Daily Meme: It's Complicated—The Wendy Davis Story
It's not going to be all pink sneakers and inspiring grassroots action this week for the Wendy Davis gubernatorial campaign down in Texas. On Saturday, The Dallas Morning News broke the story that key facts of her hard-scrabble, single-mother biography had been "blurred" by the campaign: Davis was divorced at 21, not 19, the age which she and her campaign had asserted her first marriage ended; she spent only a few months living in a mobile home before moving to an apartment; and her second husband gave her significant financial help to pay for her time at Harvard Law School.
- “My language should be tighter ... I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail,” Davis says in the article, and on Monday, her campaign released a statement that Davis officially filed for divorce at age 20, and that it became final when she was 21.
- After clarifying her biography, the Davis campaign took a swing at Davis's opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. “We’re not surprised by Greg Abbott’s campaign attacks on the personal story of my life as a single mother who worked hard to get ahead ... But they won’t work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women who know the strength it takes when you’re young, alone and a mother.”
- Davis has plenty of defenders. At ThinkProgress, Aviva Shen writes that the Morning News story was pretty sexist, including accusations of adultary on the part of Davis: "While these personal details would be hardly a blip on a male candidate’s record, they are now being used to paint the state senator as a classic sexist archetype: the ruthlessly ambitious woman who sacrifices her children and uses her sexual wiles to manipulate men."
- "I look forward to the day a male politician is criticized for having a spouse that supported his career," tweeted Jessica Valenti.
- But some people, like Charles Pierce at Esquire, are wondering why the Davis campaign didn't get out ahead of the story sooner.
- And at The National Review, Jim Geraghty wonders why we put pressure on politicians to be supermen and -women in the first place: "A frequent lament on the Right since the frustrating defeats of 2012 has been, ‘we need to become better storytellers.’ Dare I flip it around and say, the American electorate needs to stop needing all of its information in convenient storybook form?"
- Mark Barabak at the Los Angeles Times wonders if Davis could go the route of Gary Hart, crashing and burning thanks to a series of inconsistencies that add up to one big question mark about the candidate.
- Conservatives are loving this. Erick Erickson wasted no time in insinuating that Davis has a substance abuse problem ...
- ... and Breitbart is hammering on about whether Davis perjured herself in federal court.
- Only time will tell how this all plays out for Davis and her campaign, which has raised over $12.2 million thus far. What is certain is that this race won't be pretty.
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