Sarah Palin's book tour kicks off in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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In the early morning hours, hundreds began to gather for a chance to meet Sarah Palin, who makes her first stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. to promote "Going Rogue."

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By Jason Horowitz
Thursday, November 19, 2009

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. -- Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" tour is going perfectly according to plan.

True to the last page of her memoir, in which the former Alaska governor writes, "We can't abandon Michigan and places like it," Palin and the media steamroller she has been riding for the last week kicked off her book tour on Wednesday in the state the McCain campaign deserted, to her publicly expressed chagrin.

Her return had all the trappings of a political campaign -- bus, advance team, security detail, political handlers, rope lines, satellite trucks and approximately 2,000 supporters and gawkers on site.

A blue coach bus with "Going Rogue With Sarah!" written on the front over the likeness of a moose pulled up outside the Barnes and Noble here at about 5:30 p.m. The campaign anthem "Only in America" played on a speaker outside the store. When she got off the bus, wearing her familiar uniform of black skirt, high heels and red blazer, she waved with one hand and held her son Trig, dressed in a striped green sweater, in the other. The group erupted in applause. She walked to a small platform in the middle of the crowd, said "Thank you so much for showing up," and handed Trig to an aide.

"There is just something about Michigan," she said. "I couldn't wait to get to Michigan."

She said Michigan was a lot like Alaska, with "the huntin' and fishin' and the hockey moms," and paid tribute to its "hardworking patriotic Americans."

She spoke on conservative message about free enterprise and the "revitalization of your economy," and said she expected to see "some miraculous things happen in this part of our land."

Then she urged everyone to buy her book, "so you can read my words unfiltered."

One supporter screamed, "Tea party!"

As she made her way to the store's entrance, a television reporter offered her some elk jerky as bait for an interview. Others leaned over a barrier of security guards and police officers to shout questions.

Reporter: "What do you think of the Newsweek cover?"

Palin: "I think it's quite cheesy. I would never have posed for Newsweek in shorts."


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