No, I’m not talking about Senator Ted Cruz, but the Texas filibuster champ that had been the delight of the media and of Democrats, if you’ll pardon the redundancy. Wendy Davis, who took the floor in an attempt to defend late-term abortion and unregulated clinics despite public sentiment heavily tilted against both, has chosen to ride that public sentiment into the Texas gubernatorial race:
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis and her advisers have begun informing influential Democrats that she intends to run for governor in 2014, according to multiple sources familiar with Davis’s conversations.
The Fort Worth legislator made a national name for herself in June when she mounted a filibuster against new proposed abortion clinic regulations. Texas Republicans ultimately passed those restrictions into law in a special session called by outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
I’m not sure readers will remember that. That took place a long time ago, when the media found itself enchanted by gestures they’d later call pointless and empty, and celebrated them by highlighting the footwear of those who conducted those efforts. You know … three months ago.
Davis has her work cut out for her, not least because of her extreme position on defending abortion right up to the moment of birth. After the media castigation of Cruz, whose filibuster took aim at a much less popular position, it might be difficult for Davis to attract the same kind of fawning media attention over her one claim to fame. Davis would need all the help she could get to run against Greg Abbott, who is likely to trounce any Democrat in the next election, and perhaps especially a one-shot media sensation like Davis. A moderate Democrat with plenty of experience might give Abbott a workout, but an extremist like Davis will get steamrollered.
On the other hand, that’s not all bad news for Davis. A run against Abbott might raise Davis’ profile in state politics, just as Mitt Romney’s run against Ted Kennedy in 1994 raised his for later campaigns. A quixotic gubernatorial run will give Davis an opportunity to build a network outside her state Senate district and outside of Texas, although national Democrats will be investing heavily in attempts to rescue the Senate rather than on long-shot challenges in deep-red states. If nothing else, Davis can parlay this into a media career down the road, if Texas remains as red as it is now for another generation.
I wonder how the media will recall her filibuster post-Cruz. That should be amusing to watch, anyway.