Tags: Conservative | Fever | Builds | Palin Book | Tour

Conservative Fever Builds for Palin Book Tour

Tuesday, 23 Nov 2010 10:09 AM

Ultra-conservative powerhouse Sarah Palin kicks off a tour to promote her second book in as many years Tuesday as part of a media blitz ahead of a possible White House bid.

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"America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag" promises to be filled with the folksy wisdom that won Palin a massive and adoring fan base, many of whom are expected to line up for hours for the chance to get a book signed.

palin, book, tour, feverIt is billed as a tribute to veterans, hunting and the Tea Party her publishers say will read "like a bible of American virtues for anyone hoping to understand the truths that lie at the heart of the nation."

Palin launches her 16-stop book tour in Phoenix, Arizona -- the hometown of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who faced a tough challenge in his primary election from a Tea Party candidate.

The bookstore is expecting a massive crowd for the 6:00 pm signing and has advised customers that only a limited number will be allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We have to know what makes America exceptional today more than ever because it is under assault today more than ever," Palin wrote in an excerpt posted on her Facebook page.

The former governor of Alaska burst onto the national stage in 2008 when McCain tapped her to be his running mate.

Despite mockery throughout the 2008 campaign for her lack of experience and awkward speech patterns, Palin commanded America's attention after her election defeat, becoming a celebrity force that now threatens to swamp other candidates.

Her "Going Rogue" memoir, published after she resigned from the governor's office, was the nation's bestselling nonfiction book last year.

And while she shunned the "lamestream media" after being battered in early interviews, the photogenic Palin has not shied away from less conventional media appearances, now involving her family.

A reality show called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" recently launched on the TLC network, featuring the family fishing, kayaking, bear-watching and relaxing in their tiny hometown of Wasilla.

Her daughter Bristol has made it to the finals on the hit ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," buoyed by public support in defiance of judges' skepticism about her dance floor talents.

A frequent commentator on Fox News, Palin's prominence grew as the conservative Tea Party movement gained momentum this year amid the deepest economic downturn in decades.

Her reputation as a political kingmaker has solidified with several of the upstart Tea Party candidates she endorsed romping to victory in the November 2 mid-term elections.

She commands massive speaking fees -- reportedly as high as 100,000 dollars a piece -- and her political action committee is said to have raised more money than all but one of the potential Republican White House contenders.

Yet the polarizing populist is no favorite of the Republican establishment, which has watched with dismay as Palin and her fellow Tea Party insurgents became increasingly powerful players.

Feisty former first lady Barbara Bush took aim at Palin, offering a backhanded compliment before delivering a zinger.

"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful," the 85-year-old told CNN in an interview alongside her husband ex-president George H.W. Bush.

"And she's very happy in Alaska -- I hope she'll stay there."

Amid growing speculation about her political motives, Palin told ABC News she is seriously considering running for the 2012 elections and could beat President Barack Obama.

The former beauty queen -- who came in third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant -- likens herself and other conservative female politicians up and down the country to "mama grizzlies... tough, serious, formidable."

"The women's groups and mainstream media have greeted the rise of the conservative mama grizzlies in much the same way they treated the vice-presidential campaign in 2008: with disbelief that people so alien to them could win the support of the American people," she wrote.

"Back then, left-wing feminists didn't know what to make of an Alaskan chick out on the campaign trail talking about the Second Amendment, kids (the more the merrier!) and America's urgent need for greater security through energy independence.

"Today, left-wing feminists and their allies seem to be similarly perplexed," she added.

Palin heads to Oklahoma on Friday, followed by appearances in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina.

© AFP 2015

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