By Juliette Terzieff
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" book tour has drawn faithful supporters, many of them GOP women who like her character and can't wait to see what she'll do next. One loyalist says negative media coverage of Palin is just another plus.
THE VILLAGES, Fla. (WOMENSENEWS)--Across the country thousands of faithful supporters have turned out at every stop of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" book tour, and this strongly Republican area famous for retirees and decorated golf carts was no different.
Supporters began to line up 24 hours before Palin's scheduled arrival here last week.
"She's an inspiration. There isn't anybody like Palin and I came to thank her," said Jean Brewer, who lives nearby and joined the line at 8 p.m. the night before Palin's 2:30 p.m. Nov. 24 appearance.
Brewer--wearing red, white and blue coordinated clothing and jewelry--brought two books for signing and a copy of a 50th wedding anniversary greeting that Palin had sent Brewer and her husband ahead of the couple's Sept. 19 celebrations. (The greeting was spurred by friends who wrote to Palin informing her of Brewer's political devotion.)
To supporters such as Brewer, Palin is a rare voice of principled honesty in a political world dominated by individuals out of touch with average Americans' concerns.
"This isn't about one political party or another. Our country is on the wrong road and corruption is everywhere," Brewer told Women's eNews. "We need real people as leaders."
Character is a recurrent theme among Palin supporters, as Maryland State Sen. Nancy C. Jacobs--who joined the throngs outside The Villages' Barnes and Noble--asserted.
"Her principled stands on issues and the decision to give birth to her last child are really admirable," Jacobs said in an interview. "It's putting your faith in your walk. She's the real deal, a real person, and you don't see that too often in politics."
Palin's youngest son Trig, who has been traveling with Palin on her book tour, along with her parents Chuck and Sally Heath, was born with Down syndrome. In "Going Rogue" Palin recalls grappling with feelings of insecurity when she discovered her baby's condition and finding a greater understanding of why people might choose abortion.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin said she supports abortion if a mother's life is in danger, but is otherwise opposed to it. Abortion should be governed by individual states, not the federal government, and Roe v. Wade should be overturned, according to Palin.
The suspense that now surrounds Palin's plans to run for president in 2012 seems to enhance her appeal among some Republican women.
"She's a tough cookie, a staunch conservative who stands up for what is right," said Cindy Graves, incoming president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women. "She's also a role model for young women representing a party that has long been the domain of old, white men. She's kicking open doors and I can't wait to see what she'll do next."
The book tour has proven Palin's ability to attract media, generating a Newsweek cover story, articles in nearly every section of The New York Times, fan videos on YouTube, an explosion of blog posts and TV interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.
The Nov. 23 Newsweek cover ran a picture of Palin in biking gear, which was originally shot for Runner's World magazine.
It sparked controversy with heavy coverage in media outlets--including the San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor and the Huffington Post--over whether or not the image was too "sexy." Palin called the editors' decision to run the photograph "unfortunate…sexist and oh-so-expected by now" in a Facebook post.
By Allison Stevens
Washington Bureau Chief
By Mason and Abramovitz
By Juliette Terzieff