Davis on the defensive in Texas

The honeymoon is over for Wendy Davis.

The Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate this week sustained the most negative coverage she’s faced since shooting to political stardom last summer. And her campaign, still smarting from the scrutiny, is determined to change the subject by turning up the heat on her opponent, GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott, over education.

In the high-profile, astronomically expensive Texas gubernatorial race, Davis was riding high just over a week ago. While she has always faced an uphill battle, she had just raked in stellar fundraising numbers and scored yet another national television interview that showcased her compelling journey from single teenage mother to Harvard Law graduate and state senator. But last weekend, a Dallas Morning News piece highlighted a series of small inconsistencies between her oft-repeated narrative and her actual biography. The story was picked up nationally, exploded in conservative media and put the Democratic team on defense.

“Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat,” Davis shot back in an open letter earlier this week. “It’s a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It’s a story about resiliency, and sacrifice, and perseverance. And you’re damn right it’s a true story.”

She will continue telling that story undeterred, say people close to Davis. Her team also sees an opportunity to continue hammering Abbott over education spending cuts, an issue that isplaying out as part of a high-profile school finance lawsuit that the attorney general’s office is handling, though he isn’t directly involved.
 I am one of those who does not think we are under funding education in Texas.  I would prefer to see Texas get more bang for the bucks it is spending.  When schools are building multi million dollar sports facilities it is not from a lack of money, but it probably does say something about priorities or at least a satisfaction with the status quo in the classrooms.  Mindless spending on education has been a mantra of liberals for decades and it has done very little to improve test scores or lower the drop out rate.

Where Davis's personal story has taken the biggest hit is the implication that she was a struggling single mom who pulled herself up with her own bootstrap efforts rather than the help from a generous husband who she dumped after the law school loans were paid.  Maybe her liberal true believers will accept her old story, but you can be sure they would not have accepted it from Sarah Palin.


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