Originally Published: Slate • June 1, 2011
In general, whenever Sarah Palin arrives anywhere, people know her. That hair, that voice, those glasses. She is instantly recognizable and instantly polarizing. People say that she is their hero or that they detest her.
Except this morning, at the Statue of Liberty.
“There was a bit of a controversy around her, I think,” says Gill Badger, visiting with her husband and son from Stratford-on-Avon in England. “Can’t remember what it was.”
This tour, which Palin is calling a family vacation (although it looks unmistakably like a campaign swing), has thus far taken her to historical sites along the East Coast where actual voters might be. But this stop, perhaps more than any of the other sites the Palins have hit so far, calls into particularly sharp relief the weirdness of this whole exercise. Unlike, say, the nation’s capital, which Palin visited over the weekend, or New Hampshire, where she may head later, not even the Americans at Liberty Island were necessarily interested in politics, let alone in Sarah Palin.