On every network, it’s Wendy TV, with a postscript message for Perry

Posted Sunday, Jun. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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kennedy First, we saw the running shoes.

Then, the musical tributes, souvenir posters and stick-on nail decals.

Finally, Wendypalooza broke onto the national TV news shows Sunday morning, ending a week when the Fort Worth Democrat hyperspace-jumped from the Texas Legislature to a Times of London headline as “America’s new feminist icon.”

Live on NBC’s Meet the Press and CBS’ Face the Nation and by tape on other shows, Davis defended her opposition to new Texas abortion restrictions. Then her campaign delivered an email video that positioned her squarely for a 2014 statewide race.

Meet the Press host David Gregory touted Davis’ appearance as a visit with a “rising liberal star,” then got to the point. He asked whether her filibuster Tuesday was only “delaying the inevitable” because a new Senate session begins today, and also whether she opposes banning abortions after 20 weeks.

Davis said she wouldn’t accept “conceding the argument” on restrictions, and said Texas Republicans are “trying to boost their own careers on the backs of women by bullying them to boost issues that help them personally.”

She talked less about the 20-week ban and more about the likely shutdown of most abortion clinics under proposed new standards that would move procedures to outpatient surgery centers within 30 miles of the doctor’s hospital.

This is the “turning back of the clock,” she said, jeopardizing women’s health because rural clinic services will be lost.

Later, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint defended the proposed new rules. But as the segment ended, Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson could be heard saying, “Thank God for Wendy Davis.”

ABC’s interview was taped. Afterward, panelist and former Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan delivered Davis’ toughest criticism of the day, calling her “spirited” but adding that “what she’s speaking for and standing for is something we would recognize as infanticide. … We are celebrating something that even in Europe they call a matter of brutality and barbarism.”

On CBS’ Face the Nation, hosted by Fort Worthian and TCU alumnus Bob Schieffer, Davis was slotted in prime position at the top of the second half-hour.

Schieffer said Davis has a “wonderful biography” and graduated from Harvard Law, joking, “which I’m sure wasn’t as tough as TCU.”

He focused on Gov. Rick Perry’s praise for Davis’ success, but also on Perry’s belittling comment that “It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example.”

Davis called it a “terrible, personal” thing to say and accused Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of “casting aside” thousands of women “to move up the political ladder.”

A Davis campaign video timed to arrive by email at 9:15 a.m. attacked Perry directly.

“The Republicans in power don’t seem to like it when real people participate,” Davis says on the video, wearing the same green dress she wore on the Sunday live shows.

“They said these people — the thousands protesting at the Capitol on filibuster night — were part of a mob. … Gov. Perry, that was not a lack of decorum. That was not disorder. That was democracy.”

She didn’t sound like a local senator running for re-election.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/budkennedy

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