Hundreds of fans of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gathered at a bookstore in Sioux City, Iowa, waiting early Sunday morning for Palin to arrive and begin autographing copies of her book, “Going Rogue.”
A few camped in the parking lot overnight for the chance to be at the front of the line when the former Alaska governor entered at about 1:30 p.m., about an hour and a half later than scheduled.
Jennie Klatt of Spencer, Iowa, was among those who braved single-digit temperatures and the fierce winds that campers say tore through the area overnight.
“Sarah Palin is so courageous. She’s put her political career on the line so many times to take a principled stand,” said Klatt, who said that she wants Palin to run for president in 2012.
Michael Thompson of Council Bluffs, said he would like to see Palin start campaigning in Iowa. Thompson, who attended the State Tea Party Convention in Des Moines last month, stood in line Sunday to get an autograph – and to hand Palin a couple of letters.
“With suggestions, that we hopefully can get in her hands…It would be nice to have, say, a small arena or stadium where she could answer questions and people could spend a little bit more time (with Palin) than 30 seconds getting a book signed,” he said.
The Iowa caucuses are the lead-off event in the presidential nominating season, and many prospective candidates author books as a way of introducing—or re-introducing— themselves to voters. In 1998, for example, Lamar Alexander’s “Little Plaid Book” was a play on his penchant for campaigning in red-plaid shirts, but the book failed to translate into a caucus victory for Alexander, who dropped out of the 2000 presidential race before the caucuses were held.
Mike Huckabee, the winner of the Iowa Republican Party’s 2008 caucuses, made stops at Iowa bookstores in November 2008 and again last month to sign copies of his last two books. But Sunday marks the first time Palin has visited the state since the 2008 campaign. Republicans in the area had hoped Palin would appear at another event besides the book signing.
“I guarantee we’d have 20,000 people show up for an event here,” said Sioux County Republican Party chairman Mark Lundberg. Sioux County is considered Iowa’s “most Republican” county, with over 14,000 registered Republican voters compared to fewer than 2,000 registered Democrats.
Palin finished her autograph session shortly after 3 p.m. Her next book tour stop: nearby Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she was scheduled to start signing copies of her memoir later Sunday afternoon.
Kay Henderson is a political reporter and the news director of Radio Iowa