Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will appear at a book-signing event in Sioux City on Sunday, but some locals say the line may not be as long as it might have been, based on the timing.
Palin’s scheduled to start signing copies of her book in the Barnes and Noble in Sioux City at noon. Folks can get in line, starting at six o’clock Sunday morning, to get a wristband for entry into the store when Palin’s autograph session starts. Senator Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, says he would love to go, but can’t.
“This is right during when most of us people in northwest Iowa go to church,” Feenstra says. “So it becomes a little bit of a problem for some of us.”
The drive from Feenstra’s front door to the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Sioux City which is hosting Palin’s book-signing is about an hour. Feenstra lives in Sioux County, which as of December 1, 2009 had over 14,000 registered Republicans, compared to fewer than 2000 Democrats. Two other northwest Iowa counties — Lyon and Plymouth Counties — are Republican strongholds, too, but they’re even farther from Sioux City and Feenstra says many Republicans will decide it’s too far to drive on a Sunday morning.
“However, she does have a great following and I think some people will set church aside for a week and come see her,” Feenstra says.
Feenstra, by the way, already has Palin’s autograph. He got it when Palin made a campaign stop in Sioux City in 2008, about two months after Republican presidential nominee John McCain asked Palin to be his running mate.
Mark Lundberg of Orange City, the chairman of Sioux County Republicans, is a big Palin fan, too, but he’s not going to the book-signing.
“I don’t like standing in line for anything,” Lundberg says, with a laugh. “To me, it’s just not something I’m interested in doing.”
However, Lundberg says he expects a “significant” number of people to stand in line to meet Palin on Sunday.
“If people want to go down and get their book signed, they’ll skip church to do that,” Lundberg says.
Lundberg considers Palin’s speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention to have been a “rock star” moment and he says Palin has a “solid” shot at the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination.
“I think she brings a lot to the table as far as the conservative base and her philosophy and she’s very popular with what we call the ‘fly over’ country of the United States, you know, and she’s very common sense oriented,” Lundberg says. “Would she be my number one candidate at this time? Probably not, but she’d be in the top five or six. Right now, I’d be happy with anybody but what we have.”
In 2008, the McCain/Palin ticket garnered 13,490 votes in Lundberg’s Sioux County, compared to 3030 for the Obama/Biden ticket.
Sioux City, the site of Palin’s book-signing event, is located in neighboring Woodbury County which saw a McCain/Obama draw in 2008, with both winning about 22,000 votes in Woodbury County. While McCain ended up winning Woodbury County by 236 votes, Obama won the entire State of Iowa in 2008 enroute to winning the presidency.