Sarah Palin remains the hottest Republican ticket if the crowds and enthusiasm at her book signings are anything to go by.

On Friday she brought her “Going Rogue” book tour to Plano, an affluent town just north of Dallas that is in deeply red Republican country. About 1,500 people lined up for hours in the winter cold to wait for Palin’s bus. A lucky 1,000 among them had advance tickets to get their copy of her new autobiography signed.

USA-POLITICS/PALIN

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee clearly remains the northern light of the Republican Party that can spark up its Southern and conservative base. She now reigns almost unchallenged with this base after the apparent downfall of former Arkansas governor and Republican White House hopeful Mike Huckabee.

His political future was dealt a blow this week by the revelation that he had once pardoned the man who killed four police officers in Washington state on Sunday.

“I hope she makes a run for president, I wouldn’t hesitate to vote for her,” said Steve Yurasits, a 59-year-old school bus driver, expressing a sentiment shared by many in the crowd.