you may have missed here.