- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Talk about a political rock star.

A crowd estimated at more than 1,500 already had lined up by mid-morning at a Grand Rapids, Mich., bookstore in advance of a 6 p.m. book signing by 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose book “Going Rogue” has already become a runaway bestseller — one day after its release.

Die-hard fans of the former Alaska governor traveled from all over the state and began setting up outside a Barnes & Noble store in the city’s Woodland Mall at around 9 p.m. last night, hunkering down in 30-degree overnight temperatures to camp out nearly a day ahead of Mrs. Palin’s arrival.

The book store, located in the city’s Kentwood area, had braced for massive crowds and handed out wristbands starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday on a first-come basis today for those hoping to see Mrs. Palin, who is slated to arrive by tour bus later this evening for a three-hour signing. Her book has sparked much interest and heavy dissection by media and political types as they feast on details from Mrs. Palin’s early life and her personal account of her role in the 2008 presidential election.

Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Maddie Hjulstrom said the store has given out a limited number of wristbands based on how many books they think Mrs. Palin can reasonably sign, but said they have also created a standby line for those hoping that she will stay on and continue to sign for overflow fans, who she said are energized by her appearance.

“She has had a good history in Grand Rapids and the town is very excited to have her and to have this as the start of her book tour, ” Ms. Hjulstrom said.

Grand Rapids, located in the Western part of the state, is heavily Republican territory in the mostly Democratic state. Mrs. Palin writes in the book that the title refers to her disagreement with the decision by her running mate, Sen. John McCain, to pull campaign resources out of Michigan and cede the state to Barack Obama.

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