Wendy Davis: Fuzzy Math, Fuzzy Memory

Problems continue to mount for State Senator Wendy Davis as her campaign becomes mired in questions surrounding the accuracy of even their most basic statements. The Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News contained a glaring headline destined to call into question how much trust voters can place in candidate Davis. “As Wendy Davis Touts Life Story in Race for Governor, Key Facts Blurred”. While Davis is attempting to woo voters with a single mother, rags to riches story, the DMN article raises serious questions regarding the accuracy of this narrative.

Just last week on the Today show, Davis conducted an interview outside the trailer park where she and daughter lived after her first divorce at age 19. Davis even makes the claim that she feels “a homecoming of sorts” when visiting her former home. What she fails to mention in the interview, or on the campaign trail, is that she only spent a few months at the park, not the extended amount of time she would like voters to imagine. The DMN article also points out that her first divorce came at age 21, not 19 as she would have voters believe.

Are these insignificant details in an overall life story? That’s for each voter to decide. But these revelations, along with others contained in the article, only add to the disturbing trend that the Davis campaign creates fuzzy details to make their argument more appealing to voters. This strategy of embellishing was even noted by one of her supporters who the Morning News quoted as saying “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.”

One example of this strategy occurred just last week when the Davis campaign announced they had raised more money than any other candidate for Governor. The problem: it wasn’t true. The truth is that she fell short of both a Republican candidate, Gregg Abbott, as well as their own fundraising goals. In an effort to place a positive spin on their failures, the Davis campaign took credit for money raised by a 3rd party group – a tactic unheard of in Texas politics. Before that, Wendy Davis attacked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for taking contributions from the payday lending industry, but her campaign botched the numbers with “fuzzy math,” casting doubt on the credibility of the entire attack. As one Houston Chronicle reporter put it: “The problem: The Davis campaign math is way off. Like, not even close.”

It is not surprising Senator Davis has added some creative licensing to her life story with all the time she has spent fundraising in California, where Hollywood often blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. In the Dallas Morning News article, Davis is quoted as saying “I’m learning to use broader, looser language.” You think?