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Does Wendy Davis really want to turn campaign into contest of courage?

Does Wendy Davis really want to turn campaign into contest of courage?

Blurring Davis’ false narrative fiasco: Dem operative attacks Greg Abbott’s “courage” as Davis denies Abbott knows about “struggle”

Yesterday Wendy Davis and her supporters got quite a bit of blogosphere attention for accusing her opponent Greg Abbott of a failure to understand struggle and hardship, despite the fact that he has been a paraplegic since a terrible accident in his mid-20s.

Davis added, with no sense of irony, that her attackers hadn’t “walked a day in my shoes.”

It turns out these statement were hardly flukes. Today I discovered two more quotes of the same type, both issued on Monday.

No, they don’t have the gaffe-like quality of “walked a day in my shoes.” But if anything they’re even worse in terms of substance.

The first is from Matt Angle, head of the Lone Star Project, an anti-Republican group that is self-described as “one of the most aggressive and effective political research and strategic communications organizations in Texas” [emphasis mine]:

The Abbott attacks are a malicious expression of fear. Greg Abbott knows that Wendy connects with and inspires Texans. The Abbott campaign to tear down Wendy and her family show an overall hostility to mothers who have to juggle work with getting an education with raising their kids. Moreover the attacks show that Abbott is profoundly out of touch with Texans who face challenges and meet them with a courage he just can’t muster…Wendy struggled through some tough times when she was younger, worked hard, fought hard and came out a success, with daughters who adore her. That’s a real and inspiring Texas story that terrifies Greg Abbott.

The second is from Davis herself, in an interview with a reporter from the San Antonio Express-News, the original of which is unfortunately behind a firewall:

In an interview, [Davis] called [Abbott] “completely out of touch with the reality of the struggles that a young woman like I faced.”

So this is a very focused and well-thought out campaign to (a) double down on Davis’ message of how much she has struggled, despite the discrepancy between her original narrative and the facts; and (b) accuse Abbott of insensitivity to people’s struggles, as well as cowardice and fear.

From what I’ve read about Greg Abbott (most of it in the last two days), he—unlike Davis—doesn’t seem to be all that eager to get into a contest about who’s had more suffering in life. But I’ve done some research, and so I’m writing about it.

And you know what? The fact that he became a paraplegic as a young man is only part of it:

Abbott said he has been driven by the notion that he wants to do the right thing, that time is precious and life can change in the blink of an eye.

That idea came to him long before his injury, when as a teenager [Greg was 16] his father died of a heart attack. A grandfather’s death also was sudden — in a car wreck, he said.

“I’ve seen that repeat — losing my dad in an instant, actually losing my granddad in an instant too … and what happened to me, obviously,” he said. “And so basically I have an oversimplified mantra and that is you never know when a tree’s going to fall on you. … What would you do differently if you knew that? And I know that.”

Abbott is straightforward about what he lost when his legs became paralyzed, saying the last photograph of him before his accident was from a dance he attended with Cecilia [his wife].

“The inability to ever dance with her again, or to see her eye to eye as she is standing, or to hold her … or to walk into a lake — you know how it’s fun when a dad and daughter get to walk into a lake together and curl your toes into the sand? Not happening,” he said. “The little things in life that matter the most — many of them are lost.”

Still, he said, his life “has been fuller and better after my accident. It’s hard for people to understand. But there’s a greater closeness to God and a greater closeness to family and I spend time with my daughter in ways that I may not have had I not encountered this situation,” he said.

He and Cecilia adopted their daughter, Audrey, after 16 years of marriage.

Cecilia said the father-daughter bond is tight. When their daughter was 5 or 6 and people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Cecilia said, “She would say I want to be a judge in a wheelchair.”

This is a life lacking in courage? A man who clearly “is profoundly out of touch with Texans who face challenges and meet them with a courage he just can’t muster”?

Davis’ supporter Matt Angle may have thought he was writing about Abbott, but he inadvertently described Davis and her entourage instead when he wrote that the “attacks are a malicious expression of fear.” Exactly.

The attacks on Abbot are not just malicious and fearful: they are stupid and despicable.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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I was a single mom, divorced with an infant, when I checked into law school. I never got a sugar daddy, and I worked and paid my own way, except for my son’s Montessori school, kindly paid by my parents.

And when I met people who had real disability to deal with, their own or that of a family member, I thanked God and my lucky stars I only had a baby.

    platypus in reply to Valerie. | January 22, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Notice how doing what you are supposed to do doesn’t get many accolades, if any at all. Being a screwup, on the other hand, gets a lot of attention, albeit negative.

    Kudos to you for being one of the quiet bricks of our country, just doing your job helping to hold up the rest of the building.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Valerie. | January 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    BRAVO! My hat goes off to you!

Davis doesn’t understand that her depiction of her opponent makes her despicable. She thinks she’s framing his narrative knowing full well he has not framed hers. In order to distract from the lies in her biography, she and her team will try to ruin Abbott’s character. As she does this, she doesn’t see that the inconsistencies between her lies about Abbott and his real biography further undermines her credibility and her claim to care about others–already damaged by the biography she’s running away from.

I guess those pink shoes have a dual purpose after all: run from the truth; trample the truth in the mud.

I find Wendy Davis to be one of the most uninteresting politicians of the day. She’s a sort of Sarah Palin of the left. Someone that just stumbled into the spotlight and milking it for every minute that it’s worth. There’s nothing appealing about her and I just don’t about her opinion about anything.

    platypus in reply to Vince. | January 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    No, not Sarah. Sarah is a master of many trades and skills while Abortion Barbie can’t even do pregnancy through to the end.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Vince. | January 22, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Sarah can hunt, fish, shoot, skin, cook, etc. for her family. She worked on a fishing boat with her husband for a living.

    When the proverbial excrement hits the fan, neither she nor her family will starve.

    If that makes her a “joke” before you, laugh at will. The joke’s on you!

      Wow, Congrats to Sarah for being able to hunt deer and cook for her family. And I should care about that? Both of these politicians are uninteresting and full of themselves, that much we know.

        Rosalie in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 8:05 am

        You certainly have a right to your opinion, Vince, but you sound like someone who watches MSNBC on a regular basis.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

        I had a friend who wanted to name her boy Vincent . Her mum said – gawd nohhh . He will end up a juvenile delinquent .

        LI has its own JD . Sweet .

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Pig. To equate Gov. Palin (with a strong record of achievement, family values, integrity, and working her way up without manipulating or using anyone) with Abortion Barbie is so typical of Leftists. Unfortunately for you all, Something (Gov. Palin) is not equal to Nothing (Abortion Barbie).

    Rosalie in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 8:01 am

    You compare Davis to Palin? You’re joking, right?

    GrumpyOne in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Palin is a sleeper and usually correct in her assertions while Davis is just a convenient bimbo of the left to toss some feces to a crowd of mooing followers.

    Quiet a difference if you ask me…

    Immolate in reply to Vince. | January 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I disagree. I think both are very interesting. Sarah Palin because she is genuine and moral. Wendy Davis because she is playing at dirty politics without the skill or instincts to do it well, and because she’s an amoral manipulator.

    You, on the other hand, are uninteresting because you are a garden variety troll.

1. The attacks on Abbot are not just malicious and fearful: they are stupid and despicable.

Despicable? Obviously. Stupid? Before seeing what Betty Warren got away with, I would have said Yes. I hope and believe that TX voters have more common sense and patriotism than MA voters do.

2. Afaic Davis’s character should disqualify her from responsible office. Nevertheless, turning the campaign into a messaging contest about character may benefit her. It distracts from the fact that Republican policies have succeeded in TX whereas Democrat policies have failed in other big states.

Democrats don’t like to compare records with Republicans. Their strategy is to make Republicans run against utopia.

3. Ever since Betty Warren claimed she’s not running for POTUS, the people who bankrolled her are looking for someone to run against Hillary from the left. IMO Wendy Davis is running for governor with the intention of running for President in 2016.

Humphrey's Executor | January 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Any woman who gets ahead in this world is a super star; Unless of course she’s conservative. Then she’s an idiot. /sarc off.

“The Abbott campaign to tear down Wendy and her family…”

By what? Exposing the truth of the matter? By having her husband candidly tell what she did and when?

The saddest part of all of this is that a lot of Texans will still vote for her, regardless of her lack of qualifications, serious lack of character, and complete and utter lack of shame.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Miata Shinsen. | January 23, 2014 at 12:07 am

    What family? The children she threw down the river for her own selfish gain?

    If anything, they have been hurting long before this!

    Observer in reply to Miata Shinsen. | January 23, 2014 at 6:34 am

    As has been reported elsewhere, “the Abbott campaign” had nothing to do with the story that exposed Wendy Davis’ lies about her life. The reporter who broke the story is a leftist, and he has publicly confirmed that he received none of the information in his story from the Abbott campaign; in fact, he said that he had never even spoken with Abbott or anyone on his staff.

      You are so very correct, and I was quite shocked to see that a liberal writing for a liberal paper penned the article. I wasn’t at all shocked that the Davis campaign blamed the Abbott campaign.

      Of course we know all of this because we don’t get our information exclusively from the likes of MSNBC, CNN, the NYT, and the DNC (aren’t all those the same thing??).

      Unfortunately, a lot of America, and practically all liberals (and Europeans) do. They are woefully un and misinformed.

I think Rush has it right.

He said the whole Wendy Davis thing bores him.

Why? She’s a Democrat! They lie, it’s what they do.

Wendy Davis has no character and no class. After her fifteen minutes are up, she should crawl back under her rock.

Seems to me it was her husband that had the struggles: running the business, raising the kids, paying the bills. While Wendy got the free ride through law school, on her husband’s dime, then split and left the kids behind.

Some “struggle”.

    Estragon in reply to Aarradin. | January 23, 2014 at 12:19 am

    But according to the children’s NANNY (another sure sign of a struggling single mom), Wendy came home fairly often on the weekends from Boston to see the girls. We can imagine who paid for the air fare.

    But she gave up many of her adulterous weekends to visit her children and the man she was cheating on. So she did make sacrifices for them.

    And after the court ordered it, she gave up drinking and drugs for the days when she visited the girls after the divorce, so there’s another sacrifice.

    MarkS in reply to Aarradin. | January 23, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    For the modern American feminist that qualifies as a struggle!

Tonight Lannie Davis, crisis manager for Bill Clinton and other Dems, stated that Wendy Davis (no relation to Lanny) needed to stop doubling down and own her own words. He said that she was making a mistake going after Greg Abbott.

With that said, everyone in Austin knows that one of Obama’s lead campaign managers has been sent to Austin to work the Wendy Davis campaign. Add to that the hiring of John Brougher, anti military former college punk who has the website Male Feminists (nothing like a guy who supports abortion so he is never responsible for child support payments and no, he didn’t say that, but that is the case, none the less).

But here is the shocker: I went to Austin today, the land of bumper stickers. At one time, there were cars aplenty with Obama bumper stickers. No longer and not for quite a while. But what I did notice is that I saw only one “Wendy” bumper sticker on a car that is called “The Cube” driven by one of the ugliest women I have ever seen in Texas. And this is with the primary in March.

If Wendy Davis can’t even get the progressive whackos of Austin to put her bumper stickers on their cars, well, it would seem the DNC is throwing a lot of money down a dry hole.

Davis is a back bencher lightweight that is out of her league and the longer her campaign struggles to recoup from the disaster its already been, the more that is going to become obvious.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to retire05. | January 23, 2014 at 9:15 am

    After the leftsphere went insane about her pink tennis shoe filibuster, the strategists saw dollar signs in their eyes. I bet they urged her to run for governor so they could nationalize the race and milk their donors. The masterminds probably expect her to lose by at least 10-15 points, but she’ll bring in many millions that the big super PACs can then spend on more winnable races elsewhere. And if they can raise the status of the Democrat Party in Texas even a smidgeon with her failed candidacy, it will be a win.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | January 23, 2014 at 10:04 am

      I suspect they are more interested in lining their own pockets than in winning elections at any level. The campaign consultants for both parties make a pretty penny off the commissions for the media buys.

theduchessofkitty | January 23, 2014 at 12:05 am

I had no idea that AG Abbott was paraplegic or in a wheelchair until I saw this cover page for Texas Monthly not long ago.

Here, just in case you want to link it or diplay it here.

Democrats can seldom win without a good turnout from single women – who tend to see themselves as heroic in some way if they hold a job and pay their own bills, and as victims if they do not. Davis has to play that card hard to have any chance.

Given the choice of having to confess she was essentially a golddigger and not much of a mother or doubling down on the lies, she decided the lies were easier to defend.

She may very well be right.

These comments of Wendy’s are over the redline of my outrageous meter. What chutzpah!!!

Dana Loesch had the best line yet on Davis. Her sugar daddy ex was a better “single mother” than she was.

In the end, Ms. Davis attempted the usual two-fer of Democratic political advancement: first, the near deification of herself and her own life, and second, the “politics of personal destruction” against her opponent.

Other nationally prominent Democrats, from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren, have done the same. It’s usually worked for them which is why the Democrats down the line have copied the method. In politics, few things are as strong as the tried and true. So of course Ms. Davis and her bully-boys in the various PACs first put out her version of her life, and when that was hit, immediately went after Mr. Abbott at a very personal and basic level.

Like the scorpion stinging the frog: it’s what they do.

Texas being Texas and not Massachusetts, this didn’t work for Ms. Davis as it did for Elizabeth Warren.

And for those with an eye on 2016, you’ve just been given both Ms. Clinton’s playbook and how to stop her.

Po’Wittle Wendy Martyr-Victim Feminist Davis:”Mr.Abbott hasn’t walked in MY Shoes!!”

Focus, Ms.Davis, you ignorant sl**: Mr.Abbott has been a PARAPLEGIC since his mid-twenties and hasn’t WALKED in anybody’s shoes.

CANNOT possible make this S*** Up!!

Estragon mentions: ……. after the court ordered it, she gave up drinking and drugs for the days when she visited the girls after the divorce, so there’s another sacrifice.
“After the COURT ordered it ??…….maybe that’s why the girls stayed in Texas, should she win, would the public need to get another court order to keep her upright during the work week ?