Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator whose filibuster for abortion rights made her a Democratic superstar and launched her campaign for governor, has admitted to the Dallas Morning News that she lied about key events in her life, including her first divorce. Davis may even have lied under oath, testifying in a federal lawsuit over redistricting that “I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old,” when in fact she was divorced at age 21.
Other missing details have included: her second husband paid her way through law school and she divorced him the day after the last payment was made; her ex-husband accused her in initial court filings of adultery, and was awarded custody of their two daughters; and she first ran for city council in Fort Worth as a Republican.
“My language should be tighter,” she said, admitting her campaign biography has been less than truthful.
It is not clear whether the article in the Dallas Morning News, by senior political writer Wayne Slater, is meant to be an exposé or a defense, presenting embarrassing details in the best light possible to present an overall picture of competence. One unidentified source, who said that Davis is “going to figure out a way to spin herself in a way that grabs at the heart strings,” is also quoted as saying that “she’d be a good governor.”
Regardless, the fact that Davis “blurred” her biography raises questions about her integrity. Her ex-husbandsaid she should not have needed to lie–that her real life is “a better narrative than what they’re trying to paint.”
The media tend to protect Democrats–notably, Barack Obama, Davis’s contemporary at Harvard Law School–when they present false “composites” of their lives. It remains to be seen whether they treat Davis the same.