Wendy Davis’ core political narrative was one of overcoming victimhood — an abandoned single teenage mom who struggled to raise her family in a trailer park and overcame the odds to work her way through college and Harvard Law School, and on to a successful law career, through grit and determination.
Only problem was, the narrative was misleading, at best.
Davis was a single mom of a single child for only a short time (from ages 21-23), had family to help, only lived in a trailer park for a short transition period, and quickly married a wealthy older man who paid her way way through college and law school and brought her into his business after she graduated.
She had another child with that man, Jeff Davis, and he was the primary custodial parent, so much so that when they divorced he was awarded custody of their minor child, and even Wendy’s first child from her prior marriage, then in college, chose to live with her step-father.
Jeff Davis was quoted, as to Wendy Davis leaving her 9th grade daughter in his custody:
“She did the right thing,” he said. “She said, ‘I think you’re right; you’ll make a good, nurturing father. While I’ve been a good mother, it’s not a good time for me right now.’”
Wendy moved out the day after Jeff paid her last student loan bill.
The firestorm of controversy has set Davis back on her heels.
Her first response was to play victim, accusing Greg Abbott’s campaign and the Dallas Morning News reporter of being in cahoots, something the reporter and campaign deny. In any event, what if they were in cahoots — the facts are the facts, and the fact is that Davis’ narrative of overcoming personal victimhood was misleading, at best.
Now Davis is playing victim all over again, putting her now-adult daughters forward to attest to her mothering skills, in the release by the campaign of letters from each of her children.
Davis also put her oldest daughter from her first marriage, Amber, on stage to introduce Wendy last night at a rally, attesting that Wendy was the best mother any daughter could want. Amber was tearful.
Putting your child out on stage to cry for you is not something most of us would do. Most of us would rather lose an election, than put our child through that, even if that child now is an adult We’ll fight our own battles, thank you.
Davis also is on the warpath, again accusing the Abbott campaign and anyone else who questions her narrative of smearing her:
It’s a “Look, Squirrel” rountine. Assuming Davis’ daughters love her, so what? That doesn’t make her false narrative of personal struggle true. It’s possible for Davis to be loved by her daughters and to have mislead the public about her single mom/trailer park victimhood narrative.
Is this really a becoming way for a candidate to act? Wouldn’t it just be better, so far out from the election, just to say “sorry” but vote for me anyway because [fill in the blank]?
The problem for Davis is that her personal narrative is all she has. She’s no Elizabeth Warren, who rose to fame based on policy and scholarship and for whom the false narrative was an impediment to political success.
There is no “[fill in the blank]” to be filled in that would win her the election. She’s a single issue candidate, and that single issue of late term abortion will not win her the race. Her appearance yesterday with the President of Planned Parenthood only reinforces her single issue image.
Wendy Davis may have no choice but to stand and play victim all over again.
Update – This Facebook comment hits the nail on the head:
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.