People started lining up at 4:00a at the Borders Bookstore in West Des Moines, IA braving the cold to obtain one of the 500 wristbands in order to be able to have their copy of America By Heart: Reflections on Faith, Family and Flag by the author, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin later that night. While in line I spoke with those who came as far as Indiana and Illinois.
Topics of conversation while waiting for the doors to open at 9:00a ranged from her oldest daughter Bristol’s performance on Dancing With The Stars to concern over the direction the Obama administration is taking our country. By the time the doors opened there were approximately 100 people waiting outside. By the time people with wristbands started to arrive later during the day 325 wristbands were given out. By the time Sarah Palin arrived all of the wristbands had been given out with a Borders employee telling me that they thought there would be a rush later in the day as the event got closer.
Those who waited in line outside in the morning were happy to return to find the line up was going to be inside as those line snaked around the bookstore. Governor Palin arrived almost a half an hour early through a back service entrance to a cheering crowd and started to sign books shortly behind the curtain that was set up for her. Her daughters Willow and Piper were with her and they walked around giving autographs and handing out bookmarks promoting their mother’s show on TLC, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. She was able to take a few seconds with each person asking their name and where they were from. From my personal experience you get a better sense of how personable she is which leads me to believe that if she should choose to run she could do very well in Iowa. So after she thanked me for standing in line to have my book signed and for what I was doing with Caffeinated Thoughts. I said I hope we’ll be seeing more of her in Des Moines (I didn’t get any earth shattering announcement in response).
I was asked later why she left early (it was scheduled to end at 9:00p). I wasn’t around at that point so I asked Tina Andreadis, Harper-Collins PR person traveling with Palin, and she confirmed for me that the early departure was due to their early arrival. Regardless, everyone who had been given wristbands had the opportunity to go through the line. Palin and company then traveled to Wichita, KS for a book signing today.
*You can see more of Dave Davidson’s pictures of the event at HereinIowa.com.