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Palin Skips Town, Fans Forgive Her

Here’s an extra anecdote from my National Tea Party Convention notebook. As I reported (and tweeted) on Saturday night, many people arrived at the Sarah Palin-headlined banquet — which they could attend for $549 as convention ticket-holders or for $349 if they only wanted to attend the banquet — with copies of “Going Rogue” and black pens. But Palin never made herself available for autographs. She walked onstage, gave her speech, shook a few hands close to the stage, (to get there, you had to get through a VIP rope line) did her Q&A, and left. Minutes later, convention organizer Judson Phillips made an announcement.

“The governor is leaving the building,” he said. “She has a tight schedule.”

I ran into Pat Almont, a retiree from Memphis, who attended the convention with one of the $349 banquet tickets. She’d run to the back of the room clutching a copy of “Going Rogue,” but Almont couldn’t get it signed.

“I just missed her!” Almont said. “They said she’d just left.”

I asked Almont and her friend, Jean Britt (another banquet attendee) whether they were disappointed that Palin wouldn’t sign the book.

“Oh, yeah, she would,” Britt said. “If you just ran into her in the hall, she’d sign it. She’s very down-to-earth. I’d love to see her as president.”

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