Yesterday, Sarah Palin came to Northern Virginia for a book signing. It was about 40 degrees and snowing. BJ's didn't allow Sarah Fans to wait inside the store, and yet more than 2,000 people lined up for hours to get thier one minute with Sarah and Todd.
I was among those who braved the elements and took my two books to get signed. I have only waited in line for something like this once in the past. It was for a basketball to be signed by a former New York Knicks player (if I remember correctly it was Anthony Mason) for my then young nephew. I think he was about 6 or 7 at the time. I am not even sure if he still has the basketball, but that was done in the afternoon in the spring. So the two don't really compare to one another.
So standing outside in a big parking lot in the snow at 7 am was a very different experience. One of the many reasons that I am a huge fan of Sarah's is the fact that she seems to be so much like me. Along with Todd and Trig, her parents and her Aunt Mary came along. Her mom and her aunt went and greeted every person who was standing in line and thanked them for waiting in the cold and snow. Her dad said good-bye to every person upon leaving, while taking turns keeping Trig happy. He actually was smiling at the people who were waving to him. She is a woman who loves her family.
Another reason that I have such admiration for Sarah is the fact that she is one of a very, very few who will stand up for the most vulnerable in our society; people with special needs. They are the forgotten amongst us. It is rare indeed to hear someone with such national stature to talk about the special needs community. While Northern Virginia is one of the best places in the country to live if you are dealing with a special needs person in your family as the aid is plentiful compared to other parts of the nation. That doesn't change the facts that our society is not very accepting of them. So it is a breath of fresh air for special needs moms and dads to hear a loud and clear voice talking about the joy that these very sweet kids add to their families. It gives hope in between the disappointments you watch your child go through when they are yet again left out of everyday activities.
We were standing outside in the cold and snow for what seemed like forever, yet you heard no yelling, screaming, or demanding answers from the police that were there. We took turns making hot cocoa runs, and kept each places in line for bathroom runs. The bathroom runs were good because it gave your feet a chance to warm up. We talked about politics and our fears of the direction the country is headed to. We also discussed our feelings of a presidential run by Sarah. I was in the minority. I am not really pro at her making a run for the nomination in 12. While I would vote for her, I don't think she could win a general election and that would give Obama four more years. So, I would rather she stepped aside for someone who has a real shot at kicking Obamanation to the curb in three years.
We did have some protesters joining us. They were way at the other end of the parking lot. I am not sure if that was by choice or the police asked them to go there. There were four of them, and they carried signs that read "Sarah is not Trig's Mother", "Keep Abortion Legal", and "What are you going to quit next?” I found The Washington Post take on the whole thing interesting........."The weather dampened planned protests". I happened to see the guy from the Washington Post doing his work up for this story. He interviewed a few people, and I asked him if he was planning on doing a hatchet job on her, and his response was that his story was on the people who showed up as opposed to being on Sarah herself.
It was great to see so many young and engaged people who were lined up to get a glimpse at our "conservative rock star". I met people as young as 11, her brother was 14 or so and he was the one that begged his mother to take them. His feelings on Sarah are that she is an everyday person who understands the average American. She has a populist following that cannot be denied.