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By:William Murchison | February 17, 2014

Look, the Wendy Davis candidacy for Texas governor isn’t going anywhere. (Ain’t goin’ nowhere, Bubba, as we might say in Texas.) What’s with the New York Times Magazine cover story on Feb.  16 – Wendy looking sleepily seductive,  blonde tresses streaming down to her shoulders; the headline inquiring in pseudo-provocative fashion, “Can Wendy Davis Have It All?”

No, she can’t. The likely Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, is exceedingly likely to mow her down, for reasons having nothing to do with that which feminists call gender and most people call sex. Thirty years ago, Texans, for all their rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ image, were properly reckoned among the greatest enthusiasts in the world for the leadership attributes of Margaret Thatcher. Were Wendy Davis, Democratic state senator and instant celeb on account of her filibuster against an abortion bill, to evoke the slightest resemblance to Maggie, she might have a fighting chance. No way, despite her recent embrace of legislation that would allow handguns to be carried openly. (As if the essence of responsible conservatism consisted in giving flesh to the peculiar idea of turning the streets into the O.K. Corral.)

Of course if Wendy were conservative, she’d be a Republican rather than the tough, self-assured have-it-all mom (Harvard Law degree, two daughters, divorce, a romantic relationship with a former Austin mayor) who supposedly inspires Democratic womanhood. And Eastern journalists.

In truth, the Times’ "have-it-all" headline turned off many as sexist. On the other hand, Wendy has propelled herself to national notice by telling a have-it-all story with some large holes. Seems, according to a Dallas Morning News story by Wayne Slater, that she bent in her own favor a few significant details, such as the length of her pre-Harvard stay in a trailer park and her devotion to husband and daughters back home while studying at Harvard. It turns out that the husband she divorced– the second one – had paid her way through Harvard and that she came home to Texas less often (once a month, the ex-husband said) than she had made known. The Times article wasn’t unfriendly to her. “Davis had succeeded on two levels – as a professional and as a mother of two adult daughters who seem to love and admire her – but getting to this point was probably not as simple as her campaign made it sound.”

Too bad, because her look-at-everything-I’ve-done narrative is about all that Wendy Davis has going for her as a candidate.  She’s asking for the right to govern a state that hasn’t elected a single Democrat to statewide office in two decades. She got famous for opposing, and temporarily killing, a bill banning abortions at 20 weeks – a bill she now says she might have supported had it allowed more latitude for women and their doctors. She’s for medical marijuana and letting voters decide on casino gambling. We’ll see in due course what else she’s got besides the admiration of the kind of people who admire Elizabeth Warren and read the New York Times.



Eugene Girin
Forest Hills
2/17/2014 10:17 PM

  This is the same Wendy Davis who filed for divorce from much older husband the day after he paid off her law school tuition. The Democrats' slogan should be: Wote for Wendy the Wench!

Thomas Fleming
2/18/2014 03:29 PM

  Great piece Bill. If only the Republican candidate were not a certifiable protege of Rove and the Bushes!

Bryan Fox
2/18/2014 06:14 PM

  The New York Times remains true to their nescience of local Texas and Southern politics in general. In Texas Wendy Davis is known as Abortion Barbie and was a political unknown until her stunt in the Texas Senate. She violated the filibuster rules on several points but Lt. Governor Dewhurst, a Rove protégé as well, would not grow a pair and shut her up. A star was born to the shallow minded media although she barely won her own district in 2012 and issue was in doubt for the upcoming one. Wendy, having nowhere to go but return to bilking money from frivolous lawsuits, then why not run for Governor of Texas. She has little chance of success, but true to a self serving nature she can now bilk out of state donors so as to live large on the campaign trail. After all, luxury suites at the Driscoll in Austin are a necessity for campaign rallies. For Wendy it isn't about winning, rather money and name recognition. If she is able to lose by ten points or less she can thump her padded chest and declare a moral victory. Who knows, perhaps a Federal Judicial bench appointment. She does have a law degree from an overrated Ivy law school that will give a law degree to any female -minority who can write their name. Regardless of her likely failure, alas poor Texas.

San Antonio
2/19/2014 04:31 AM

  What exactly do conservatives win if Greg Abbott is elected? Republicans are ready to allow gay marriage and Marijuana here! If you put Greg Abbott in a dress then what's the difference?

San Antonio
2/19/2014 12:02 PM

  I am sure every Republican running knows how to spell the words R-O-N-A-L-D R-E-A-G-A-N & A-L-A-M-O backwards and say "Howdy" in Spanish. So What? Every Republican running in the Southwest should appear in a commercial holding hands and singing "I'd like to teach the world to Build the Dang Fence" in perfect harmony. Then they can give a free bottle of Coke to each illegal. They are doing to Texas exactly what they did in California and Arizona. The only reason Democrats are so brazenly Left-wing is that they know how high the B.S. is piled in the Republican Party. It's a BIG state with a BIG pile!


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