Sarah Palin’s fans push for 2012 presidential run
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Lynn Giese calls Sarah Palin the best thing that’s happened to the U.S. in a long time, and the 57-year-old housewife says she’d work tirelessly for the former Alaska governor were she to run for president in 2012.
“I’d do anything, go anywhere,” said Giese, of Bokoshe, Okla., while waiting in line at a Sam’s Club in Arkansas where Palin signed copies of “Going Rogue,” her best-selling memoir.
She’d also have support from Kayla Hogue, a 20-year old student who came to the same event sporting a button melding a photo of Palin and Ronald Reagan. And Bob Rutz, 78, first in line at Palin’s book signing a day earlier in Springfield, Mo., who said, “I’m hoping she’ll be drafted (to run).”
These are the foot soldiers in Palin’s army: thousands of devoted fans who show up to catch a glimpse of the one-time GOP vice presidential nominee on her book tour and urge her to seek the nation’s top job.
In Fayetteville, hundreds of people formed a line that snaked around the back of the store. They wore camouflage fatigues and suits, work boots and dress loafers, ball caps and cowboy hats and T-shirts that read, “Palintologist.”
But while huge crowds greet her with roars of “Run Sarah Run!” as she tours the country in a campaign style bus, many national Republi-cans look on nervously, worrying the unparalleled enthusiasm she generates among grass-roots conservative voters isn’t enough to power a Republican victory over Presi-dent Barack Obama in 2012.
“People look at her and see themselves: patriotic, religious, family oriented outsiders looked down on by a liberal elite,” said Jim Broussard, a political science professor at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. “But what makes her so attractive to her base makes her less attractive as an actual candidate, because you can’t win with just your base.”