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Facts Of Wendy Davis’ Life Story Were ‘Blurred’

From a very gently reproving Dallas Morning News:

As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred

By WAYNE SLATER | 18 January 2014 10:34 PM

FORT WORTH — 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.

Actually, we will see that most of these basic elements turn out to be untrue. Moreover, we don’t recall anyone in the news media saying that the facts in the Christie bridge lane closing were’ blurred.’ Why is that?

Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced.

So she wasn’t a divorced teen-aged mom.

She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.

So she didn’t live in a trailer for long at all.

A single mother working two jobs, she met Jeff Davis [sic!], 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.

So a wealthy man paid her way through college and law school and raised her daughters!

When they divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support.

It is highly unusual of a man to be given custody of the children in a divorce. Especially, when one of them is not his own, biologically speaking.

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.”

In other words, she got caught.

All campaigns seek to cast their candidate in the most positive light and their opponent in less flattering terms. Davis is presenting her story on websites, interviews, speeches and campaign videos. Last week, NBC’s Today show became the latest media outlet to showcase the story of Davis’ difficult early years in a flattering piece.

Using her story to inspire new voters, particularly women, youths and minorities, is a key part of the campaign’s strategy to overcome the state’s heavy Republican bent.

But likely Republican nominee Greg Abbott and his allies are expected to focus on different details to tell voters a competing story. Some will question how much of her success was her own doing, and how bad her circumstances were to start.

Davis defended the accuracy of her overall account as a young single mother who escaped poverty, earned an education and built a successful legal and political career through hard work and determination…

The candidate’s compelling life story begins with 14-year-old Wendy Russell working to help support her single mother in Tarrant County. While still a teenager, Davis married, had a child and divorced, she has said.

“I had a baby. I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old,” she testified in a recent federal lawsuit over redistricting

Was she under oath?

“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…

And with the help of an older man who paid her way. A man she immediately dumped when he was no longer needed.

“I’m a Texas success story,” Davis told NBC. “I am the epitome of hard work and optimism.” …

And creative writing.

She was 17 and still in high school when she moved in with her boyfriend, a construction worker named Frank Underwood. She got pregnant, married and “some time between [age] 19 and 20 was when Frank and I separated,” she said.

Davis remained in the mobile home a few months, then moved in with her mother before getting her own apartment. She got custody of her daughter, Amber, and Underwood was ordered to pay child support.

Under terms of the divorce, he got a boat, the mobile home and the responsibility for the mortgage on it. She got a 3-year-old Pontiac Grand Prix, a 1972 Firebird and a 1967 Chevy pickup. Davis was 21…

Four nights a week, Davis was also waiting tables at her father’s Fort Worth dinner theater, Stage West. It was there that she met her future husband, Jeff Davis, a 34-year-old friend of her father’s.

“One day at the end of a meeting, Jerry asked, ‘How do you like younger women? My daughter wants to go out with you,’” Jeff Davis said in an interview. “I was flattered so I took her out. We dated two or three years, then got married.”

While they dated, Wendy Davis enrolled at Texas Christian University on an academic scholarship and a Pell Grant. After they married, when she was 24, they moved into a historic home in the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth.

Jeff Davis paid for her final two years at TCU… 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.

“I was making really good money then, well over six figures,” he said. “But when you’ve got someone at Harvard, you’ve got bills to pay, you’ve got two small kids. The economy itself was marginal. You do what you have to do, no big deal.”

The daughters, then 8 and 2, remained with Jeff Davis in Fort Worth while Wendy Davis was at Harvard…

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.” …

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…

Amber was 21 and in college. Dru was in ninth grade. Jeff Davis was awarded parental custody. Wendy Davis was ordered to pay $1,200 a month in child support…

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.”

He said: “She’s going to find a way, and she’s going to figure out a way to spin herself in a way that grabs at the heart strings. A lot of it isn’t true about her, but that’s just us who knew her. But she’d be a good governor.”

Of course, she would make a great politician. The ability to use people and lie about it are tremendous assets.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 20th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Facts Of Wendy Davis’ Life Story Were ‘Blurred’”

  1. jhep3304 says:

    Article is a waste of print.
    The LIE doesn’t matter, It’s the narrative that’s important!
    Evidently you forgot you were talking about Democrats.

    • yadayada says:

      it only appears in the media (already quite dismissively) so that later, when her opponents attempt to actually use any of the lies against her, it will be dismissed as “old news” which we think “the public has moved beyond.” after all, she’s already explained/apologized for those minor misunderstandings.
      (as in, “I’m sorry if YOU MISUNDERSTOOD what I was trying to say.”)
      I mean really, is that worn out, old trash all you’ve got?

  2. Petronius says:

    It’s funny how many Harvard Law grads have problems with “blurring” and “loose language” and “chronological errors.”

    They must teach a special curriculum up there at Harvard Law: Introduction to Blurring, Advanced Blurring, Evidence & How to Fake It, Using Loose Language in Contracts, Fuzzy Legal Writing with Erroneous Citations, Avoiding Professional Responsibility, Unconstitutional Law, Uncivil Procedure, etc.

    Time was when the hallmark of a good lawyer was precision, accuracy, and attention to detail. But that was Old School law, for a different time and a different people.

  3. Helena says:

    Love your curriculum.

    (Introduction to Blurring pre-requisite): Avoiding Responsibility – Professional, Personal, Moral, Parental — Take control of your professional narrative! Your spouse and your children can be useful stepping stones to an unbeatable media persona.

    • Petronius says:

      Harvard Law has a lot to answer for . . . including our current President, who seems to have excelled in the special curriculum offered there (highest marks in Advanced Blurring, Avoiding Professional Responsibility, and Unconstitutional Law).

      Some of Wendy Davis’ statements were made in sworn testimony in the Texas voting rights case in the US District Court for DC. Of course perjury used to be a serious matter, even more serious than giving (allegedly) false statements to Federal investigators, as (allegedly) happened in the Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart cases, so I’m waiting for Ms Davis to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (but not holding my breath).

    • GetBackJack says:

      Harvard University, founded with Opium Warlord money was enslaving millions of Chinese to the insidious horror of addiction even as they were training and sending Missionaries to save their heathen souls. My mind blanks out at this action which is so far beyond the meaning of the term Hypocrisy there is no suitable equivalent ..

  4. mr_bill says:

    It sounds like she whored herself through college, got “punished with a baby” a couple times, then split when she graduated and ditched her kids because they were too old for her to abort them.

    Am I being too cynical?

  5. yadayada says:

    “It was ironic,” he said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.” …

    “ironic” someone else exhibiting difficulty with the English language…

  6. captstubby says:

    “The eighth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that the morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of
    imminent defeat or imminent victory. The same means employed with victory seemingly assured may be defined as immoral, whereas if it had been
    used in desperate circumstances to avert defeat, the question of morality would never arise. In short, ethics are determined by whether one is losing or

    of course ,Democrats are taught at birth to live by this;

    The twelfth rule: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with
    your demand and saying “You’re right ”we don’t know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.”

    Rules for radicals : a practical primer for realistic radicals / Saul D. Alinsky

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