Palin book signing a tightly controlled operation
December 3rd, 2010
08:23 PM ET
7 years ago

Palin book signing a tightly controlled operation

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Members of the media and book-toting Sarah Palin supporters were asked to follow a surprisingly strict set of guidelines Friday as the former Alaska governor appeared in South Carolina on the final stop of a tour to promote her new book, "America By Heart."

Palin has been met with long lines at each stop during the two-week book tour, but fans at a Books-A-Million in suburban Columbia actually had to line up at the store twice: Once on Wednesday to enter a lottery for one of 500 wristbands that would guarantee them entry into the event, and if they got lucky, again on Friday night to actually meet the former Alaska governor.

Once inside, customers were required to present receipts for their books as a proof of purchase. They waited patiently as country music wafted through the box store, and several customers told CNN they had trekked all the way from Georgia or North Carolina for a moment with Palin.

That was until a store employee told the reporter that press were not permitted to speak with customers inside the store, or leave the roped-off cafe area that had been designated for them.

"It's a Sarah rule, not our rule," the employee said, apologetically. Another store representative told reporters that the strict rules were handed down via Palin's publishing house, HarperCollins.

Unlike Palin's stop in Iowa the previous day, members of the media were required to arrive at Books-A-Million three hours before the event to have their camera equipment, computers and cell phones inspected by officers provided by the Richland County Sheriff's Department and Palin's own security detail.

Reporters were told that live feeds of the event were not allowed, and questions were not to be asked.

The press, including a Danish television crew, waited for three hours in Joe Muggs, the bookstore café, until a store representative selected a handful of journalists to come to the front of the store to observe Palin at a distance of ten feet for ten minutes, at which point they were rotated out.

Palin, accompanied by her daughter Piper, signed books at a rapid clip while chatting with supporters, pausing to linger with a few who said they had relatives serving in the military.

Despite the breach of protocol, Palin responded good-naturedly when asked by CNN if she planning to have a more visible presence in South Carolina, a pivotal early state in the presidential nominating process. Since 1980, no candidate has secured the GOP nomination without winning the state's primary.

"Well I'm here right now," Palin said. "I don't know. We'll try and get back here soon."

Though it was just her second visit to South Carolina, political concerns were not a priority for Palin, who has focused on promoting her book during the tour and did not reach out to state Republican insiders during her Palmetto State sojourn.

Palin's first trip to South Carolina came in May, when she offered a key endorsement to Governor-elect Nikki Haley during her four-way fight for the Republican nomination.

Palin and Haley exchanged friendly emails on Thursday evening but did not meet in person due to their crowded schedules, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey told CNN.

Haley, just back from a trip to Washington where she met with President Obama and GOP Congressional leaders, attended her son's basketball practice on Friday evening.

UPDATE: Tina Andreadis, director of publicity of HarperCollins, told CNN that logistics at the the book tour events were handled differently by each venue.

Filed under: 2012 • Nikki Haley • Sarah Palin • South Carolina
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Jacob

    WOW! it all sounds so AMERICAN! and she's worried about Socialists and Muslims!?!? she's disgusting!

    December 3, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    Oh boy – who in the hell cares!!!

    December 3, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. ww

    wow – her ego just gets bigger and bigger every single day! I mean really, who IS she to demand such ridiculous rules?

    December 3, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. teepee

    The stupidity of the Palin followers and worshippers is mind boggling to me.

    December 3, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Expat American

    Sarah Palin is a bigot. Sarah Palin is a racist. Sarah Palin is a coward. How long will she hide behind her handlers and scribble notes on her hand?
    Will she hand out a free hotdog and a USA T shirt for every cross burned at her book clubs meetings like she did during her campaign stops?

    Go away White Trash Bigot Palin!

    December 3, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. John N Florida

    She'll never run. You can't get to the top office by only appearing on Faux Neus.

    December 3, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Terry

    She really knows how to make the bucks. Like P.T. Barnum said, "every crowd has a silver lining."

    December 3, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Gil

    Of course they are. Someone might ask her a question and then she would have to know the answer. Remember sarah, Murkowski is waiting back in Alaska for you! Your a fool!

    December 3, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Indy

    Seems like you have to go through a lot of "chicken crap" to buy a ghost written book from a horrible mayor and a former half term Governor that could not handle a high power position. They should just wait a couple weeks and pick up her ghost written book in the bargain bin at half price.

    December 3, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. lcasey

    That woman is an idiot.
    ..............and that applies to all who stood in line to purchase her 'book'.

    December 3, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Good for her. It is no wonder she has to control press after all the ugliness she has had to endure from them.

    December 3, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. M Lemming

    When the reality finally sets in that real Americans have lost their unemployment benefits, medicare, education funds, social security benefits, and general dignity, They will realize that voting the Republicans back in was a huge mistake, and that the media playing up of Sarah Palin and her un-American agenda is no longer cute or funny.
    Maybe they won't realize it until they wake up in a FEMA "camp" for the homeless. Google it.
    There the only use for her book will be toilet paper.
    Americans had better wake up and start reading about American Fascism and the American Nazi Party.

    December 3, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  13. Spuds

    Are you kidding me? This person is a legend in her own mind. And stupid people line up to get a signed book? Unbelievable. How bout you idiots find a damn job – because Sarah isn't going to help you get one.

    December 3, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. rusty155

    Want is wrong with you people, you just like to throw money away Saran Palin didn't write the book. You IDIOT are just making the other IDIOT RICH. Now don't for get too buy George W Bush book he the one that put AMERICAN in dept.

    December 3, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. gg

    Palin's book was ghost written for her and she's never even read it. What a fraud.

    December 3, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    Mississippi used to be #50 on brains – IT IS NOW SOUTH CAROLINA.

    Congratulations Mississippi

    December 3, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  17. they call me "tater salad"

    Scripted softball questions only folks or my security team will take you into the back room and extract your toenails! Now, who would like to go first?...................Anyone?..................Bueller?..................Anyone?..............

    December 3, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. malabar

    Good 4 Sarah, u never knw if a cnn lefty troll frm here might try sumthng. as much as they cant stand her and wish to avoid her, they seem to be the 1st ones who pop up when her name is announced. thats healthy

    December 3, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. Dale

    "questions were not to be asked" - pretty much sums up Sara Palin.

    December 3, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  20. LMC

    How could Sarah Palin ever think she could handle the presidency, if she can't handle the press and possible critical and probing questions?

    December 3, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. bcnu_too

    This moronic woman is sickening. Who does she think she is other than what she has created for herself because of the money she is so greedily grabbing.

    December 3, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. mlc in CA

    I feel sorry for the people who are buying into this woman's media charade. Every dollar they shell out for her books feeds her ego and encourages her. The thought of any of the Palins in a position of power horrifies me. Can you imagine this woman and her brood in the White House? All those Palin kids sending out their racist tweets? What an embarrassment.

    December 3, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Abel

    I was working for Books-A-Million during Palin's last book tour. It was the strictest signing I have ever seen. Not only did everything in this article go on, the rules for the signing had us putting up curtains all around the signing area. Any customers who were in line couldn't see her until it was their turn to get their book signed and go behind the curtain. The rules for signings were more strict and had tighter security than a signing we did with Jimmy Carter. He's a former president and still an active player in the government. There is a ton of ego and self-importance at play here. The strict rules on the media are just a shield. She and her handlers know that if she speaks to any microphone that doesn't have the name Fox, she will most certainly say something completely ridiculous.

    December 3, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. cleareye1

    It is so hard to trash such a pretty woman, but then we don't seem to have a problem with her Hollywood equal- Paris Hilton.
    To imagine Sarah Palin as President is actually harder than Paris Hilton accepting an Academy Award. They are both good at what they do- hustle bucks, but Paris means no harm. Sarah Palin in a position of power could damage life on earth.

    December 3, 2010 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. kyle

    S.C. and Palin, a perfect combination.

    December 3, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
1 2 3