Shikha Dalmia on Whether Talkathons Can Propel Politicians to Higher Office


Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who became a household name this summer after her gutsy filibuster to stop Gov. Rick Perry's abortion restrictions, announced her candidacy last week to replace Perry. Democrats are giddy with excitement because Davis' star power, they believe, has given them their first real hope in nearly two decades of pulling this reliably red state into their orbit. But Republican Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz might also want to wish her luck, writes Shikha Dalmia. Davis' candidacy is an early field test of their political strategy: Using filibusters on narrow issues that resonate with core constituencies as a tool for catapulting themselves from obscurity to greater political heights. But whether being a filibuster candidate can propel Wendy Davis into the governor's office will depend on her ability to overcome its rather severe downsides.