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The scene in Grand Rapids

From NBC's Andrea Mitchell
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- More than 1,500 people camped out overnight outside the Woodland Mall here for the chance to return later and get a book signed by Sarah Palin -- the first stop on her book tour.

People had driven for hours to get in line for an orange wristband and instructions to return and line up later. Palin is expected to be signing books from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Mall operators say she'd have to sign one book every 15 seconds to get through everyone with a wristband so far.

Those lined up here in battleground Michigan are hard-core Palin fans. Many are women who say they relate to Palin because "she's an ordinary person."

Another told me that she's "inspired by a woman who started from nothing."

"She means what she says, says what she means."

People were wrapped up in blankets, a few had strollers, and some elderly people had walkers. Some dads had secured a place in line and were later joined by the rest of the family. Many people said they'd made it a holiday, taking a motel room nearby. Two students, both young women, came from Michigan State. One said she viewed Palin as a celebrity better qualified to host a talk show than to be president. But most of the others in line were unqualified political supporters, who said they wanted to see Palin in the White House.

Many were sporting 2008 buttons and stickers from the McCain-Palin campaign.

From Michigan, Palin goes to Indiana tomorrow for another signing.