We admit we've been curious about what it would be like. While everybody and their dog could see that newly anointed Gov. Greg Abbott would essentially be like a grumpier Rick Perry with worse hair, things were really up in the air about our new first lady, Cecilia Abbott. What would the first Latina to hold the spot of governor's wife in the great state of Texas choose to do with her power? The options seemed limitless and anything seemed possible.
Well, that ended fast. While her husband is pretty much living up to expectations since taking office this week, Cecilia Abbott has already gone and surprised us by signing on to headline a massive pro-life (aka anti-abortion) rally in Austin on Saturday. The rally is supposedly being held to "commemorate" the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which made access to abortions a constitutional right, although we're betting this rally isn't exactly about celebrating a woman's right to choose.
Anyway, at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow thousands of people (according to a press release) will gather and then the whole group is going to march through the streets of Austin to wind up at the steps of the Capitol Building. And once there, Cecilia Abbott will be the headliner.
She won't be alone, by any means. Our new Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will also be on hand along with some religious types, the heads of Texas Alliance for Life and Center Texas Coalition for Life and, of course, some speakers who have either survived abortions or have seen the light, reformed and gotten as far from Planned Parenthood as possible.
But still it's Cecilia Abbott signing up to be front and center at this particular rally less than a week after taking office that gives us pause. Of all the things she could choose to focus on -- and let's face it, between education, child poverty, healthcare issues or even something more benign like child obesity, there are plenty of issues to choose from in the Lone Star State -- deciding to show up at this rally is the biggest indicator yet that the days of the Perry way of doing things are long gone.
And what, you ask, was the Perry way? Well, see former first lady Anita Perry obviously agreed enough with the best head of hair to ever enter professional politics to marry the guy and stay married to him. But Anita Perry also had a habit of having opinions that weren't always, you know, exactly the same as her husband's. For one thing, as recently as 2013, Anita Perry sounded off on abortion in the midst of the fierce fight over abortion restrictions in Texas (right around the time former gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis used the same issue to rocket to the national political stage), saying she believes a woman has a right to choose what happens to her own body.
Specifically, she got on the subject during an interview with Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith, was asked about abortion and then, wonder of wonders, she gave her opinion on the matter. "That's really difficult for me, Evan, because I see it as a women's right," she said. "If they want to do that, that is their decision, they have to live with that decision."
"Yeah, that could be a women's right. Just like it's a man's right if he wants to have some kind of procedure. But I don't agree with it, and that's not my view," she elaborated. "You know, the older that I get, there are two sides to every nickel."
Of course it's worth noting that Rick Perry -- the guy that oversaw the enacting of some of the most stringent anti-abortion laws in the country -- got out and tried to "mansplain" the whole thing away, claiming his wife just "[stuck] the wrong word in the wrong place." However, Anita Perry never said a word after that to back away from her statement.
Now, of course we're not saying that Cecilia Abbott isn't making up her own mind on this issue, because she probably is. But the fact remains that this is one of her first steps onto the political stage as the first lady. And every move she makes is shaping the public image that she's going to be toting around for the foreseeable future (she doesn't even have her own Wikipedia page as of right now). And she's already choosing to use the power of her non-elected-but-still-public office to provide even more backing on a controversial issue right out the gate. The move doesn't bode well for those hoping for some Anita Perry-esque surprises over the next four years.
Also, we didn't think it would be this soon, but we already kind of miss the Perrys. Weird right?
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