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Hundreds line up for Palin book signing in Spirit Lake

Former Alaskan governor leaves positive impression on most visitors

December 3, 2010
By David Swartz - Managing Editor

SPIRIT LAKE - Brad Paisley's song "Celebrity" played in the background during one segment of Thursday's book signing at Wal-Mart in Spirit Lake by former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin.

For Spirit Lake, a town of around 4,500, Palin looked the part of a celebrity.

Hundreds of fans waited long hours-some arriving the evening before-for a chance to meet the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate for just a few moments.

Article Photos

Sarah Palin greets a bashful youth who ducked behind the table when she asked his name.
EDN photo by David Swartz

Palin is on a 16-day tour to promote her second book "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag." Spirit Lake is the smallest town on her tour.

The goal for Palin was to sign 1,000 books over a three-hour period from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Those that came to the store the previous evening were entertained by movies on the big screens overnight.

However, people who arrived Thursday morning still were able to purchase a wristband and have the opportunity to meet Palin and have her sign a book.

Palin did not meet with the media. Twenty-one media representatives including Dickinson County News, a Carroll newspaper, the Worthington Globe, CNN and KTIV were taken in groups of three to where Palin was signing books in the back of the store. However, they were only allowed to take photos and videos-no questions as Palin greeted those seeking a signed book.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta broke ranks asking Palin if she was closer to announcing her run for president. Palin responded negatively. The CNN crew was then asked to leave the signing area.

Prior to the book signing. Spirit Lake mayor Blain Andera and councilman Jeff Thee were part of a local delegation that met briefly with Palin.

"She was very congenial," said Thee, who said he offered Palin a picture his daughter Reghan Thee, had submitted.

Others also said they enjoyed their visit with Palin.

"I thought she was very friendly-very personable even for the brief moment you get with her," said Andrea Miller from Milford. Miller said she was surprised to be able to arrive at 9:30 and still get a book signed.

Kevin Young was one of several Estherville residents.

"I had a nice visit. She's a nice lady and called me by name," Young said. "She's pretty personable."



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