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Uh oh, Wendy Davis’ life story not what it seems

Uh oh, Wendy Davis’ life story not what it seems

She left her husband the day after he made her last student loan payment


Wendy Davis rose to national prominence when she conducted a filibuster to block a Texas bill restricting non-medically necessary abortions after 20-weeks. For that position, which is wildly unpopular, Davis became the next Elizabeth Warren — the Great White Hope in pink sneakers.

Erick Erickson dubbed her “Abortion Barbie,” which led to howls of sexism. But as I explained in Why is “Abortion Barbie” off limits for Wendy Davis?, Barbie and Ken analogies in politics are quite common. Erickson’s remark was directed not at Davis’ gender, but her self-professed ignorance of the Kermit Gosnell House of Abortion Horrors. That someone running on a pro-late term abortion platform didn’t know about the biggest abortion story of the year made her look, well, like a plastic impression.

Like Elizabeth Warren, whose life story does not hold up to scrutiny, Davis appears to have narrative problems, as detailed today by The Dallas Morning News, As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred:

Wendy Davis has made her personal story of struggle and success a centerpiece of her campaign to become the first Democrat elected governor of Texas in almost a quarter-century.

While her state Senate filibuster last year captured national attention, it is her biography — a divorced teenage mother living in a trailer who earned her way to Harvard and political achievement — that her team is using to attract voters and boost fundraising.

The basic elements of the narrative are true, but the full story of Davis’ life is more complicated, as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves. In the shorthand version that has developed, some facts have been blurred.

Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.

A single mother working two jobs, she met Jeff Davis, a lawyer 13 years older than her, married him and had a second daughter. He paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard Law School, and kept their two daughters while she was in Boston. When they divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support.

In an extensive interview last week, Davis acknowledged some chronological errors and incomplete details in what she and her aides have said about her life.

“My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

To summarize the rest of the article, which of course you should read in full, her second husband paid her way through her last two years of college and all of Harvard Law School, he raised their two daughters for whom she didn’t even fight for custody. She left her husband the day after he made her last student loan payment:

When she was accepted to Harvard Law School, Jeff Davis cashed in his 401(k) account and eventually took out a loan to pay for her final year there….
Over time, the Davises’ marriage was strained. In November 2003, Wendy Davis moved out.

Jeff Davis said that was right around the time the final payment on their Harvard Law School loan was due. “It was ironic,” he said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”

Not exactly the story her campaign previously told, as the Dallas Morning News pointed out:

“With the help of academic scholarships and student loans, Wendy not only became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree but graduated first in her class and was accepted to Harvard Law School,” her website says.

Will it matter? A misleading personal narrative didn’t hurt Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and doesn’t hurt her among progressives because they don’t care any more than they cared about Bill Clinton abusing his power over a young female intern to elicit sexual favors.

But Texas isn’t Massachusetts, and the Texas electorate doesn’t sleep with copies of The Nation and Mother Jones under their pillows.

Here’s how one of her supporters describes her:

A former colleague and political supporter who worked closely with Davis when she was on the council said the body’s work was very time-consuming.

“Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” he said, speaking only on condition of anonymity in order to give what he called an honest assessment. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.”

Then there’s this little tidbit dropped by the Dallas Morning News:

In his initial divorce filing, Jeff Davis said the marriage had failed, citing adultery on her part and conflicts that the couple could not overcome. The final court decree makes no mention of infidelity, granting the divorce solely “on the ground of insupportability.”

We have a lot of Texas readers here. How’s that true narrative going to play?

(Featured image source: New York Magazine)


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9thDistrictNeighbor | January 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Apparently Wendy Davis didn’t have the assistance of Bill Ayers as her ghostwriter.

Texas doesn’t like killing babies. That’s why she had to flap her lips non-stop to prevent passage.

Noise does not equal votes. Neither does money. Any Texas GOPer could beat her with both hands tied behind the back, and that’s what will happen. I predict she doesn’t get more than 42%.

    Anchovy in reply to platypus. | January 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    That both hands tied behind your back is more of a California thing, but I get your point.

    Used to be on interstate 80 westbound just east of Reno there was a sign that read, “Welcome to California” and below it a road sign that read, “Chains Required”. I always wanted to add one more that read, “Whips Optional”.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Anchovy. | January 19, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I would expect that it was west of Reno, not east, and that isn’t that far from where the Donner part got snowed in, with a number of its members not surviving until rescued in the spring, including a couple that appear to have been cannibalized.

      Probably because of the problems with California state economics, last time I drove across the border there, a bit over two years ago, the road just went to pot, right as you crossed in to that state.

    bobfrommosinee in reply to platypus. | January 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Don’t forget the catheter she had emplaced so she did even have take a break for bathroom duty, Yup, She will stick anything anywhere to get noticed and ahead in Her life.

The breakdown will be pretty much as it usually is. She will carry Austin, Houston and San Antonio. Unlike Colorado the Texas urban centers are not so population dense as to offset the rest of the state.

Unlike the Castro brothers Ms. Davis can not count on skin color and speaking Spanish to get her votes from the very large Hispanic population. I doubt that she will draw a large amount of votes from them also because abortion is not a popular topic with the ones I know personally.

The final nail in the coffin is that she’s not the Democrat to take the state. She’s no Anne Richards. I say that because Davis lacks the experience that Richards had in politics and she lacks Gov. Richards charisma. She is as much a flash in the pan as Obama is. Photogenic and a few good soundbites but with no record of note:

Her cadidacy is a side show and I would further state that she will in no way get serious backing from the DNC.

The next Governor of Texas is the winner of the Republican primary. Ms. Davis is going to be the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question at a later date.

    rabid wombat in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Kerrvillian nails it.

    From the Texas city whose Mayor went to California to marry.

    Phillep Harding in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 19, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Is voter ID required? Who is counting the votes?

      rabid wombat in reply to Phillep Harding. | January 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      I believe voter ID is tied up with Holder. That aside, remember Texas is a special state when referring to voter fraud…remember the “Duke of Duval”? The votes came in alphabetically….

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Phillep Harding. | January 20, 2014 at 6:40 am

      The vote counters are always Democrats which is why GOPers almost NEVER win recounts … with the exception of Dubya, which is why they thought he cheated.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I actually did meet Anne Richards, though I think it was after she lost to GW. I was on a flight from Austin to DFW (or maybe Houston), and she had been sitting in 1st Class, and then worked the line as the passengers deplaned. My memory was a small woman with huge silver hair, and whose handshake was not as limp as I remember from other female politicians. Nice enough. I just found it interesting at the time that she couldn’t give up working the crowds.

You are right, Professor. Texas is not Massachusetts.

Abortion Barbie Is discovering this first hand.

I expect she will move after her her defeat to greener Progressive pastures… say, Boston.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to VotingFemale. | January 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    The Slime, Sleaze and Slut capital currently seems to be NYC – that’s where Abortion Barbie will go. Cuomo wants to drive all the good folks out of NY anyway.

      VetHusbandFather in reply to Uncle Samuel. | January 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      All the conservatives in New York [I]should[/I] leave, and bring their businesses with them. Setup camp in Texas, let the whole city fall into the Detroit level of disrepair and reestablish a conservative city as the business capital of the world.

She seems to read like the stereotype for an abortion politician.

One thing you will never hear Gov. Palin say: “My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail”, meaning that she should speak the truth.

Wendy Davis, opportunist, oath-breaker, ungrateful, committed to no one and nothing but herself, a first class user. She gave up both children as though they were blobs of tissue in Kermit Gosnell’s abortion factory.

    Elliott in reply to Juba Doobai!. | January 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    She didn’t even ask for joint custody. And the child support ordered is a percentage of income so she wasn’t making much for a Harvard (or any law school) grad either. Expect more lovely stories to come out.

It’s going to play like Tony Romo in the fourth quarter of an important game.

The position of Texas governor is relatively weak compared to other states, but is a stepping stone to national exposure (obviously). The greatest thing the Texas electorate will do is keep her from taking that step. She is going to need to keep prostituting herself to the progressives for that honor (not a reference to her relationship with her husband, simply a turn of phrase).

She would not make a very good governor is she slept her way to the bottom. Would she?

“My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

Oh. You mean you’re a liar.

What, no love for the Great Lake State?

We have our very own Wendy Davis-

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Wittmer

So when she was in her early 20’s, she met and married a well-to-do lawyer (he says he was making well into six figures at the time), who paid for Wendy’s last two years of college, paid for all of her law school, and also took care of the two kids while she was away in school — and she has the nerve to try and depict herself as having been a struggling single mother?

What a fraud this chick is. I wonder how many actual “struggling single mothers” in Texas are facing the dilemma of choosing which pricey private schools they should attend while their rich lawyer husband foots the bill and takes care of the kids?

The main question is, will it be reported on? The story appears to have broke in the Dallas Morning News, so that is a good sign. Will it run in the Houston Chronicle, or the Austin paper?

That is the main way Obama has survived his landslide of scandals. No matter what actually comes up, the newsies slap on their blinders and act like it isn’t there, and no one outside of the conservative blogoshpere ever hears about it.

    Jazzizhep in reply to Voyager. | January 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I heard the Austin American Statesman was going to run the story, but the editors believed a bridge in N.J. and Michelle’s b-day is more important to the Texas Electorate.

NC Mountain Girl | January 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Her current look seems to be as contrived as her bio.

[link fixed by admin]

“My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

I thought Lawyers dealt in the detail, and everything was in the language. I guess she did not get much out of that Harvard degree….

    Bruce Hayden in reply to rabid wombat. | January 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Attorneys do need to be detail oriented, but they are also often skilled at saying things that sound substantial, that aren’t. What she seems to be saying to me is that she got caught in the details, when if she had been a better attorney, she wouldn’t have. In real life, I think that a good attorney would never have said 19 when 21 was the correct number, but rather, maybe, say just out of high school, or something a bit more vague. Actual lying is bad for real attorneys (excluding politicians, of course), but a lot of them use misdirection and implication a bit. Just don’t get caught in outright falsehoods, because you may get yourself hauled before the bar discipline committee.

    And, this is one reason that a lot of attorneys are paranoid, or at least come across as such. They are used to dealing with implications – where opposing party sounds like they are saying something, but really aren’t. What aren’t they saying? If the other side implied something, but didn’t say it, should they really expect the opposite? Or at least some sort of surprise?

should’ve claimed Indian bloodlines

I’m from the(FKA)Land of Lincoln.

All I know is that there was a national civil war because of unrelenting slave owners.

The Texas media has mostly been trying to demonize Greg Abbott (Davis’ likely GOP opponent) rather than boost Davis herself.

This is quite a contrast to 1990, when Ann Richards was running for governor. Back then, it was Richards 24/7 in the media with very little mention of the GOP primary candidates.

Texas journalists are not exactly the sharpest set of knives in the drawer. But even they seem to realize Davis will be a much harder sell than Richards was.

FWIW: I teach in a community college, which has more than its fair share of liberals. There are some liberals who are not happy with possibly having Davis as the Democrat candidate. They feel she is a lightweight who is really the choice of out-of-state progressives rather than Texans.

fromtexasbygod | January 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm

If there were even the remotest possibility that Wendy Davis can actually be elected governor of Texas, maybe I would care that she is a lying cheating opportunist, but there isn’t and I don’t.

Well I can’ see her winning the Dem primary, let alone the state. I live just outside Houston and the only time I see anything about her is on the web. She truly seems to be a national dem pic rather than a state dem pick.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm

The oldest daughter at the time of her setting out alone to Harvard was 8 years old & the youngest 2 .

The oldest one is not this man’s child so why has she left with him? Did her real father have any say in this?

If I were a man I would hate it that another man raising my child . I put it that his being a locally influential lawyer / town council type bullied the younger working class father of the girl.

Ha – she walked out the day after he paid off her Harvard tuition fee.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

I could write a short story on this timeline . Should I take the Pygmalion route or will I take the older man lures young working class lass with child & grooms both . I had never thought to have the mother sent off to Harvard but that is great . Mother ‘s concerns re directed & the girl all for himself .

She grows up never to complain for she has replaced the m other in the family ( hello Sigmund ) complete with a baby & non related adult male who showers her with gifts & ‘attention’ .

Hey if Woody can do it why not a savvy Texan lawyer? 50 Shades Of Grey move over .

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | January 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Downtickers . This is why you will not win . As if they would not be writing tv scripts ( try law & order ) inserting & twisting recognisable people & incidents into their narrative.

    Have no mercy for the daughters – they are campaigning also . Just step over the ex husband now he has let the beans out . He is no longer useful.

    Sheesh – you are babes in the woods.

Oh, this will be one for the books. Texas being no stranger to mudslinging politics, it won’t really matter WHAT the media says. Every market will be saturated with these stories. Every bit of dirty laundry that can be dug up on Ms. Davis will be. The media will have to cover it if only to try and explain it away. Texans being Texans will operate on the if-there-is-smoke-there-is-fire principle.

And outside of Berkeley on the Colorado (Austin) Abortion, especially 3rd trimester, is not a winning campaign platofrm, even among democrats.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to jnials. | January 20, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Not sure if I ever heard of Berkley on the Colorado when I lived there. Somewhat apt, of course. But, having grown up around the real Colorado river (the one that formed the Grand Canyon), I always pointed out that the Colorado river running through the PRA (People’s Republic of Austin) as “a” Colorado river, not “the” Colorado river. Spent 4 or 5 years just south of the river, close enough that we could walk along it at lunch, through the Lady Bird Johnson flowers, or whatever, etc. When it wasn’t hot and muggy, which it seemed to be quite a bit of the summer.

VetHusbandFather | January 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm

So the woman that fights for abortion “rights” doesn’t isn’t interested in fighting for custody of her own children… Boy am I surprised.

    Well, who better to tell Texans how a D&C is so much more convenient for up-and-coming professional women than icky child support.

    Abortion advocates are always complaining that pro-lifers only care about children before they’re born — and here’s a fierce abortion advocate who doesn’t appear to care much about her own children after they’re born. At least she’s morally consistent.

“Sen Wendy cares so much about your family that she abandoned her own.”

    Elliott in reply to Howard Roark. | January 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Twice. She abandoned them twice. Once for law school, she was accepted at Texas law schools but chose to go as far away and as expensive as possible to the detriment of her husband AND children then age 2 and 8, and again when the bill was paid for and her older child from another relationship was almost out of college (age 21) she decides to leave with her political career already going. This Jeff Davis guy has done an exceptional passive-aggressive job of getting even. Hey, he wishes her the best.

It appears she is a conniving, thieving whore, then.

Seems a good fit for Today’s Democratic Party.

The moniker ‘Abortion Barbie’ sounds a whole lot better than ‘two-timing whore Wench Wendy.’

Ms. Davis, We do not need your phony war on women advice. We know who we are. We are sick and tired of women like you who care not a whit about women in general, much less the real strong women which you are not among. We are sick of your cowardly cheating, lying and stealing and yes, relying on men to get where you are(while pretending you did it all by yourself). We are appalled that you would use your own children to your own benefit. We also know it takes money for your daughter to go to Country Day in Fort Worth. We know you usually don’t get out of school and start your own law firm. Face it, Lady, you are just a front and a big disappointment to the real women who have done the real thing themselves. We are sick of women like you who pretend you have done it by yourself which is a complete lie. You have done nothing except be a front; but I suppose that’s what you want in your selfie, pink tennis shoe world. I will not be voting for you in the upcoming election. Also, there is nothing wrong with receiving help from others; but stop lying; but you wouldn’t know anything about that.

DavidJackSmith | January 20, 2014 at 7:00 am


Oh, hang on it was an Abortion Barbie Democrat victim woman not an evil Republican man.

That’s alright then!

Well, I may be one of those people who helped to “create” this monster – we knew her father, so when she first ran for City Council in our district, my husband and I both voted for her. She seemed harmless enough at the time, so we voted for her to be our local state representative.

Unfortunately, once she made it to state office, the gloves came off. We didn’t vote for her after that – she got too big for her britches. We never told her father that, of course – he was a very nice man, and you don’t speak ill of a person’s children to their face.

He passed away a few months ago (complications from surgery), so we don’t feel obligated to rein in our disgust for this woman’s behavior any more.

The abortion thing might not be a deal-breaker for some people in this state, but abandoning her children may well be a bridge too far even for them.

I don’t think that she is going to win in Texas. That sort of bio sounds more conniving than uplifting. Using that husband to pay for her last two years as an undergrad, and then HLC, and letting him raise her kids while she spent 3 years in Boston, just doesn’t work with a lot of middle America. And, I don’t think that it will help her that the reason that her ex-husband gave for filing for divorce was that she was sleeping around – after he took the kids and put her through law school back east. There are places that sort of bio works, but not, I suspect, in Texas. I am thinking up here in Colorado it might be just the thing – you expect that sort of thing from Dems, and give them leeway. Or, maybe Virginia. Both states have a lot of transplants, and may be moving to the left as a result. Virginia, in particular, seems to almost revel in the sleaziness of its politicians. She would fit right in, with their new governor.

We don’t need Wendy Davis to be our next governor here in Texas! She tells lies, she promotes abortion like its apple pie which kills innocent babies. She makes herself out to be something she certainly is not; a Texas success story. I was born here and my family has been here over a 100 years. So when has Texas started promoting lies, abortion, divorce and gay rights?

“Sen. Wendy Davis’s camp announced her campaign manager is
Karin Johanson, who managed the bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly
gay member of the U.S. Senate and first woman in Wisconsin to hold the post.”

If you all want Texas to stay Texas don’t vote for this woman. (I only called women ladies if they deserve it).

And don’t the liberal left have enough states that they have ruined? Don’t give them Texas!

Democrats are all about theater and personal ambition. Raising children is something many see as unworthy and not related to success and definitely something one should not site as one’s greatest achievement. Abortion to them is the great career tool. It gives THEM options and I have yet to get one single Democrat to view a video of an abortion being done on an unborn baby. Seeing another human killed is not something they have time to witness, nor do they care about the victim. Character is theater to them, morality is not a factor. I am certain many reading even this comment will go off in angry rage. I pray Texas voters consider character, willingness to sacrifice one’s self for others as being more relevant to political office than theater. She is acting as her own theater coach when she says: “My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”

    shawnchew68 in reply to Truthseeker. | January 22, 2014 at 12:48 am

    I guess I don’t understand. You should never vote for a candidate that is pro choice even though that is law of the federal government for the last 40 years. Pro Choice will never be changed and regardless would not affect you directly since you or your family of course would not have an abortion? Smoking Marijuana would be another Pro Choice- you don’t have to smoke it. Gay Marriage- again Pro Choice- you don’t have to marry if you are gay. Why are these political issues that will not help you or my family have a successful life?

What’s bothering me:

If a guy had married a woman, gotten her to pay for his college and then dumped him … he’d be skewered.

I have seen and have heard of cases where a guy has a GF from his undergrad days, he enjoys her feminine charms, then finishes his grad school / law school, and promptly dumps the woman who has stood by him, and gets a new high status trophy. Rightfully so he is pilloried.

I’ve seen it personally where women have done the same thing. But, that said – women are MUCH better at spinning it “we just drifted apart” – meanwhile she wanted to be emotionally supported and sexually fulfilled and then dumps her man to find a high status male who will “go in the same direction as her”.

That alone – that she so BLATANTLY used another human being for years, and then unceremoniously dumped her kids – means she is a vile excuse for a human being.