The Springfield News-Leader talked with supporters who were eager to hear the vice presidential candidate, some traveling great distances to get the venue:
The bundled-up crowd of nearly 15,000 trudged in line through Friday morning's gray light.Sarah Palin continues to be held in high esteem by conservatives who believe in her message and identify with her as one of them.
From retirees to babies swaddled in blankets, they traveled from all over the state. Vendors hawked buttons and T-shirts; people laughed and interacted with neighbors in line. Many wiggled out of work or school to be there, to experience history -- to see Sarah Palin.
"I've never voted for a Republican in my life," said Charlotte Christ, a 37-year-old cook from Buffalo. "But Sarah's one of us. You can hear it in her voice."
Christ and her husband, Shawn, have two children, ages 2 and 4. They are drawn to the Alaskan governor's conservative values and persona as a Washington outsider.
"They finally found one who talks to me," Shawn Christ said.