Davis told reporters in Washington that she will either run for reelection to her state Senate seat in 2014 or for governor, probably against Abbott, the attorney general and the presumptive favorite in the GOP primary.
That narrows the choices and now she can explore — in speeches and appearances now underway in different cities around the U.S. — whether any Democrats with money are willing to invest in a Texas candidate.
In her National Press Club appearance, she also repeated her line that you can’t break through in politics until you break through. It’s the standard aspirational spin of a party out of power, and it will eventually be correct. No way John Tower could win, or Bill Clements, until they were a U.S. senator and a governor and the naysayers were silenced.
Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison get credit for breaking into the statewide jobs in 1990, but Clements was an incumbent governor and the junior senator at the time, Phil Gramm, was a Republican, too. Perry and Hutchison (and Gramm, too, that year) were survivors of the Clayton Williams collapse in the race for governor.
Even so, almost nobody thought they had an ice cube’s chance, and they went on to dominate — along with George W. Bush — the state’s politics for the next two decades.
If the odds had been better, there would have been more — and different — candidates.
Now the Democrats are where they started, hoping they can get Davis or someone prominent to sign up and to attract others who might make it a ticket.
Conventional wisdom is that Davis will make the top race. If she doesn’t, Texas Democrats will have an empty statewide ballot and not much time to put something together.