PELLA, Iowa -- When a hurricane threatens the East Coast, people board up their homes, gather their loved ones, and flee to safety. A few hours from now, Hurricane Palin will hit this lovely little town--home of the Tulip Festival and notable for its Dutch architecture--for the Iowa premiere of her biographical movie, "The Undefeated." This may or may not presage a presidential run, and judging by the number of satellite trucks, the media isn't taking any chances. The local hotels are sold out, the town square is closed off, and the locus of all activity is the Pella Opera House, where Palin herself will grace the red carpet at 5 p.m.
Not everybody is thrilled about this. Pella is a deeply conservative town, but I encountered plenty of people (Democrats, independents, Republicans) who were annoyed by the approaching storm and planning to flee--only this being Iowa, they were super polite about it. Cyndi Boertje, 48, a tutor coordinator at the local college is one such person. "I will not be in town while Palin is doing all her stuff," she informed me. She confessed to some curiosity about the crowd--"I was a sociology major"--but in the end decided that she could not abide the star of the show. "Her voice, that dog whistle, it just makes your skin crawl. And the stuff she says--the dots just don't line up." Boertje had already hit upon a Dutch-appropriate means of escape: "I'm going on a bike ride."