Run, Wendy, Run! Media Cheers Wendy Davis to Run for Governor

After touting a Texas legislator's "epic" pro-choice filibuster, the media have turned to hyping her future as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state.

NewsBusters already documented the adulation that the media showed for Texas Democratic legislator Wendy Davis after she filibustered to stop a pro-life bill from passing the state senate last Wednesday. And after the initial hype over her filibuster passed, the networks and cable news began tossing out the idea of her running for Texas governor in 2014.

MSNBC, predictably, was the first to jump on the Wendy Davis gubernatorial bandwagon. All In host Chris Hayes asked her point-blank on June 26, "All right, there is a gubernatorial election in 2014. Your state has not elected a statewide Democrat for quite some time. Are you going to run for governor?"

The very next morning, CBS This Morning tooted Davis' horn. "It has also catapulted you in the political limelight," co-host Charlie Rose said of her filibuster. "Will you run for governor or for national office now?" After Davis wouldn't say yes, Norah O'Donnell jumped in to gleefully push her to run.

"But I did hear you say you'd be lying to say that it -- it has crossed your mind about running for higher office, right?" she asked Davis hopefully. "Well, there isn't a seat until 2014, right?" O'Donnell followed up when Davis expressed concern about the timing of the election.

That night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pondered Davis's chances for success if she challenged current governor Rick Perry:

"So could Wendy Davis's rocketing popularity on her side of the aisle sustain her through a run for governor? Does this moment in Texas Democratic politics mean that the longtime Democratic pipe dream of Texas turning blue is actually sort of at least a little on its way?"

Then the rest of the media started picking up on the possibility of a Davis gubernatorial run.  

"We're out of time, but a quick yes or no. Are you going to run against him [Perry] for governor?" CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Davis on the June 28 edition of The Situation Room.

"A Democrat in the governor's mansion here? Unthinkable a week ago. A maybe today," CNN correspondent Miguel Marquez suggested on New Day on July 1.

"Early speculation suggests this may be just the first phase between Davis and Perry," NBC's Janet Shamlian reported on Today on July 1, and National Journal's Reid Wilson affirmed, "This is certainly not the last we have heard from Wendy Davis. You can expect her to be a statewide candidate at some point."

MSNBC's Ed Schultz implied that Davis could eventually run for – president? "And if I were Wendy Davis, I would not limit myself to think about just being the governor of Texas. I think that she is a star. I think she has the guts, the political moxie. She is exactly what women in this country have been begging for," he hyped on The Ed Show on June 30.

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry touted Davis's chances in her June 29 tirade against Governor Rick Perry:

"Be careful, Governor, you're looking a lot like the villain who twirls his mustache and laughs while a speeding train is headed toward the woman you've tied to the tracks. Although you might want to take a closer look at that train, because Senator Davis has been hinting that she might be interested in your job, and right now there's a lot of momentum behind the Wendy Davis express. And it's headed right for you. Sincerely, Melissa."

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell teed up Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards to talk Davis's chances for governor, on the July 1 edition of The Last Word:

"But there is talk of Wendy Davis running for governor. She said today in a phone interview with NBC News that she cannot rule out running for governor. And that would be one solution to this kind of problem, would be to have another woman as the governor of Texas."

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014