For those who have stars in their eyes over state Sen. Wendy Davis’s boffo filibuster performance in the Texas Legislature this past week, they need to read Ross Ramsey’s excellent analysis in the Texas Tribune.
The bottom line, according to Ramsey, is that if Davis has thoughts of running next year for Texas governor, she needs to forget about it. She will lose.
Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who stole the show at the end of the Legislature’s special session last week, made the talk-show circuit this morning. Everyone wants to know if she once more can filibuster the anti-abortion bill that drew such attention this past week. The media love her. And why not? She’s, um, “telegenic” – which is code for good-looking – smart (Harvard Law grad), articulate and she has a compelling life story. She’s quite qualified to discuss abortion rights, as she once was a single mother who chose to give birth to her child while she was unwed.
However, Davis is facing some fierce partisan headwinds if she has any thoughts of challenging whoever the Texas Republican Party nominates next year for governor. My hunch continues to be that Rick Perry will not seek re-election next year and that Attorney General Greg Abbott is a shoo-in for the GOP nomination.
Abbott is loaded with cash and he has something, Ramsey reports, that Davis wouldn’t have: a political party infrastructure equipped to run a winning statewide race. Despite all the brave talk among Democrats and their infatuation with Davis, the Texas Democratic Party is in sorry shape. The party hasn’t won a statewide race since 1994 and, near as I can tell, is still in the dumps over its inability to make any headway in this Republican state.
I’m wishing the best for Davis. I think she’s got a bright future in Texas politics. The one thing she has going for her is that she’s still young enough – at 50 – to make a name for herself, even as a Texas Democrat. She has to start, though, with rebuilding her party.