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Kate Zernike on Sarah Palin Fans Packing 'Anger'

Conservative anger: Don't leave home without it! "They brought their sleeping bags, their children, homemade chocolate Cheerios bars, and balloons to twist into animal shapes and hats for the crowd. And they brought their anger - about bailouts, jobs and health care."

Reporter Kate Zernike went on the book signing trail with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Fort Wayne, Ind. for Sunday's "Enthusiasm for Palin, and Echoes of 2008 Divide."

As hinted in the headline, the enthusiastic crowds brought conservative "anger" with them, as dutifully noted by Zernike in paragraph three:

When tickets to see Sarah Palin in Michigan ran out, people drove to her appearance here, three hours away.

Thousands had lined up overnight, starting nearly 24 hours before she was to begin signing books, camping out in 39-degree weather for a moment with the woman many see as the great conservative hope, a role model, "one of us."

They brought their sleeping bags, their children, homemade chocolate Cheerios bars, and balloons to twist into animal shapes and hats for the crowd. And they brought their anger - about bailouts, jobs and health care....As the tour stopped in the political battleground states of the Midwest, on a campaign-like bus emblazoned with a billboard-size picture of her, it rekindled much of last year's political rancor.


Zernike questioned just how politically clued in Palin's fans are:

As they wondered whether Ms. Palin would run for president, people here could not say exactly what they thought she would do differently to get the country out of its messes. But, they argued, she has common sense and understands how to run a family and a state. That seemed to be enough.

"I'm looking forward to her giving me hope," said Cheryl Geraty, waiting in the rain in Grand Rapids.

That sounded something like Mr. Obama, who had effectively started his own campaign for the White House on a book tour in 2006. No, Ms. Geraty said, shaking her head and smiling, "It's a different kind of hope."