The 'Going Rogue' code: text reveals logic of Sarah Palin's tour

Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue' book tour stops mostly at Republican strongholds. But some places also have a personal connection.

Why is Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” book tour stopping at The Villages, a Florida retirement center, on Nov. 24?

Here’s a thought – maybe it’s because The Villages is mentioned in the book. On page 265, Ms. Palin describes the place at some length as she writes about stopping there for a rally.

She is particularly taken by the fact that the main mode of transportation in this retiree-heavy community is the golf cart, decorated and jacked up to fit the owner’s personality.

“My family and I had never seen anything like this and thought it was the Florida version of Alaskans congregating with their boats or snow machines,” Palin writes.

And, yes, the rally becomes a big event. She’s told the crowd will be 15,000. Then, the advance people tell her it has swelled to 30,000. In the end, the local fire marshal estimates the crowd at 50,000 to 60,000.

“When the bus reached the edge of the retirement community, all I could see were golf carts,” writes Palin. “It seemed like miles and miles of them lined up along the side of the road.”

Palin’s unusual book tour has been the subject of much political analysis.

The political component of the tour is pretty obvious. She is largely going to places that are heavily Republican, and full of her supporters, while avoiding the big blue-state cities where she would be more likely to get booed.

Sumter County, Fla., where The Villages is located, went for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008, giving them 63 percent of the county vote.

But maybe there’s a personal aspect to Palin’s visit, as well. Having seen that sea of golf carts, perhaps Palin told her publisher the place might be a good place to sell some books.

Palin has a personal connection to the book tour’s first stop, too. That was Grand Rapids, Mich., where she landed on Nov. 18.

Yes, Grand Rapids is a Palin kind of place. That is where her oldest son, Track, stayed when he went to Michigan to play hockey in 2006. Michigan is hockey-mad, and offered better youth teams than Alaska.

In “Going Rogue,” Palin mentions the Holmes family, the Grand Rapids clan that hosted Track that year.

“I felt the Holmes family represented the kind of people our ticket could resonate with in a state filled with hard-working, patriotic Americans, hockey moms, union members, and veterans,” she writes.

Maybe Palin felt Grand Rapids was full of book buyers, too.


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