There’s Something About Sarah

Sarah Palin is coming to the Mall of America on her book tour tomorrow. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has instructions for the throng that is expected to turn out (the MOA expects at least 2,500):

• No overnight camping on mall property. Fans can start lining up at 5 a.m. for the signing, which starts at noon.
• Don’t bring your own chair.
• Don’t leave the line for extended periods.
• Don’t take photos or bring bags onto the stage where Palin will be signing books.
• Get a nontransferable Mall of America wristband.
• Buy a copy of “Going Rogue” from Barnes and Noble at the mall or bring a receipt to show you purchased your copy at a different Barnes and Noble.
• Stay in a single-file line.

There is nothing quite like the Palin phenomenon. Is there anyone else in public life who, for a book signing, could draw a crowd that would have to be warned that they can’t camp out overnight, but can only start standing in line–in December in Minnesota!–seven hours before the event begins?
The Star Tribune can’t let it go, of course; their article on the logistics of the event concludes with this:

Some book reviewers have accused her of stiffing some of the facts in her book, and aides to former GOP presidential nominee Arizona Sen. John McCain have accused her of interspersing fiction with fact in her criticisms of the campaign.

Just in case anyone was wondering where the Strib stands on the Palin phenomenon. In the comments on the Strib’s story, meanwhile, liberal and conservative readers are duking it out. No one brings out the hate in liberals like Sarah. An interesting question: has there ever been anyone on the left who has prompted a similarly crazed reaction from conservatives? The closest I can think of–not very close, actually–is Ted Kennedy. It is instructive to compare the reasons why many conservatives despise Kennedy with the reasons why most liberals seem to lose their wits at the mention of Governor Palin.
Dan Riehl suggests that Palin is today’s foremost practitioner of e-campaiging. That could well be true. She certainly uses Facebook more effectively than any other public figure.
I was invited to a small dinner with Governor Palin tomorrow night, but I’m not planning on going as the price was pretty steep (for a good cause, I’m sure). Still, it was tempting. If there were anyone in public life I’d pay that much to have dinner with it would be Governor Palin. It would be fun to spend some time with her and draw one’s own conclusions.

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