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. donn

    it's a sad commentary.....the draw this person has (no matter how small) is an embarrassment to the United States of America.

    December 3, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. Tam

    And she wants to lead a country? and some citizens want her to?!

    December 3, 2010 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. bob

    What is she trying to hide? The media is free press. Apparently she doesn't believe in the first amendment. She is truly not American nor a follower of the constitution.

    December 3, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. me

    I must suddenly be dyslexic because every time I try to type fascist it comes up Sarah Palin.

    December 3, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. dmog55

    This is someone who wants to be Commander in Chief, but is to chicken to go to some States to do a book signing?. Whats she going to do run the Country from her Twitter account?

    December 3, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. ronalde

    I didn;t khow that there was so many stupid people ins.c.

    December 3, 2010 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  7. jennie-fl

    What did she write about, lets see she's a professional hockey mom, ex=gov, ex=pta, and now Prez.
    Someone please send this witch home back to AK. Ops...lady Bush already told her to.

    December 3, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. ficheye

    Gotcha. We gotcha, you betcha. Palin shows up and all of those gotcha questions are banished from her sight! No magazines to read, no truths to tell, just that darn folksy know nothing of a partial governor tellin' us the good stuff. Let's elect her for president. She'd show those Koreans a thing or two... why, she's send over the first dude on his snow mobile. He'd straighten everything out.

    December 3, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    Of course it is tightly controlled for Republicans, there are FREE SPEECH ZONES remember that, at the same time people (Republicans) going to Obama rallies demand that they be able to carry assault rifles at that rally, oh yes WE Democrats remember everything 🙂

    December 3, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Frankie

    Very well scripted. And she isn't as dumb as we think. She has the smarts to keep the press at a distance with the rule that no questions be asked, such as "Is Africa a country or a continent?" Stupid? As all getout. Dumb? Not by a long shot.

    December 3, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. Whyputaname Fr. MA

    So for those wanting to get the book signed they have to jump through hoops for it, and prove they actually bought the book.....oh, that is just to funny!.......I knew there was a reason for not buying that comic book!

    Now that is one women who did put her career above raising the children.....While running around the state promoting abstinence and playing Gov. her daughter was back home spreading her legs........Just to funny!

    What does Todd do for work again?.......Hmmm

    Sarah do us all a favor, go back to Alaska and stay there...........

    December 3, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. Pasta Fazooli

    looks pretty elitist to me,.. hell even the Queen of England doesn't get such security measures. The woman is a fraud, and her followers a bunch of idiots.

    December 3, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  13. Linda

    Please, anybody, please explain to me why people like this woman. She's a moron pure and simple. Hilary Clinton as a 7 year old was probably smarter. Listen to Palin speak. Most of what she says doesn't even make sense. Are you people just as stupid as she is? If you take away her looks would you still support her?

    December 3, 2010 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  14. Dave

    She should read a few books before she tries to write one.

    December 4, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. dwayne

    American children are starving; And the republicans want to give billionaires 100,000 dollars tax cut each with huge deficit increase. How can republicans be so heartless?

    December 4, 2010 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. dwayne

    Republicans are already cutting JOBs.

    December 4, 2010 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  17. GentleCritic

    Silly Sarah finds it necessary to use thugs to keep those who know and will tell the truth away from those poor saps who stand in line for hours to see her "You Betcha" wink believing that she is actually someone to be admired. What's sad is by the time they realize she is another deamon from the Publican underworld their lives will already have been distroyed and the blood sucked from their veins.

    December 4, 2010 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  18. elisabeth montgomery

    Its interesting that Palin can still be held up as a model for America. McCain is completely wrong as she has none of Reagon 's classiness. My own teen-aged daughter was shocked by Palin's pregnant daughter during the primaries and all the drama and smut surrounding her boyfriend afterward. Its quite shameless and yet there she is the model Mama signing books and raking in millions. We are becoming a nation of gullible groupies.

    December 4, 2010 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    What else do you expect? The woman is a figment of her own imagination: no substance, all style (which has gotten cheaper looking lately, what with all the makeup and botox).

    God forbid someone should ask her a really hard question like name the capitol of South Carolina!

    December 4, 2010 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  20. LouAz

    Where will Her Imperial Highness bless us with Her presence next ? Thanks McCain !

    December 4, 2010 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  21. John

    Oh boy... do hope this Barbie wind-up doll runs for President... like blood in shark-infested waters...

    December 4, 2010 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  22. lstro

    Sarah rules sounds like socialism to me. Can't imagine why anyone would want to wait in line to meet this moron.

    December 4, 2010 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  23. BJ

    I understand that someone writes her tweets most of the time. We certainly know when she writes them herself. She wrote a book herself?

    December 4, 2010 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  24. midwestmatt


    Please choose her as your nominee because Obama will eat her alive.

    December 4, 2010 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  25. Marconi Darwin


    Palin is now the "author" of two books more than she has read.

    Here is a real simple way for journalists to trip her up. Ask her about her views on a topic that is there in her book.

    It is guaranteed that she does not know what's in the book, since someone wrote it

    December 4, 2010 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
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