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Sarah Palin Book Signing

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Crowds wait to have their book signed by Palin

Crowds wait to have their book signed by Palin /Jon Clay

Article by Nick Manes, Photo slideshow by Jon Clay

Whether or not one-time Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin decides to run for President in 2012 is still anyone's guess.  But one thing is for sure.  She has developed quite the cult following.  Her new autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life has been number one on several Best-seller lists long before it's release, and Palin has been on multiple talk shows in promotion of the book.  She also decided to kick off her book tour right here in Grand Rapids at the new Barnes & Noble in Woodland Mall (3195 28th St SE) on Wednesday evening.

Local news sites were reporting that people had begun waiting in line at midnight Wednesday morning.  Those seeking signed copies of the book were let inside the mall at 7:00 AM.  From there they were put in a roped enclosure to wait for 11 hours.  The majority of people waiting seemed quite patient and many were reading their new copies of Going Rogue.  However, several times throughout the day the crowd burst into excited chants of “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!”.

Robin from Traverse City was one of the first people in the line.  She had arrived at 9:00 Tuesday night, and waited outside until 5:00 AM.  When asked what drew her to such lengths to meet Palin, she said, “ she represents truth, integrity, and honesty... and stands up for the people.”

Sean Jones drove from Elk Rapids because Sarah Palin “is beautiful, smart, and has done great things for Alaska.”  When asked to be more specific, Jones could not name what those great things were.

Joe Forrester came from Cedarville in the UP, and was walking around the perimeter of the ropes wearing a Palin Power sandwich board and selling bumper stickers of the same name to people in line.  He also stated that he has a Palin Power sign hanging from his house. 

“I love Governor Palin,” Forrester stated.  “She is a wonderful human being who looks out for the little people."

Forrester also had business cards with the heading U.P. Christians and bearing the slogan “Save Our Constitution."  He said that they are “a tax-exempt organization.”

Barnes & Noble manager Maddie Hjulstrom said “the new store is very excited to have the Governor visit,” and that the “customers have been wonderful.”  While she was unable to give an exact number of books the store had sold, she would say “it is at least in the hundreds.”

Like Palin herself, the book is not without controversy.  The blogosphere has been buzzing with people giving their opinion.  Several sites like, The Huffington Post, have published articles claiming that much of former governor has written are flat out liesOthers claim the book is little more than a chance for Palin to get back at those whom she considers enemies, like the McCain camp and CBS newscaster Katie Couric.

It still remains unclear whether Palin is little more than a hometown girl with some far-right fringe appeal, or a viable Presidential candidate.  But without a doubt, there is a contingent of the population who consider her the savior of American politics.

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The author of this article can barely conceal his left-wing sense of superiority. The prose is dripping with thinly-veiled disdain and condescension for people like Sarah Palin and her supporters. " a hometown girl with some far right fringe appeal?" "quite the cult following?" Palin's supporters represent good ol' US of A, beer-drinking, God-fearing Americans, and this guy acts like he and the rest of the hifalutin world are above it all.

The truth is that the author of the article was the star of his own news story a few weeks ago in this VERY PUBLICATION! Hmmm, nepotism anybody?

In this unindented block of underpunctuated text, you will find this "Nick Manes" character protesting against our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those boys are hunting down the killers responsible for 9/11, and you are saying that "in 8 years nothing has been accomplished"? They kept our country safe for eight years, thank you very much.

Normally, 15 American Apparel hoodie-clad hipsters chanting slogans in a park under a freeway and several blocks from any major thoroughfare is not considered newsworthy material. But on The Rapidian it apparently deserves equal coverage with the thousands of people who came out to support Sarah yesterday. I might as well publish a 600-word article about the next time I fart whilst doing a keg-stand.

For this publication to gain any credibility, care should be taken to distinguish news from publicity stunt, to separate those who make news and those who report it, and to separate editorializing from reporting.

You'll find that MSNBC reported on this story almost exactly the same way.

I say, kudos to Nick for asking questions that really presented what's going on.

Dear Mr. Florentine,

If I might take a few moments of your time there are a few things here I take issue with.

First  if you're going to accuse the author of "thinly-veiled disdain and condescension" you might refrain from doing the same.

Second "Palin's supporters represent good ol' US of A, beer-drinking, God-fearing Americans" sounds like cliche partisan bickering more than an explanation of your avid support for the controversial American author.

Third your suggestion that Nick Manes should somehow be disqualified from being a reporter because he was quoted in an unrelated article on the site is just ludicrous. A direct quote from The Rapidian's about page "The Rapidian is a citizen journalism project intended to increase the flow of local news and information in the Grand Rapids community and its neighborhoods." If we begin doing as you suggest content on the site will dry up in short order.

Fourth it was announced last week that we (The USA) have the alleged architect behind the 9/11 attacks in custody, and have had since 2003, and that he will be tried in a criminal court in New York. So it is unclear to me who "those boys" are hunting or how they've kept us safer.

Lastly since you seem to share my passion for journalistic integrity you should take a look at

Thank you for your thoughts and I look forward to your colorful human interest story on farting during a keg stand.


James Ayers

 Thank you for saying everything (and then some) that I wanted to, but couldn't find the right words.

Great points, and well spoken.

Rudy- some of your points are accurate, but slow down with the vicious attacks-also dont expect Wall Street Journal quality reporting here

Jon- MSNBC is well known for their liberal bias-their ratings tell the story (ps can you tell me when MSNBC asked tough questions for Obama? huge double standard)

James- kudos for standing up for Nick, but Rudy was leaving a comment-not writing the article- so I think he can actually have more of an opinion or "disdain" for the article

interesting to see this type of interaction from a simple Palin write up