It's not often when we get to watch Mayor Tom Leppert play Robin to anyone's Batman, but that's exactly what happened when he introduced and subsequently endorsed Governor Rick Perry a couple weeks ago during Perry's visit to the Hyatt Regency for his State of the State Address. No doubt continuing to polish his Republican credentials for a potential U.S. Senate campaign, which the mayor said last week he hasn't ruled out, Leppert downgraded himself this afternoon to the role of Alfred as he didn't even have a speaking role inside Maggiano's at NorthPark Center where Perry rallied the troops before tomorrow's big election.
"I'm feelin' pretty good about the wind at our back from the standpoint of early voting and huge crowds all around the state Saturday and Sunday," said a confident Perry, who described the crowds as "energetic" and "passionate."
Before his introduction by Comptroller Susan Combs as "a great Texan, a great conservative and somebody I'm proud to call my governor and a friend," Perry stood by Leppert and the two discussed the World Series. The governor told the small group of supporters that tonight's Game Five begins "the great turnaround" in the series.
"We're gonna do it the hard way," he said. "Don't ever give up on your team -- that's the message."
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Perry, who spoke for just eight minutes and repeated many of his campaign themes, thanked Leppert for what he's accomplished for Dallas as mayor. He mentioned the relocation of The Boeing Company to Chicago instead of Dallas, claiming that the perceived lack of cultural arts factored into its decision, but Perry cited the transformation of the city's Arts District along with efforts across the state as reasons why Texas no longer falls short when it comes to arts.
"I would suggest there's a very simple reason for that," he said. "We have allowed the private sector in this state to keep more of what they've worked hard for, and they've made the right decisions about where to put that money -- into those charitable opportunities and into the cultural arts."
As state Representative Angie Chen Button and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson looked on, Perry touted the state's economy by noting that 153 businesses have relocated from California to Texas since the beginning of the year. He also stressed that now is the worst time to impose any new taxes on businesses because they create jobs.
"In fact, there's never really a good time to ever raise taxes," the governor added, triggering applause.