You know, that woman who stood for 13 hours without being able to use the restroom?
It seems overnight the Texan became a national political name, and to some, a hero.
The Fort Worth Democrat spoke for nearly 13 hours on Tuesday to run out the clock on a sweeping bill that could have shut down all but five abortion clinics in the Lone Star State. As if that weren’t enough, the strict rules of her marathon filibuster attempt state that Davis wasn’t allowed to eat, drink, sit, lean on furniture, use the bathroom, or go off-topic in her speech. Between the physical and mental challenges thrown at her, opponents also sat in the stands holding hangers up in protest. She stood in her pink laced up running shoes and spoke for over 11 hours.
Wendy was determined to get her point across, and it appears big media didn’t want to play a role.
Lucky enough for Davis, social media once again showed its power. Standing up for your beliefs is a commendable, inspiring, yet argumentative topic. The perfect storm for Facebook and Twitter shares. And that is exactly what happened.
Twitter starting trending Wendy Davis as a hero to abortion-rights supporters around the country. Even President Obama tweeted pointing people to Texas and showing his support.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 26, 2013
She is now being recognized at a national level.
While the filibuster fell short of her 13 hour goal, loud protesters filled the chambers and halted the voting for up to 30 minutes. Republicans who control the senate say the bill passed, with only seconds to spare. Now the question is, was it legal?
Social media once again erupted claiming the bill came after the midnight deadline. Senate documents went viral on Twitter. Hundreds of thousands watched the livestream on youtube, and many more followed the trending hashtag #standwithwendy.
“She stood up for her beliefs. And standing up for your beliefs on either side is commendable,” said Republican political consultant Ron Bonjean.
But who was Wendy before she became “the LeBron James of Filibustering?” Which according to Wikipedia, is her new occupation.
Davis’ childhood tale gives explanation to her motivation and drive on this specific topic. She was raised by her single mother who had a sixth-grade education, and took care of her 3 siblings. By the age of 19 she had been married, divorced, and was living in a trailer park with her baby daughter.
She graduated from Texas Christian University and was the first person in her family to receive a college degree. She then continued on to Harvard Law School. Wendy spent years in the insurance business before starting up her own practice for local and federal government affairs, contract compliance, and real estate.
Over the years she has done her political time. She has sponsored bills on everything from cancer prevention to protecting victims of sexual assault.
So why haven’t we heard about her until now?
She is a rising star for the Democratic party, and New York Times says she’s got “fashion icon status” in the state Capitol. Davis is being called one of the most successful users of the filibuster. In 2011, she used the tactic against a budget that underfunded the state’s public schools by $5 billion, and two years later got most of the money replaced.
Republicans will keep trying to shut her down, but this motivated southern gal has social media in the palm of her hands. Davis tweeted “Thanks to the powerful voices of thousands of Texans, #SB5 is dead. An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.”
Whatever her next step will be, we will all be watching, and tweeting.