She didn't quite draw the crowd (or the mass of security) that former President George W. Bush pulled for his booksigning a few weeks ago, but former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin still had more than 400 fans vie for a few fleeting moments with the author, who signed copies of her book America by Heart this morning at Borders on Upper Kirby.
The signing was less rigid than Bush's, though fans were told not to ask for personal messages so the line could move as quickly as possible, and were asked to leave all personal items in cardboard boxes manned by Houston police officers.
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Outside, a small group of protesters played drums and carried signs while marching around the perimeter of the bookstore's parking lot. The demonstrators said they were not affiliated with a particular group. Across the street at Whole Foods, shoppers questioned why media trucks had gathered in the lot.
Palin shook hands and chatted with fans, asking some for their names and if they were native Texans. Downstairs, Palin's controversial daughter Willow took photos with fans.
There were no cheers when Palin walked to her upstairs table (there were when Bush emerged at his signing) but when the first couple to get their books signed began to walk back downstairs, they were greeted with applause. The woman threw her arms in the air and shouted "We waited 18 hours, and it was worth every minute."
One man "went rogue" and tried to give Palin a photo of herself and Rick Perry the man had taken at a fundraiser. Palin instead offered to sign the photo along with his book, and handed it back to him.