RALEIGH, N.C. —When Sarah Palin kicked off her book tour in Michigan this week, thousands gathered outside a Barnes & Noble and chanted her name, giving the event the feel of a political pep rally. The Army wants Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg on Monday to be a much quieter affair.
The base has asked Palin not to make a speech at a public book-signing at the base exchange; she also will not write personal notes, pose for photographs or sign anything besides her new memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life."
Fort Bragg also wanted to bar reporters from the event. Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Sicinski determined that by keeping out the press, the base would prevent Palin, a Republican and possible candidate in 2012, from having a platform from which to attack President Obama.
"Fort Bragg, nor any other Army installation, cannot be used or appear to be used as endorsing criticism of the commander-in-chief," said base spokesman Thomas McCollum. "Because this book-signing is turning into a political platform with the addition of media coverage, we are restricting the media coverage."
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Late Thursday, after news outlets complained to the Pentagon, the base changed course, saying a limited number of reporters could cover the event if they share their material with those kept out.
No limit was set on the number of people from the public who could attend the two-hour session at the base exchange. Lines are expected to be long.