November 10, 2010
By GROMER JEFFERS JR.
The Dallas Morning News
Sarah Palin, perhaps the hottest commodity in the Republican Party, returns to Dallas today as a potential political kingmaker and a strong contender for the GOP nomination for president.
Local politicians recognize her value. In town for an event sponsored by Heroic Media, a conservative group that helps women with unexpected pregnancies, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee will share the stage with two Texas politicians eyeing a bigger stage.
Gov. Rick Perry , fresh from his thumping of former Houston Mayor Bill White for an unprecedented third full term as governor, will join Palin at the Majestic Theatre in the middle of his tour promoting his new book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. . .
Also on the program is Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, who is widely expected to forgo another term at City Hall to prepare a 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate. . .
As Palin heads to Dallas, she has some work to do to bolster her image. Texas voters overall are sharply split on her, according to a Nov. 2 exit poll. A CNN.com summary of the poll showed 45 percent gave Palin a favorable rating and 50 percent an unfavorable rating.
"She's got some positives as well as negatives," SMU political scientist Matthew Wilson said. "Within the Republican Party, it's more positive than negative." . . .
"Leppert needs to define himself more in a partisan context," Wilson said. "Appearing with Sarah Palin is an effort to reach social conservatives and the tea party component of the party."
Read the full story.
# # #