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While a few dozen protesters gathered along the roadside and near the entrance of the Jefferson County Fairground's main buildings prior to today's appearance by Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, a handful of others -- like the woman seen here -- were ready, willing and able to counter their negativity about Palin's candidacy with exuberance and enthusiasm. And there were lots more Palin placards inside, generally fitting two descriptions: either standard McCain-Palin signs that echod the graphics seen on television commercials and bumper stickers or the sort-of homemade variety. The "sort-of" qualifier is important, since messages like "Hockey Mom for Palin" all appeared with similar lettering on identical yellow rectangles. Either Republican volunteers made up a variety of these signs in advance and then looked for people fitting their general description willing to wave them, or there was a craft table somewhere in the building that I didn't spot. Under the latter scenario, I hope organizers gave everyone trash-bag smocks so they didn't get paint on their nice clothes. -- Michael Roberts