Wendy Davis is back!
Who she? Aw, c'mon, you remember! She's the former Democratic state senator in Texas who was the Hollywood and East Coast media favorite to win the 2014 election for state governor. Unfortunately for Davis, Hollywood and East Coast media people can't vote in Texas, so Davis lost to Republican Greg Abbott by more than 20 points, then slunk off somewhere. Even Davis's supposedly sure-fire constituency, women–wasn't there a GOP war against them?–didn't exactly turn out. Only 47 percent of Texas women voted for Davis, versus 52 percent for Abbott.
But now, here she is again–in Politico–hoisting herself back into the spotlight by latching onto the issue du jour for Democrats: gun control. You see, tthere was this gun massacre by home-grown jihadists in San Bernardino a couple of weeks ago, and the Democratic Party's strategy for dealing with home-grown jihadists–and jihadists abroad, for that matter–is to take away the guns of law-abiding Americans. Now, Wendy's problem is that she opposed gun restrictions during that ill-fated 2014 gubernatorial run, since Texas is a Second Amendment state and gun restrictions don't get politicians very far.
So Wendy fesses up: She lied back in 2014!
And, yet during my 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Texas, I supported the open carry of handguns in my state.
It is a position that haunts me….
I know why because, even with my history of supporting sensible gun laws, I was cowed by the political realities of my state….
Against that backdrop, I chose to do something that was cleverer than it was wise. I decided to take a position in favor of open carry, one which would include the caveat that any property owner who wanted to opt out should be able to do so, whether it be a school, hospital or a private business. Understanding that most of these property owners would likely take advantage of an opt-out provision if the legislature were ever even to agree to pass such a diluted version of the law, I thought I could go forward with a clear conscience….
Such was the dictate I gave my team from the Denver airport. But, as I hurriedly finished the conversation before boarding the airport terminal train, I couldn’t shake the shameful feeling that I had just done something I had never done before—I had compromised my deeply held principles for the sake of political expediency.
Now, open carry may not be part of Wendy Davis's political portfolio anymore, but political expediency sure is. She now appears to be angling for a high-power appointment under President Hillary Clinton:
According to Clinton’s campaign, Davis is expected to attend seven events [in Iowa] where she will discuss Clinton’s track-record on women’s health issues. Earlier this year, Davis endorsed Clinton at an event in Austin.
“Hillary has demonstrated for many years her exemplary ability to lead in the face of real challenges,” Davis said at the time. “We need someone like that.”
And Davis may fare better on the national scene (especially since she won't have to run for any office) than she did in Texas, where her main claim to fame was her 13-hour filibuster in 2013 of an abortion-restrictions bill that eventually passed anyway. But she apparently had looked so cute on the state senate floor in her pink sneakers that she caught the attention of Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour. Vogue ran a simpering spread on Davis, photographing her in a designer dress and blonde blowout and focusing on her…clothes: "She loves to put on something nice, dresses by Chloé and Victoria Beckham, and Miu Miu heels or Louboutins," Vogue writer Heidi Mitchell gushed. "Could Texas turn purple—and is Davis the one to take it there?"
Unfortunately, Texas didn't, and Davis didn't. Despite nearly $40 million in campaign contributions from…seemingly everybody except Texans, Davis couldn't get over such gaffes as discrepancies between the trailer park-to-Harvard Law School story she had fed the press (including Vogue) and the actual details of her life, which included the fact that a well-off former husband, attorney Jeff Davis, had footed most of her bills, including her stint at Harvard.
And now, well–Davis may no longer have much of a political career in Texas, but gun control is a central issue for Hillary, who's probably written off Texas anyway.
I'm looking forward to savoring the Louboutins Wendy Davis will be sporting on the Clinton campaign trail.