ABC's John Berman, Mary Bruce and Gina Sunseri report from Phoenix:
With folding chairs and blankets in tow, fans lined up outside the Barnes and Noble in Phoenix at 5 am, braving the cold for hours for a chance to have Sarah Palin sign a copy of her new book. The crowd, which consisted mostly of women, but also many men, several teenage boys and even a ten-year-old girl, showcased the former governor’s broad appeal.
After several hours of waiting, Palin supporters were finally allowed to enter the bookstore, buy only two copies of “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag,” and receive a wristband that will gain them entry to the book signing tonight at 6 pm MST.
Despite the enthusiasm of this morning’s crowd (roughly 150 people), tickets are still available. Several in line this morning noted that Palin’s appearance was not well-publicized in the area. A spokesperson with Barnes and Noble would not say how many tickets were distributed this morning or how many total exist, but confirmed they are still being handed out.
Palin, who will miss seeing her daughter Bristol on the finale of “Dancing With The Stars” to attend tonight’s event, took to Twitter today to promote her second book. "‘America By Heart’ is out in bookstores today and available online for purchase. Our book tour kicks off at 6pm…” she tweeted, linking to a review of the book.
Meeting the former governor tonight, however, comes with strict rules. Palin fans are not allowed to bring in any cameras, cell phones or bags. In addition, she will not make any public comments or take any questions from the media.
Tonight’s book signing kicks off Palin’s nine-day, 16 stop book tour.