Since Davis is giving up her Fort Worth-based Senate seat, she could take her national profile to a political think tank or a job as a television pundit.

“She does well on TV. That’s a pretty well-tried path for people like her,” said Matt Bennett, former aide to President Bill Clinton and Al Gore and co-founder of the moderate Democratic group Third Way. “That is a path she might be happier on anyway. She of all people knows how tough it is to win in Texas.”

But Cathy Bonner, who was a close confidant to Texas’ last Democratic governor, Ann Richards, said Davis isn’t “as jaded as a pundit.”

“She’s very sophisticated in politics and elections,” said Bonner, also a Davis donor. “I don’t think she would ever be that.”