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Pence's profile is on the rise

Gov. Mike Pence will speak next week to the largest gathering ever for a Koch-affiliated group.

Americans for Prosperity expects an audience of 2,500 for its 8th annual Defending the American Dream Summit, in Dallas on Aug. 29.

“Pence has been making midterm appearances for the Republican Governors Association,” the political newsletter Playbook reports, “but next Friday's speech will mark his debut for a grassroots audience heading into '16.

“Look for a new wave of speculation about Pence's strengths as a potential fusion candidate for '16 who could bridge the establishment/business and evangelical/tea party wings of the GOP.

“The establishment likes his executive track record, his non-confrontational brand of conservatism, and his experience as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when he was in congressional leadership. The tea party still loves him for his opposition to President George W. Bush's TARP and No Child Left Behind plans.”

Pence is among several heavy-hitting conservatives who'll be speaking at the so-called summit. Others are Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Dr. Ben Carson, Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, onetime CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, and U.S. Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee.

Playbook reported the event with the headline “The coming Pence boom.”