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Sarah Palin in South Carolina: Book Event Now; Politics in 2012?

3 years ago
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Columbia, S.C. -- South Carolina is one of the first states on the 2012 presidential primary calendar. On Friday, it was the last stop in Sarah Palin's book tour. Mere coincidence?
Barbara Cauthen hopes not. "I would vote for her five times if I could," she said. Cauthen, 63, of Camden, S.C., was smiling even though she had just gotten laid off from her job as a process server. She already has other job offers. But the mother of four, grandmother of 10, great-grandmother of two just wanted to talk about Sarah Palin. "She's a down-to-earth person," she said. "She has a child with Down syndrome, and still has her upbeatness. She's an inspiration to all women."
Cauthen clutched her copy of "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," waiting for a quick word and a signature from the former Alaska governor, Republican vice presidential candidate and -- perhaps -- candidate for the country's top office next time around.
She already nearly has the security of a head of state. Some of the hundreds who waited in line had camped out days earlier for the chance for one of 500 wristbands that -- with a book receipt -- granted access to Palin's appearance at the Books-A-Million store. I missed the media sweep three hours before Palin's arrival that allowed journalists a glimpse but no interview opportunities, but her supporters were eager to fill me in.
Sarah Palin at Kentucky book-signing eventFour generations of one family got to meet Palin. There was Shonda Kletzke, a stay-at-home Columbia mother of four, thrilled that Palin asked the name and age of the sleepy youngest she carried in her arms. Little Joseph managed to hold up three fingers, according to his mom. Palin shares her belief that America "was founded on freedom of religion, and that religion was toward God," said Kletzke. Her mother, Sandra Moore, a retired hairdresser from Ware Shoals, S.C., said Palin "seems real." Moore's dad, 80-year-old Melvin Morrell, showed me where Palin wrote his name in the book in bold, black script.
Elise Bidwell, a 39-year-old financial adviser from Columbia, was touched by the special inscription written for her father who, she told Palin, is fighting cancer.
After their brief moments with Palin, people used the words "honest" and "eye contact." The personal connection was one that I first saw at the national tea party convention, when a man toted a huge poster of Palin as though it were a snapshot.

Susanne Bacchetta of Lugoff, S.C., said the first time she saw Palin on television with John McCain "I shot straight out of my chair. I've been listening to her ever since." (She later e-mailed me to say that "meeting her in person was one of the most memorable events I have ever had the opportunity to witness.") Bacchetta, 74, said, "When you hear the negativity" about her, "it's because people are afraid of her." Like several others, she wore a pin pairing an image of Palin with Ronald Reagan and the slogan "A Vote for Conservatism."
How quickly the personal turns political.
In her book, Palin mixes it up with personal and policy attacks on President Obama, preparing a road map, speculated The New York Times, on how a national campaign might operate. On Friday, as they stood in the chilly South Carolina night, her supporters eagerly jumped into the fight.
"I don't like his socialist attitude," Charles Leach of Fort Jackson, S.C., said of the president. Leach, 57, a supply technician at the Army training center, ran through a list of issues from "socialized medicine" to "cap and trade." Palin's decision to step down as Alaska's governor doesn't bother him; it freed her to "to serve the country at a higher level," Leach said. He believes she can solve America's "illegal alien problem" and "spending problem."
Not all her supporters are sure Sarah Palin's the one for the Oval Office, with many saying they would like to see a lot of candidates before they decide. But they do want to read what she has to say in her latest, which is No. 2 on The New York Times best-seller list to George W. Bush's "Decision Points." (If you missed the tour, a $100 donation to Palin's political action committee will get you a signed copy.)
Until the next book event, reality show or family appearance on a dancing extravaganza, Palin knows how to stay in the limelight, even dropping hints about what's next, despite her distaste for the media. When CNN asked about a possible return to politically pivotal South Carolina, she said: "I don't know. We'll try and get back here soon."
With one of her anointed -- Nikki Haley -- as the new governor, Palin will surely get a warm welcome.
Tagged: Nikki Haley

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62 Comments

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Lana DeSimone

Sarah Palin is beautiful- like it or not. She respects the Constitution of the US. I do not think she is Presidential material bt, nor is Pres. Obama but at least she is a business woman and at least he is getting us out of Iraq. My vote is for Mike Huckabee. He's a fair honest real American that believes in the people of the United States and I believe he is the best candidate for the job. I agree with the previous post of mxoverdriv

January 16 2011 at 1:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
In God's faith

Obama/Palin 2012! More War, More Inflation!

December 06 2010 at 5:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
jaimzee

Someone here said that "when people hear the negativity about her (PALIN) they are afraid of her" You better beleive Im afraid of her......Im afraid she will mess up the country worse than Bush did. But since Im a Democrat, I sure hope she runs for president ! Sarah......pick Bill O`Reilly for VP ! Please !

December 06 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaimzee's comment
henry

Cast blame where the blame is due, you have done that.

January 30 2011 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
naekes

She's a joke! How could possibly see her as president meeting with diplomats from foreign countries? She would have no idea where they live or even how to pronounce some of the countries. She is a total embarrassment to this country. She is only interested in the all mighty dollar. That is her bottom line greed and making more money. Plus she is incompetent!

December 06 2010 at 8:13 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to naekes's comment
henry

So true. The lower eschelon masses who think subjectly fail to put her in perspective. That women will fail as she had in Alaska. People will put a spin on any subject or person that does or does not suit thier Ideas or Ideals.
We are busy castigating the president, but we fail to look at this country as a whole, we are in big trouble. We are falling apart structually, moraly, and we have turned our backs on the future generations. Live for the moment and to hell with everyone else.

January 30 2011 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaimzee

I love Sarah Palin and I really hope she runs for president with Bill O`Reilly as vice president. And they could announce that when elected they will make Karl Rove secretary Of State who will declare no taxes for anyone making any money because it will help the economy and pay down our debt.

December 06 2010 at 7:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaimzee's comment
henry

You are a very erudite person, bravo.

January 30 2011 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cornell0673

I honestly think Trig would make a better candidate than Sarah.

December 05 2010 at 8:34 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cornell0673's comment
bthered

Don't knock Trig....Get the kid a Black Board and in a couple of years He will be able to take Glenn Becks place.

December 06 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
henry

Do you think so?

January 30 2011 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Sarah Palin only loves America because the name makes her rich. Speaking engagements, an analyst position at Fox, book tours, a TV show, getting a spot for her daughter on DWTS...this woman views America as a mere brand that moves units and makes her money. Anyone who thinks she's still in the spotlight because she genuinely wants to make America a better place should do the country a favor and stay away from the polls in 2012.

December 05 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jeff's comment
henry

No one person can make America a better, it has to be a collective effort.

January 30 2011 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wade

Sarah Smile! Go ahead and prove that you have the testicular fortitude to do the hard things that have to be done, but that none of the men folk have the courage to do....And there's certainly nothing wrong with looking good while you're doing it either! Rock on Sarah!

December 05 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
humorzhumors

Go, Sarah go! Democrats will love you!

December 04 2010 at 9:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bob

I certainly hope that she decides to run again. We really need her now.

December 04 2010 at 9:22 PM Report abuse -25 rate up rate down Reply

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