Davis was a rising star during his eight years in the House, and represented a new generation of African-American leadership -- very much in the same mold as Obama. Elected in 2002, he was an early backer of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, supporting him even before most members of the Congressional Black Caucus took sides in the primary. Davis later became a close confidant of Obama on Capitol Hill, and was mentioned as a possible candidate to serve as Attorney General.
When he later ran a closely-watched campaign for governor of Alabama in 2010, Davis broke with the president on his health care reform law - and became more outspoken in criticizing Obama's policies after losing the election. He now is a partner at the law firm SNR Denton.
"You can have a perspective on an issue that is different from Barack Obama and you can have a perspective on an issue that is different from the DNC and still be a good Democrat," Davis said.